Recipe: Roast Butternut Squash with Lentils & a Creamy Mustard Dressing



Hi everyone. I got an absolutely enormous butternut squash at the market and decided some meal prep was in order. Yesterday evening, I cut the squash into wedges and tossed them in some olive oil, garlic, fresh oregano, sea salt and pepper and roasted it in the oven. I decided on some green lentils to accompany it and I am invariably drawn to a mustard based dressing when I cook lentils, so made a delicious creamy dressing using soaked cashew nuts. This may sound weird to anyone who has never used cashew nuts to make a creamy dressing, but trust me, it works really well. It makes a change from using mayo or cream and of course, for any vegans out there, it is a brilliant way to achieve creaminess in the absence of using dairy ingredients.

Ingredients:

For the roast squash:

1 butternut squash

2 tbsp of olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp of fresh oregano

Sea salt and black pepper to season

For the lentils:

1 cup of green lentils

2 cups of vegetable stock

For the mustard dressing:

1/2 cup of cashew nuts, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and drained

6 tbsp of dijon mustard

2 tbsp of honey

6 tbsp of olive oil

4 tbsp of water

1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar

Sea salt and black pepper to season

To serve:

Baby spinach leaves

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 / 190 degrees celsius. Using a sharp knife chop the butternut squash into wedges. I don't peal the butternut squash as once roasted it becomes soft and is edible. The easiest way to cut the butternut squash is to cut it in half length ways, scoop out the seeds and then cut it into wedges. Place the wedges in a large roasting tray. Put the olive oil, garlic, oregano in a jar and season with a pinch of sea salt and some black pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well to combine. Pour over the butternut squash wedges and using clean hands, massage the oil and herb mixture into the squash wedges. Place in the oven for 40 minutes.

2. To cook the lentils, place them in a saucepan with the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for five minutes, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the lentils to cook for 15-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them to ensure the stock doesn't boil off. Once done, drain any excess stock from the lentils using a sieve. Place to one side.

3. To make the dressing add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until they form into a creamy dressing.

4. Once the squash is cooked, assemble the salad by combining the lentils and squash in a bowl, topping with some baby spinach and a generous serving of the mustard dressing.


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