Lentil, Kale, and Spiced Pumpkin Autumn Salad
Just because summer has come to an end, it doesn't mean your days of salad are over for the year. Autumn offers some fantastic seasonal vegetables that are perfect for a lunch or dinner salad. Using these fresh ingredients can also be a way to keep the cold weather from driving you to calorie laden comfort foods.
One of our favourite autumn salads is this hearty but healthy mix of leafy greens, lentils, and savoury spiced pumpkin.
- 300 g cooked green lentils
- 1 kg pumpkin or other autumn squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (hot or mild, to taste)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 200 g fresh curly kale
- 150 g Brussels sprouts, sliced finely
- 30 g fresh mint leaves, chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 125 g soft goats cheese (optional)
- Heat oven to 190 C/375 F/Gas Mark 5.
- In a large bowl, toss pumpkin, cumin, paprika, salt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Spread evenly in a single layer on a baking tray and roast for 30-35 minutes, turning once, or until tender.
- Cool completely on tray.
- Combine cooled pumpkin, oil from baking tray, and lentils with chopped mint, red wine vinegar, and additional 1 tablespoon of olive oil, along with half of the goats cheese, if desired.
- Toss together kale and sliced Brussels sprouts.
- For a milder flavour, bruise the kale by crushing it gently with your hands before tossing.
- Toss in other combined ingredients, thoroughly coating greens with oil and vinegar mixture, before dividing amongst plates.
- Top with additional goats cheese, if desired, and season with salt and pepper to taste.