Roasted Butternut with Lentils & Lacinato
By Kaitlin Collins
For the Squash
1 medium/large Winter Squash (I used Butternut,
because it was what I had on hand, but acorn
or kabocha would also be nice), cut in half lengthwise,
seeds removed, and then cut into ¼ inch half moons
4 large Shallots, cut in half
or 2 medium Red Onions, cut into fourths
leaving the roots intact to hold the layers together
and removing the outermost layer of skin
1 head of garlic, top third removed
1 bunch each thyme and sage
(if fresh is not available, 1 teaspoon each dried will do)
1 bunch Lacinato Kale, stems removed + leaves
torn into 2 inch pieces, massaged with lemon juice
White Wine Vinegar
Fine Salt + Black Pepper
For the Lentils
1 cup French Lentils, rinsed
1 Bay Leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Red Wine Vinegar
toasted almonds, chopped
thick yoghurt or labneh
whole grain mustard seeds
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Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare the Squash, Shallots or Onions, and Garlic. Arrange in a glass baking dish if a softer texture is desired, or on a baking sheet if you like more of a golden roast. I have prepared this dish both ways and love them for different reasons. Follow your heart! Tuck the fresh herbs in with the veg, or sprinkle the dried herbs evenly to cover. Drizzle everything with a generous amount of oil, probably 3-4 tablespoons depending on the size of your squash. Again, feel it out and lean towards under-oiling if you’re not sure; you can always add some more when you check it halfway through. Salt and pepper everything well.
Your squash will need to cook anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour depending on the type and size of squash you use. We’re going for a slow roast here, enough time for the edges to caramelize and all of the aromas to meld together. Check it at about 25 minutes and give everything a stir. You can also add some oil if the veg seems to be drying out at all.
At this point, once you have assessed the goods, get the lentils going. Rather than measuring out the water, I prefer to cover the lentils by 2-3 inches, add a bay leaf for flavour, and send them on their journey. They will take around 15-20 minutes. I like mine tender but with some structure still―al dente I suppose. Drain when consistency is to your liking and rinse only for a few second―you want the lentils to still be warm. Add a drizzle of each oil and vinegar, dried oregano, and a pinch or two of salt. Stir it all up and add a little more of this or that until the taste is to your liking. I love the bite of vinegar with the soft earthiness of the oregano, but balance these out however you like.
Check the veg again. If it is done or very close to being done, you will want to add the kale. Arrange it as a thin layer on top of the veg and put the pan back in the oven for another five minutes or so, until the kale begins to wilt and the edges are starting to crisp. Separate the kale and alliums from the squash. If you used fresh herbs, slide them off their stems and sprinkle on squash, then drizzle with vinegar. To plate (or bowl), use lentils as a base for all of the roasted goodness. Add any of the additional toppings to your pleasure. Share with friends or savour it all week.