A Make-Ahead Lentil + Delicata Squash Salad

A Make-Ahead Lentil + Delicata Squash Salad Hero Image
Photo: Leah Vanderveldt

Looking for some inspiration in the kitchen? As part of the International Year of Pulses, mbg and USA Pulses are teaming up to motivate you to take the Pulse Pledge and eat pulses once a week for 10 weeks. We’ll make it easy for you by sharing delicious ways to cook with pulses that you won’t be able to resist.

As we're settling into the colder months here in the Northern Hemisphere, it's important to focus on grounding foods that will sustain us through the winter.

Our hibernation prep involves cozy sweaters, a growing tea collection, and making sure we have plenty of good food in the pantry for comfort food prep. This year, we're stocking our cabinets with pulses—as in lentils, beans, chickpeas, and dry peas.

At a time of year when quality fresh produce can be hard to come by, it's a great habit to start cooking with pulses to fill in the gaps. Think of pulses as shelf-stable vegetables that can help you reduce waste since they don't quickly go bad like fresh produce. They're also one of the lowest carbon footprint proteins around, making them an environmentally friendly (not to mention delicious) choice. Even better, they're packed with fiber and essential nutrients like iron, potassium, and folate that we sometimes don't get as much of in the winter months when fresh produce isn't as abundant.

Convinced, but not sure how to use them? Try mixing pulses (we think lentils work great in this dish) with a hearty squash (we're partial to delicata squash this time of year) for a light yet filling salad that would work well as both a substantial side or a portable lunch.

Lentil + Delicata Squash Salad

Serves 4 to 6

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry green lentils
  • 1 sprig sage or rosemary (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed with the flat side of a chef’s knife, skin still on
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, divided
  • 1 medium delicata squash, halved lengthwise with the seeds scooped out, then sliced into ½ -inch half-moon shapes
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 handfuls arugula or baby kale

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Place lentils, sprig of sage, the garlic clove, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Put a lid on and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain, remove garlic and sage, and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, toss delicata squash and onion slices with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Arrange delicata squash and onion slices out on a baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden, flipping the squash pieces around the 15-minute mark.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine roasted squash and onions with lentils and arugula and toss with another drizzle of olive oil and teaspoon of red wine vinegar.