Thursday, September 4, 2014

Braised Lentils with Roasted Butternut Squash

True story: for the first time in 4 years, I forgot to pick up my CSA veggies. Well, I remembered, but by then, I couldn't make it work. I guess Labor Day threw off my mental "what day is it today" track. The Colvins are very forgiving types, thank goodness. I think we're going to be able to work it out for me to get a box this weekend. So, I don't know if you will be getting butternut squash this weekend or not, but if you're like me, you may still have one or two lying around. I usually eat up the more perishable stuff first. Good thing because last night, I could still whip up a meal with CSA veggies!

This recipe is simple, but takes a bit of time to cook. It's delicious, too, despite the unassuming ingredient list. I'm not a huge fan of chunks of butternut squash; generally, I prefer the pureed recipes like our favorite Butternut Squash Soup. But the combination in this recipe works beautifully. I didn't think to take a picture of all the Colvin veggies that went into this recipe, but I used onions and garlic from them in addition to the squash! This works as a good side dish for sausage (smoked, flavored chicken, etc.) as well as a vegan/vegetarian main dish.

Braised Lentils with Roasted Butternut Squash
~adapted slightly from How to Cook Everything, 10th ann. edition

  • 1 cup lentils, brown or green
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 of a large one
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 c. peeled, cubed butternut squash (1/2-inch to 1-inch cubes) from a medium squash
  • 2 T. olive oil plus extra
  • 2 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 c. red wine (can use white for a more subtle taste)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Toss squash cubes with enough oil to coat and roast at 375 degrees until tender and caramelized (about 20 minutes or so). (I sprinkled some salt and pepper over the cubes as well.)
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, sauté onion over medium high heat until translucent. Add garlic and stir for a minute or so until garlic is fragrant. 
  3. Add lentils, stock, wine, and bay leaf to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for about 25 minutes.
  4. Taste, adjust seasonings, and simmer until lentils are done to your liking. Removing the lid will help some of the excess liquid cook off (which I like). When lentils are just about done, gently stir in squash pieces to reheat.
~Serves 4-6

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