Sunday, March 27, 2011

Curried squash, lentil, feta, and almond salad

This is one of my favorite meals when you want something spicy, not spicy hot, but spicy-flavorful.  It's healthy, hearty, and makes you feel good afterward.  I like to eat it as a salad or even better, in tortillas with a little extra cheese.   In this photo, I made the salad without any greens, but I usually put some rucula in with the mix to make it a little more fresh and colorful.

1 Cup of dried lentils
1 package of cut squash
100-200 grams of feta (goat cheese is good too)
100 grams of almonds, chopped
Spices - curry, cumin, condimento para aves, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
2 Bay leaves
Olive oil

Directions: Rinse the lentils and let them soak for 15 minutes or so.  Once done soaking, rinse them again.  Bring them to a boil in a pot with tsp of salt, garlic, and the bay leaves.  Once they start to boil, let them simmer covered until cooked through.  Watch them because it can take 20-45 minutes and you don't want them to over cook and fall apart.  Although I've done it and lentil soup is a good backup dish!

Spread the squash onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with about a tsp of curry and 1/2 tsp of the remaining spices.  Drizzle a tsp of honey and tsp of oil over the squash and mix them all around with your hands until evenly coated.  Place sheet in a HOT oven and let roast, turning the squash with a spatula after about 15-20 min so both sides brown.  Cook until done and let them cool.

On another baking sheet, spread out the almonds and roast them for about 10 minutes.  Be careful that they don't burn.  Once they are done, take them out of the oven and drizzle with a touch of honey and salt so that they candy slightly, but aren't too sweet.  Let them cool and the honey harden.  

While each element cools down, chop the feta into little pieces and prepare the rucula.  Drain the lentils and put them into the serving bowl.  Add the squash from the baking sheet, scrapping off any of the juices and browned parts (there is no dressing, so make sure the get all the honey and olive oil goodness). Add the cheese, almonds, and rucula.  Mix all together, adding salt to taste.  Sometimes I squeeze a lemon onto the salad for an extra punch.

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