Roasted Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad
- ACTIVE: 35 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 15 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 butternut squash (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 parsnip—peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup green lentils
- 1 cup water
- 1 small shallot, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 cup walnuts (about 1/4 pound)
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 425°. In a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool, then finely grind. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the butternut squash with the parsnip, onions, ground cumin, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 35 minutes, stirring once, or until the squash and parsnip are tender and lightly browned. Leave the oven on.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the lentils with the water, shallot and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain off any liquid; discard the bay leaf and shallot and season the lentils with salt and pepper.
- In a pie plate, toast the walnuts in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop. In a small bowl, mix the cilantro with the lemon juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss the roasted vegetables with the lentils, walnuts and dressing and serve.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.