• Almond and Fig

Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Pumpkins and Cumin Mint Yogurt Dressing

Updated: Jun 19


When the weather turns cooler and crispier we tend to crave things that are hearty and warm. I pull out my soup pots and roasting pans to welcome the season. But I also look forward to making fall salads. They tend to take on the seasons personality and beautiful colors. Change of seasons also means a whole new line up of produce and ingredients at the market. Apples, squash, kale and pumpkins, you know they are not just for pie. And I love to add hearty legumes and grains they are both filling, and loaded with plant based protein. Warm lentils salad and roasted fall pumpkins all caramelized and slightly sweet. Served with an herby yogurt dressing and earthy fried shallots and crunchy pepita seeds. This salad is a play on one of my favorite dishes “mujadarah” a one pot lentils and rice dish we often ate with plain yogurt and loads of caramelized onions growing up.

Total cook time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Lentils:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown or green lentils, rinsed and picked over

  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered

  • 1 large bay leaf

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

To roast the pumpkin:

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp sumac

  • 1 small pie pumpkin (1-3pounds usually) often called “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins seeded, gutted and cut into half moons

  • 2 tbls olive oil

Crispy shallots:

  • 1 tbls olive oil

  • 2 shallots sliced thin

  • Sauté until crispy 10 min

Dressing:

  • juice of one lemon plus 1 tbls of lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • 1 garlic clove finely minced

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

  • 1/2 tsp dried mint

  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/2 tsp ground sumac

Directions: mix all the ingredients together and store In an airtight container in the fridge.

Garnish:

  • Fresh mint

  • 1/4 cup toasted papita seeds

Tip: start by cooking the things that take the longest.

Directions:

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400ºF.

  • Toss the pumpkin with salt, pepper, sumac and olive oil

  • Place on a baking sheet in the oven for 30-40 min until they are tender when pierced with a fork and caramelized.

  • To Remove the skin on pumpkins: Remove the pumpkin from the oven, and cool for about 10 minutes. Using a pairing knife Separate the pumpkin flesh from the skin, and discard the skin.

  • *Tip: you can also purée leftover pumpkins for soups or sauces.

  • To cook the perfect lentils:

  • Add four cups of water to every one cup of lentils to a pot. So for this recipe 1.5 cups of lentils to 6 cups of water.

  • Add the onion, bay leaf, cumin

bring the mixture to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Add salt when you know that lentils are cooked through.

  • Drain the lentils, remove the bay leaf and onion.

*Storage: you can store the lentils in the fridge in a tight closed container for 4 days or frozen up to 3 months.

To assemble the salad:

  • Toss the lentils with salt, 1 tbls olive oil, 1 tbls lemon juice.

  • Add the lentils to a platter

  • Arrange the roasted pumpkins on top.

  • Garnish with the Pepitas and fresh mint

  • Add Sautéed shallots

  • Serve the dressing on the side

#fallsalads #fallflavors #lentils #roastedpumpkin

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