Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Butternut Squash & Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese

Wow . . . the holidays.  We had so much fun with our girls, spending time with family, and many Christmas events.   It's too hard to pick favorite moments, or even photos but here are a couple:
New pjs and a giraffe hat for the baby

This photo may be blurry but it totally captures her immediate excitement when she opened the hobby horse.
The littlest member of our family has started eating something other than breastmilk!

But, I have to say, I've had way too much sugar lately and don't really want to see another cookie for awhile.  At least for a week.  The other night, I made this for dinner.  It was a good departure from the heavy food we've consumed lately, an interesting balance of textures and flavors, and contains lots of nutrients.

Originally from Bon Appetit 10/09, I came across the recipe on Smitten Kitchen awhile ago.  Do you know my obsession with goat cheese?  I'm surprised I haven't made this sooner.  I didn't have the hot smoky paprika so I used Penzey's Spanish Paprika and a little cayenne.  The spice coating on the butternut squash burnt a bit while the squash was roasting.  I also used plain, brown lentils instead of French lentils.  Don't skip the mint leaves or the goat cheese . . . they made the salad!

Butternut Squash & Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese 
3 main course servings or 6 first course servings

3/4 cup lentils (original recipe says French green lentils)
  • 6 cups 1-inch pieces peeled seeded butternut squash (appx one 2lb squash)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Soak lentils in cold water for 10 minutes.  Drain.  Cook in a pot of boiling salted water until tender but firm, about 30 minutes.  Rinse under cold water, drain and set aside.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the cumin, paprika and sea salt.  Roast on a rimmed baking sheet for 15 minutes.  Flip with a spatula and roast for another 10-15 minutes or until squash is tender but not mushy.  Cool.

Mix lentils, roasted squash, 1 tablespoon of oil, arugula, mint, vinegar, and half of the goat cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  After plating the salad, sprinkle the rest of the goat cheese on top.


  1. I am so happy to hear that a hobby horse can still delight. Mine road me over miles of trails. (I'm rifling through your archives for a meat pie recipe. Don't worry, I'll clean up before I leave.)

  2. Be honest: Did your daughter really eat this though? Sigh. I have the lamest kids ever.

  3. Nope, not even a bite. Some plain lentils and some leftover chicken from another night.

  4. We are big fans of this salad as well...though I cheat and use Trader Joe's balsamic vinaigrette instead :)