Let's just agree that salads just aren't enough most of the time? Man cannot live on leaves alone (well, he probably could for a while) But salads can be absolutely delicious when made well and with a bit of creativity. We need to be thinking of adjectives like fresh, crunchy, tangy, wholesome, you get the idea.
Get good veggies and get a good dressing and you can't really go wrong (or copy this recipe and get it right first time ;)
This pumpkin and lentil salad would go down really well at a party or picnic or is enough as a meal on its own.
PUMPKIN AND LENTIL SALAD
You can absolutely substitute pumpkin for squash or sweet potato in this salad and you can use tinned lentil instead just drain and rinse them then put some dressing through them before putting them in to the salad. You also don't have to pickle your red onions in lemon juice but I love how much more delicious they are raw with just a bit of time in some lemon juice. Dressing the lentils and not the leaves means it'll last a bit longer too.
PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOK TIME 45 MINS | TOTAL 60 MINS
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dried green lentils (picked over and rinsed)
500 g pumpkin (evenly cubed)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1/2 red onion (finely sliced)
1 lemon (juice)
handful pinenuts (or other)
rocket salad leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Pre-heat oven to 200°C
soak lentils for 10 mins.
Arrange pumpkin pieces on baking tray, drizzle with 1 tbsp oil and crush 2 garlic cloves, mix well and bake for 45 minutes or until nice and brown.
Transfer soaked lentils to saucepan and cover generously with cold water. bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. turn off the heat and leave it in the water until pumpkin is cooked (lentils should be perfect and ready to drain then)
Put the thinly sliced red onion in a small dish and cover with lemon juice. Set aside.
Next prepare the dressing. I usually just stick all the ingredients in an old jar and shake it really hard. You should end up with a lovely thick dressing.
Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over a med heat, making sure not to burn them. once they're golden brown remove from the pan into a cold dish and set aside.
Once pumpkin is done drain the lentils and pour the dressing over them, stir them well using a fork so as not to make them mushy.
Assemble the salad!