I am fawning over this dish, ladies and gentlemen. Adult dignity be damned–I am publicly petting it, lovingly cooing. I can’t help myself.
You are so perfect with your tender, sweet roasted squash, and–oh my goodness–is that a handful of crunchy roasted lentils, and the heavenly aroma of curry powder promising a little spicy something-something when I bite into you? And I’m going to feel all satisfied and wholesome and healthy when I’m through with you? Have mercy.
I think we can all agree that roasting is absolutely the best (aside from perhaps braising) way to prepare anything in the fall, no? There’s a dilemma here, though–if you want more than one roasted thing (and I always do), and you only feel like washing one pan (and I always do) timing can be tricky. When I take a “let’s just see if this works” approach to cooking, which is almost always the case, the next thing I’m inevitably doing is trying to pull off reconnaissance missions to rescue Thing 1 from mushiness, piece by piece from a hot oven, because Thing 2 is nowhere near done.
That’s why I’m on a bit of an undertaking here, to find combinations of things that take roughly the same amount of time to roast. Surely you could throw in Thing 1 with Thing 2 at a specified time, or roast them in separate pans… But I’m lazy. And maybe I’ll stop being so lazy at some point.
For now, I’m going to slice up a bunch of delicata squash (another lazy-person plus: skin thin enough to not require peeling), throw it into a pan with a bunch of cooked lentils, make it rain curry powder, and basically spend 20-30 minutes preparing myself for maximum deliciousness.
I’m sighing just looking at it again. If I hadn’t been making this for you, I would have eaten the whole pan for lunch, with a fork, standing right there.
A handful or two of greens is nice if you’re feeling civilized, however… Really nice.
This would also be a fabulous side dish if doubled… Picture a roasted chicken leg on one side of your plate and a pile of steaming, fragrant curried squash and lentils on the other… I am trying to manipulate you with guided meditation, you see, because I really want you to try any incarnation of curried squash and crunchy roasted lentils. I think you’d be happy with yourself.
Curried Delicata Squash and Crunchy Lentil Salad
1 medium delicata squash, halved, de-seeded and sliced into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup cooked lentils
1 tablespoon curry powder
Olive oil, for roasting
2 big handfuls salad greens (I used a combination of red and Swiss baby chard, baby arugula and baby tatsoi)
1 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil (or more to taste)
Small handful fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash, lentils and curry powder onto a large cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss well to coat and spread in a single layer. Roast until squash is tender and lentils are crispy, 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool a bit, then toss with greens and lemon/lime juice and olive oil. Top with cilantro to serve. Serves 2.