Roasted butternut squash and puy lentil salad

Roasted butternut squash © dan and tuesday

Roasted butternut squash © dan and tuesday

Wow, has it been more than a year since we’ve done anything on this blog?

A quick update since September 2010: we left Cardiff, UK to move to The Hague, Netherlands; bought a house and we’re having a baby this month! Plus, in July this year, I (Tuesday) started eating meat again! Maybe it was the pregnancy or maybe because I just want to re-discover (meat) flavours. I am now a carnivore after being an ovo-lacto vegetarian for nearly 12 years and pescetarian (vegetable and seafood diet) in the last 4 years. This means that we will be sharing more meat-based recipes that we like in this blog.

But not this recipe. Our first blog post this year is a vegetarian recipe. This warm salad recipe is from the Good Food magazine and is high in fibre, iron, protein, folic acid and vitamin C. It’s also low-fat, counts as your 5 of 5-a-day (it’s a British thing, click on the link to find out more), and also very easy to make. Win-win!

Roasted butternut squash and Puy lentil salad © dan and tuesday

Roasted butternut squash and Puy lentil salad © dan and tuesday

You need:

  • butternut squash, regular size of about 1 kg, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • garlic clove, crushed (I love garlic and I probably put in about 6 cloves but you can only put 1 or 2, if you don’t fancy it)
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp of water
  • 2 x 400g tin of Puy lentils, drained and washed in water
  • small red onion, sliced
  • 100g of baby spinach
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • toasted pumpkin seed (what we always have in our cupboard is pumpkin seed, sesame seed and sunflower seed toasted in tamari or soy sauce. It’s great topping for salad, soup or pasta dishes)
  • crumbly cheese like feta or Cheshire or whatever cheese you have leftover

What to do:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C.
  2. In a roasting tin, toss the butternut squash, garlic, and thyme in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Roast for about 30 mins until it’s they are tender and slightly charred.
  3. Make the dressing by combining balsamic vinegar, wholegrain mustard, water and the rest of the extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Assemble salad by combining Puy lentils, baby spinach, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. Put the dressing and toss.
  5. Top with roasted butternut squash, crumbly cheese, and toasted seeds.
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Duck!

In the absence of full introductions, I should probably explain who we are. We are united by a passion for food. Maybe “passion” is a bit strong. We’re not experts, but we like to have a go in the kitchen. Tuesy is a bit more vegetarian than I am, but I have been eating a lot less meat since we met. We both eat seafood whenever we get the chance. There won’t be too many fancy recipes and, particularly in my case, a lot of this stuff is a bit “experimental”.
For instance, tonight I had duck for dinner. I had a couple of breast in the fridge, and no recipe book to hand. Time to improvise. I mixed some soy sauce, runny honey and wholegrain mustard (optional) in a bowl and dunked the duck into it. You can also roll the duck around in a bit of flour first if you like. I have no idea what this does (told you I wasn’t an expert), but it might help the marinade to stick to the meat. Maybe.
Throw the duck into a frying pan and cook on both sides for as long as you like. I like mine to be a bit pink in the middle, and crispy on the outside. Some may be scared by too much poultry pinkness, though. If you prick the skin before you fry, it’ll cook in its own juices. Because I can’t be bothered washing up extra pans, I took the liberty of chucking in some courgettes and red pepper to cook in the same trickles, but you might find that repulsive. Steam some veg to eat with it if you prefer. It’ll get very fatty in that pan. Sometimes I soak it up with some kitchen roll or just tip it away. You don’t want it to get too greasy before you eat.
Hey, I’m a beginner. But this tasted great, took about twenty minutes to prepare, and I’ve got some left over for tomorrow. It looked like this: