Normally when autumn arrives, it arrives with a shove. There’s rain every day and grey skies day in and day out. However, this fall, we Vancouverites seem blessed. It’s sunny, there’s a nip to the air that I find refreshing, and the leaves have just been so incredible lately. Oh, the colours! I’m finding beauty in almost everything. Even the humble butternut squash.
I saw this recipe for a warm chickpea and butternut salad with tahini dressing on Molly’s blog and it sounded too perfect. So I cut the squash, put it in to roast and noticed that I didn’t have a can of chickpeas after all. Instead, I took out a can of lentils and hoped all would be well. After I had mixed all the ingredients and poured myself a glass of wine, the mess in the bowl did not look very pretty and it certainly it didn’t look as composed as Molly’s photo. I had my fingers crossed as my husband took his first bite. But I had no need to worry, he loved it (and he normally doesn’t even like squash!) and so did I. It was tangy and had a lovely lemony bite that worked so well with the nuttiness of the tahini. This recipe is a keeper and even if it’s not a beauty on a plate, it definitely will make this fall seem sweeter.
warm lentil & butternut squash salad with tahini dressing
(adapted from Orangette)
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 ½ lb.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 t ground cumin
½ t red chili flakes
½ t ground allspice
2 T olive oil
salt & pepper
One 15-ounce can lentils (or chickpeas), drained and rinsed
¼ of a medium red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup coarsely chopped parsley (or cilantro) leaves
½ t sumac
For tahini sauce:
2 garlic cloves, finely minced with a pinch of salt
juice of 1 lemon
3 T. tahini
2 T water
2 T olive oil, plus more to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425F. In a large bowl, toss butternut squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, allspice, cumin, garlic, sumac and red chili flakes. Once it’s all well coated, dump onto a baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes until soft and golden.
2. Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining all the ingredients and whisking until smooth. Taste and add more water or olive oil if needed.
3. To assemble the salad, gently toss the lentils, the warm roasted squash, red onion, and parsley in a serving bowl along with most of the dressing. Reserve the remaining of the dressing to serve at the table.
it does too, look stellar! hooray for fiber.
LOVE IT!! Yum.
This looks so good, and in fact I like the idea of lentils instead of chickpeas. Why not, right? And so healthy. I’ve got this high on my must-make list now. Thanks!
I love winter squash and butternut is at the top of my fave list. Thanks for reminding me that I have yet to cook with butternut squash this Fall. I must remember to pick one up on my next market trip. This recipe is perfect for me and my bean-based diet.
OMGosh, that look delish! I’m going to have to make that for sure!
hooray, indeed, havecake!
there’s lots to love about this salad, veggiegirl!
why not!! i like your thinking, hanne 😉
bijoux, i’m sure this would be great with any ol’ squash!
i guess i lucked out, jesse! normally, he’s a picky bastard 🙂
You’re so lucky. I crossed my fingers when my own husband tasted this dish when I made it last year and he was not so happy. I on the other hand loved it. He is so so very picky. If it’s not cheese on starch then it’s a gamble whether he’ll eat it. ugh.
The day you posted this, I made curried butternut squash with lentils. It was fine. Warm and hearty fall fare. As soon as I was finished eating, I checked your blog and became very upset that I had waited until after I’d made dinner to do so. I had all of the ingredients in my cupboard, just waiting for this recipe, and instead, I made generic curry?
Then I realized, I do not have sumac. In fact, I’ve never heard of sumac. What is that?
I made this several times last fall after Molly posted it. It was a huge hit at two potlucks I took it to (I came home with a scraped-clean tupperware). It was a perfect dish for sharing since it is naturally vegan AND gluten-free, so everyone could eat it. I think the lentils sub sounds like a great idea, since the flavors of lemon, curry, and tahini are a natural fit for lentils. I like to call this dish “deconstructed hummus” when made with chickpeas.
Yum I was coveting this dish when I saw it on Flickr and was hoping you’d post it!
krippilicious, you don’t need sumac to make this at all, but sumac is a lovely middle eastern spice that has a bit of tang and i thought it worked wonderfully here.
maija, i like that you called it a deconstructed hummous! clever!
it’s a good one, eat me! enjoy 🙂
made this the other night but used chick peas as i was out of lentils. it was great! so much flavour!!! didn’t have sumac =(
rachel, so glad you loved it! next time i’ll try it with chickpeas instead.
Where do you find sumac in Vancouver? I’ve noticed it in a few recipes recently, and I’d love to try it!
jennifer, i found sumac on the drive at a middle eastern shop around 4th ave?? i’m sure you could find it on granville island or at the gourmet warehouse too.
I haven’t thought about using Tahini in a dressing with butternut squash. Definitely must try!
I made this, it was OK but a little too “goopy” for me. I liked the taste, but the spices masked the butternut squash flavor. I was telling an older gentleman in line at the middle-eastern store how happy I was to have finally located sumac. He said “What are you talking about, all of the middle eastern grocery stores have sumac!” Anyway, when you publish the book, make sure to put sumac into the instructions.