Friday, November 19, 2010

Braised Lentils with Roasted Winter Squash

Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is my go-to cookbook for delicious recipes and cooking technique tips. I love just buying fresh veggies at the Farmer’s Market and coming home to consult my cookbook and see what I can do with my finds.

This lentil dish is a great one to cook up on a Sunday to prep meals for a couple of days. I had mine with some sourdough bread and topped it with steamed kale (leaves and stems) to get a little fresh crunch. Try it for a comforting fall/winter dish!

Makes 4 servings

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium winter squash (acorn, butternut squash, kabocha, turban), peeled, seeded and cut into 1 to 2 inch cubes (about 2 cups)

1/2 onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 tsp minced garlic

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup dried lentils, washed and picked over
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Chopped parsley for garnish

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Toss squash in olive oil to coat and roast until tender and caramelized (20-30 minutes).

Put the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, celery, and carrot; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the bay leaf, wine, stock, and lentils. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low so that the mixture bubbles gently, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally and adding stock or water if necessary to keep the lentils from sticking and burning, until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Add the roasted squash in the last 10 minutes of cooking. The lentils should be saucy but not soupy. Taste and adjust the seasoning, sprinkle with parsley, and serve or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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