I could honestly eat salads every day! Salads don’t have to be “rabbit food” and can combine a lot more ingredients that just lettuce and greens.
You often hear people saying “a salad never fills me up”! I think where some people are going wrong is by not including a source of carbohydrate (grains, lentils, pulses, potatoes, rice, pasta) or protein (meat, chicken, fish, dairy) in their salad. This Squash, Lentil & Pistachio Salad recipe combines both and I love to serve it with grilled chicken for a simple dinner with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day.
Lentils are a great source of protein that are affordable and never go off in your kitchen cupboard. The key to making lentils taste great is not to overcook them as they will turn into a stodgy mush otherwise!
If preparing this salad ahead, mix everything together except for the feta, herbs and oil. Add these ingredients just before serving to ensure everything stays fresh. Pomegranate seeds add a great pop of colour to this salad too!
Sweet potato can also be used instead of butternut squash if you prefer.
Serves 5 as a side.
- 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 tbsp oil
- freshly ground sea salt and pepper
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 2 cups water
- 3 tbsp shelled pistachios
- 2 tbsp mixed seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, linseed
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh mint and parsley, chopped
- 100g feta cheese, cubed (exclude or replace with Vegan alternative)
- Preheat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan/475°F.
- In a roasting tin, mix the butternut squash with the oil, salt and pepper until well combined. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
- Rinse the lentils and bring to a boil with the water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Cover, return to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Strain and rinse under running cold water until cooled. Set aside for later.
- To assemble: place the cooked squash and cooled lentils in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients (use 3/4 of the feta cheese) and mix thoroughly. Place on a serving dish and crumble the remaining feta over the top.