Spiced lentils with roasted butternut squash, hazelnuts and goats Cheese – Serves 4

This is based on a recipe I’d torn out of a magazine ages ago.  I thought it looked unusual and if I’m totally honest I really liked the photograph!
It was enjoyable to make, particularly as I love lentils and I thought that the ingredients made a really great combination, and the kitchen smelt great while it was cooking it.
It would be perfect for a vegetarian dinner party or could be served as part of a party buffet if you increase the quantity of the ingredients, or as a side dish, or for lunch………

250g Ready to eat Puy Lentils

50g hazelnuts
1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 red chilli halved and sliced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. paprika
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Pinch of salt
400g passata
1 tsp. honey
Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
Small handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
Juice from ½ lemon
170g soft mild goats cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 190c/fan 170/gas 5.
  • Toast the hazelnuts in a small non-stick pan until browned. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash in 2 tbsp. oil and season.
  • Pour onto a foil lined baking tray.
  • Roast for 30 until tender, turning once halfway through and bash them with a rolling pin, but be careful! And don’t crush them to a fine powder, its texture your after.
  • When the hazelnuts are cool, peel off the skins (they should come away easily).
  • Crush roughly in a pestle and mortar (or you could pop them in a plastic bag
  • Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick sauté pan.
  • Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 3-5 minutes until softened.
  • Add the chilli, cumin, turmeric, paprika, garlic and a pinch of salt, half the parsley and coriander. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, adding the lentils 5 minutes before the end.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add the butternut squash to the mixture along with the remaining herbs and lemon juice.
  • Crumble over the goat’s cheese and sprinkle with the hazelnuts.

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