Herby lentil and pumpkin salad

RECIPE: Herby lentil & pumpkin salad

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This salad is proudly brought to you by lentils, the heartiest legume that packs a punch of nutrition. Pair them with chunky roast pumpkin, tomatoes, creamy feta and a herbaceous dressing to give yourself the ultimate bowl of nutritious goodness.

Lentils are a great source of protein and iron which help with muscle repair and energy production. 

They are also high in fibre which has makes them a useful food to help support healthy cholesterol levels and improve your digestion. 

Pumpkin is high in antioxidant beta-carotene and with the coriander and mint in the dressing - a both sources of phytonutrients and antioxidants – you have yourself one very nutritious meal.  

Make this recipe for dinner or include it in your weekly meal prep to enjoy a hearty salad that will keep your body healthy and your taste buds singing. 
 

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan option

Serves 4

Ingredients

Roast pumpkin

  • 1 butternut squash (around 1kg)
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds

Lentil salad

  • 1 BPA-free can brown lentils
  • 250g mixed cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • A generous handful pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 100g creamy feta cheese or vegan feta
  • 60g roquette leaves

Herb dressing

  • 1 cup fresh mint, stalks and leaves
  • 1 cup fresh coriander, stalks and leaves
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil

How to make

  • Heat your oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Scrub down the outside of your butternut squash and then cut into 5 cm chunks, seeds and all. Coat the chunks in some olive oil as well as the cumin seeds and then spread them out on the baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then put in the oven to roast for 50 minutes
  • While the pumpkin is roasting, blitz together the ingredients for the herb dressing in your food processor or blender, omitting the oil initially and then pouring it in slowly as the herb dressing continues to mix. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Set aside
  • In a bowl, add the lentils, chopped tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and then crumble in the feta. Spoon in some of the herb dressing and begin combining the ingredients in the bowl adding more dressing as you go until you’ve reached your desired flavour and consistency. Add the roquette leaves now and give it one last mix
  • Once the pumpkin chunks are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow to cool slightly so you can handle them. You can start to assemble your salad on a large serving dish now by tearing the chunks of pumpkin with your hands and placing them on the dish as the base. Spoon the contents of the mixing bowl over the pumpkin chunks, give it one last drizzle of olive oil as well as a sprinkle of salt and pepper and then serve

Roberta's tips

  • Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up 5 days