Warm Squash, Apple, & Lentil Salad

I am all for a good, crisp, fresh salad. I really am.

Totally customizable, and obviously full of nutrients. But I mean, during the winter… I would kinda rather have something that’s more…

Well, warm. I want something warm. And hearty. And filling.

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

As much as I love salad, it just doesn’t cut it when the temperature is lower than my age.

Ideally I could just live off of sweet rolls and muffins all winter. Those are warm! Buuuut we gotta treat our bodies better than that and give ’em some nutrients.

(My stomach, for its part, would like me to inform you that it thinks eating exclusively carbs would be treating it well. Agree to disagree.)

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

I’ve got the perfect solution for ya. Behold: the warm squash, apple, and lentil salad of awesomeness! *ness ness ness…* <— that was an echo. If you weren’t sure. (sorry)

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

Oh my gosh, guys. This salad. I hesitate to even call it a salad simply because it has alllll of the characteristics I want in a meal during the winter!

Savory, satisfying lentils. Nourishing acorn squash. The comforting scent of cinnamon mingling with lemon.

Seriously, how is this a salad?!

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

I’ve noticed that a lot of people think that eating seasonally during the winter automatically means not getting enough nutrients or variety. This is absolutely not the case! There are tons of nutrient-dense foods available during the winter.

There are more types of squash in season right now than I can name. You’ve still got your kale and sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. Clementines are in season, too. THERE ARE OPTIONS! Check out your local winter farmer’s market if you have one, and see what’s there. I bet you’ll find something good. 🙂

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

You can easily slice the squash into wedges so that it will cook faster, but I loved how the salad looked piled inside. Also, the recipe makes enough lentils for you to have some leftover. Get creative with them during the rest of the week! You can toss them in soup, or wrap them in a tortilla with some hummus and veggies, or mix them with sauteed spinach, for example!

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad | memo2munch

 

Warm Squash, Apple & Lentil Salad
Serves 2
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For the squash
  1. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 1/2 ground cinnamon
  3. granulated sugar (optional)
  4. 1 medium acorn squash, scrubbed, halved, and seeded
For the lentils
  1. 3 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  2. 1/2 medium shallot, minced
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 1 cup (7 oz) green lentils, rinsed
  5. 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  6. 1.5 tbsp. lemon juice
  7. salt and pepper
To finish
  1. 1/2 golden delicious apple, cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
  2. Mixed greens
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat each squash half completely with 1 tbsp of oil, including skin. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, if using.
  2. Place the halves on a foil-lined baking sheet, cut edges up. Bake in oven until soft and tender, 45 minutes to an hour.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat half of the oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly golden, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Stir in the lentils and 1.5 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until lentils are tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Transfer lentils to a small bowl and let cool briefly. Stir in the thyme, lemon juice, and remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place the squash halves on plates, and top with mixed greens, lentils, and apple slices. Drizzle with more olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Adapted from Food & Wine
Adapted from Food & Wine
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