Wonderfully filling roasted pumpkin and lentil salad makes a perfect autumn lunch.
Roasted chunks of sweet pumpkin with lentils, chickpeas, and an array of vegetables and herbs tossed with a light lemon vinaigrette dressing.
Another wonderfully hearty autumn salad that is perfect all on its own as a filling lunch, or a great accompaniment to any dinner. It takes advantage of seasonal sweet pumpkins (also known as pie pumpkins) to really fill out the flavour.
This salad is very high in protein and fibre, which means it is great for those vegans out there looking for high protein meal options. Just make sure to swap the honey for a bee-free alternative sweetener in the dressing.
When roasting the pumpkin, add a few more pumpkins to roast as well. These can be used to make homemade pumpkin purée. Far superior to canned purée for making holiday desserts and dishes like my roasted pumpkin hummus.
(Makes 4 servings)
1, 2lb sweet pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 cup English cucumber, sliced
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 radishes, sliced
1 can (540ml) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup fresh curly parsley, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey (or bee-free alternative)
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the pumpkin seeds and connective material (reserve seeds for roasting). Cut the halves into 1-inch-wide slices and remove the outer rind. Cut strips into chunks and transfer them into a large bowl. Sprinkle the pumpkin chunks with sea salt and extra-virgin olive oil. Toss to coat evenly then spread the pumpkin out over the baking sheet. Roast the pumpkin chunks until fork tender (about 20 to 25 minutes minutes).
While the pumpkin roasts, prepare the lentils. In a saucepan over medium-high heat bring the vegetable stock to a boil then reduce the heat to medium to bring the pot down to a simmer. Add the lentils and simmer uncovered until tender, but not mushy (about 20 to 25 minutes). Remove from heat, drain any remaining liquid and set aside.
In a small bowl (or with the use of a blending cup) add all the dressing ingredients and whisk (or blend) until the oil is emulsified. Set aside.
In a large salad bowl, combine all the vegetables, herbs, pumpkin chunks and lentils. Shake or quickly whisk the dressing again before pouring it over the salad. Toss to coat evenly and serve immediately.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 362.5 | total fat = 19.67g | saturated fat = 2.82g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 846.25mg | net carbohydrates = 36.58g | dietary fibre = 14.64g | sugars = 16.54g | protein = 14.87g