Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pear and Squash Salad with Lentils

I know what you are thinking....pears, squash and lentils?  My husband gave me the whole "You want me to eat rabbit food?" when he saw this, but he was soon converted.  This is a super filling winter meal but it is also easy on the waistline.  Any type of winter squash will work here but aim for butternut squash or kabocha squash.  There are three components to this salad.  A bed of greens (e.g. arugula), roasted squash and finally lentils and rice.

4 handfuls arugula lettuce washed and set aside
1 medium sized squash
olive oil
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 cup rice
2 cups water
1 small pear cut into small bit size pieces
1/2 cup almonds
1 small salad onion thinly sliced
1 lemon juiced
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 425.  Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil.
2. Prepare and clean the lettuce and put in the fridge for now
3. Prepare and cut the squash into half and remove the seeds.   Cut into half again and two more times into half.  You should have 16 pieces of squash (sorry if my math does not add up).  I ended up using my meat mallet and a sturdy all purpose butcher knife to cut this squash into pieces.  Please be careful because this is not an easy thing to do.
4. Put the squash on the pan and brush with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt.
5. Roast in the oven 20 minutes or until tender.
6. Meanwhile combine lentils, rice and water in a pot on the stove.  Cover with a lid and cook on high until water is absorbed (about 17 minutes).  This is essentially a mini-rice cooker!
7. While that is all cooking combine the lemon juice, mustard and olive oil.  This will be your salad dressing.
8. When squash is done remove from the oven and let cool.  Once it is cool, carefully slice away from the peel and cut into bit size chunks
9. Now it is time to prepare the salad.  Get a large plate (one for each person) and put a handful of lettuce on the plate.  Add a few onions, almonds and pear pieces.  Top with squash and finally a spoonful of the rice/lentil mixture.  Drizzle with the salad dressing and serve!
10. Enjoy your beautiful salad!

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