Roasted Butternut Squash with Lentils

Roasted butternut squash with lentils

‘Tis the season for squash, especially butternut squash. I have shared a couple of butternut squash soup recipes with you on my site. Persian spiced vegetable soup and my original butternut squash soup demonstrate what a versatile vegetable the butternut squash can be. In the Persian spiced soup, the squash is combined with potatoes, tomatoes, cumin, and smoked paprika to create a delightful, warm, and rich savory soup. The pistachio pesto on top enhances the flavors and the textures of the creamy soup.

My original butternut squash soup allows the gentle sweetness of the butternut squash to take center stage. A tart apple is added to the ingredients and a hint of cream to give the soup density and layers of flavor.

Yellow squash, patty pan squash, and zucchini seem to dominate the summer vegetable scene. In the fall, I yearn for the deeper flavors and rich golden colors of butternut and acorn squash and other winter squashes.

Other states seem to have unlimited varieties of squash. I had not heard of or ever tasted butternut or acorn squash as a child. It wasn’t until maybe 25 years ago, that these lesser-known varieties in the south became available and accessible. I even love the whimsical names of so many of these winter squash; sweet dumpling, buttercup, delicata, carnival, and fairytale.

All of these varieties seem to take on a more robust flavor after they have been roasted.

This recipe combines oven-roasted butternut squash with cooked lentils enriched with cumin, paprika and turmeric. Sautéed onions and tomatoes create a base and enrich the squash and lentils with even more flavor and color.

Crumbled salty feta, toasted pine nuts, and herby cilantro are added as a garnish. I also like to add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and stir it in to my squash and lentils to achieve a little more creaminess.  Serve this butternut squash and lentil as a main or a side. Welcome butternut squash season!

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