07 Jan. 2022: Squash, Apple & Warm Lentil Salad

We are getting our first real snowfall of Winter 2022 today, so I decided to change things up a little by making our big meal for mid-day.

Food & Wine published this warming Winter-weather salad in 2013. The original recipe was developed by Nick Wilber and it ticks all the right boxes for a snowy day – warm, easy-to-acquire ingredients and filling. Link to the recipe below for more cooking suggestions AND a suggestion for a complementary wine pairing. Full disclosure: I cut the recipe in half because there are just two of us – a double-sized portion was more than enough as a main.

Squash Apple & Lentil Salad

Recipes from Chef Nick Wilber published in Food & Wine, December 2013

Ingredients (this proportions are yield 16 servings)

  • 6 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling )
  • 1 medium shallot, minced 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 cups French green lentils (important to use the Le Puy or French), rinsed 
  • 3 thyme sprigs 
  • 3 TBSP fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 TBSP chopped chives, plus more for garnish 
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter, melted 
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves 
  • 2 medium acorn squash (3 pounds)—scrubbed, halved, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges (Because our local grocer waxed the outside (!), I opted to peel the squash)
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple—quartered, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick 
  • 1/2 small head radicchio, leaves torn into small pieces 
  • Parsley sprigs, for garnish

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the lentils, thyme and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes.
  3. Discard the thyme sprigs. Transfer the lentils to a medium bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of chives and remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°. In a small bowl, whisk the butter with the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the squash with 5 tablespoons of the spiced butter and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the squash on 2 baking sheets and roast for 10 minutes.
  6. In the same bowl, toss the apple with the remaining 1 tablespoon of spiced butter. Turn the squash wedges and add the apples to the baking sheets. Roast for about 10 minutes longer, until the squash and apples are tender and golden.
  7. Arrange the squash, apples and radicchio on a serving platter. Spoon the lentils on top and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with parsley and chives and serve.

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