Recipe for a nourishing lentil salad with delicata squash and cranberries. Vegan, gluten-free, and perfect for fall and winter. Serve alone, over greens, or with sliced baguette.
All summer long I made and devoured the same lentil salad. It had sweet cherry tomatoes, a tangy mustard dressing, and fresh herbs. This lentil salad tasted hearty and satisfying, but even better, it made me feel energized and nourished. Lentils are one of my favorite plant-based food staples. They are a fantastic source of protein and fiber. I often make a batch of lentils on the weekend to use throughout the week, and if I’m not doing that, I’m making lentil soup. This week I was missing my summer lentil salad, so I revamped it for fall and winter by adding roasted delicata squash, cranberries, and a maple dressing. Keep a batch in your fridge and you’ll always have something hearty and healthy ready for busy moments.
I am a butternut squash lover, but sometimes you need to switch things up and add variety! Lately I’ve been roasting delicata squash, but butternut would definitely work in this recipe just as well. Toss your seeded and sliced squash with a little coconut (or olive) oil, some maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Let it cool to the touch and then the skin should peel right off. Cube and toss with your lentils.
You’re going to love this healthy and hearty holiday salad. Bring it to Thanksgiving dinner or make it for yourself. I love it scooped up with sliced baguette.
Lentil Salad with Delicata Squash and Cranberries
Yield: Serves 4
- 1 medium delicata squash
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 cup whole green lentils, rinsed and picked over for little stones
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon aged balsamic
- ½ finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds with a spoon. Cut crosswise into 3/4-inch half-rounds. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon maple syrup, coconut oil, and a pinch of salt. Roast, flipping squash over halfway through, for 30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Let cool enough to handle, then peel off the skins and cut into cubes.
2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain.
3. In a serving bowl, whisk together the olive oil, remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup, mustard, apple cider vinegar and balsamic, and onion. Add lentils, squash, and parsley, and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can adjust flavor by adding more balsamic (I like to be generous with it) or syrup.
4. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold and alone or over a bed of your favorite greens. I also love this salad scooped up with sliced baguette or rolled into a wrap with a handful of greens.