Butternut squash can be difficult to peel and chop, but it is well worth it — beautiful bright orange flesh and a delicious sweetness reward your efforts. Lentils are certainly one of my favorite foods — high in protein and fiber, rich in minerals, low fat, inexpensive and super fast to cook. The two go very nicely together in this dish that can be served as a salad or a side dish. As always, it is Vegan and Gluten-Free. There is no salt added in my version beyond what is in the dijon mustard. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. We have coarse sea salt to sprinkle over it today. If you eat dairy, I think this would be delicious with crumbled feta cheese on it.
1 medium butternut squash, about 1 pound
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked over (be certain to discard any pebbles or discolored bits)
1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp dijon mustard
3 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for roasting the squash
Freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Peel, seed and chop butternut squash into 1″ cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and mix to coat the cubes evenly. Place in a shallow baking dish, cover with foil and bake until just tender (you don’t want them to be too soft), about 30 minutes.
3. Place lentils in a heavy pot and cover with water to 1 1/2″ above lentils. Heat on medium, covered, until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until just tender, about 25 minutes.
4. Drain lentils and squash. Place in a large serving bowl.
5. Whisk together apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and mustard. Mix in olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Add fresh pepper to taste.
6. Add dressing to the lentils and squash mixture and stir gently to incorporate.