Looking for a rustic salad/side to round out your Thanksgiving menu? Black Beluga lentils have a nutty, peppery flavor and a firm texture that holds up well to cooking. Delicate in taste and size, Black Beluga lentils are named for their caviar-like appearance. This flavorful salad can make a delicious accompaniment to a simple roasted turkey. Black Beluga lentils with roasted pumpkin salad shows off bold tastes, textures and colors.
Serves: 4 as a side dish
- 1 lb. pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I used butternut squash)
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (for roasting)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
- 1 cup black lentils, you can substitute brown lentils if you’d like
- 3 cups of water with 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
- juice of 1/2 medium lemon
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. walnut oil (for salad)
Sort lentils, rinse with cold water and drain. In a medium pot with a lid, combine the black lentils, salt and water. Bring to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until just tender but not soft (try it first, it should have a texture), about 25 minutes. Drain into a fine mesh colander and allow to cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a roasting pan or baking sheet, toss the cubed of pumpkin together with olive oil, a bit of salt and pepper and the dash of smoked paprika. Roast until tender and slightly caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Once roasted, allow to cool to room temperature.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the lentils, roasted pumpkin, diced tomatoes, parsley and garlic. Once combined, drizzle over the walnut oil and the lemon juice into the bowl. Combine well to make sure everything get dressed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. This salad is great at room temperature or even warm. You can keep it overnight in refrigerator and bring back to room temperature to serve.