According to Elisabeth Luard in her European Festival Cooking, lentils are traditionally eaten at midnight on New Years Eve or on New Years Day in order to bring wealth in the coming year. This particular recipe isn’t Italian but it is a lovely salad to kick off the New Year.
Ingredients – Serves 4
- 600g medium pumpkin or butternut squash
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Salt & Pepper to season
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed with a bit of coarse sea salt
- 250g cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 x 250g pack precooked lentils
- 1 x 60g bag rocket
- 150g crumbled feta (optional)
- Good squeeze of lemon
- Walnut or olive oil for drizzling
- Peel, deseed and chop the pumpkin into 2cm cubes. Season well. Toss with the oregano, cumin, vegetable oil and plenty of salt and pepper then roast at 180℃ for 20-30 minutes or until just tender.
- Spread the cherry tomatoes amongst the roasted squash pieces along with the crushed then scatter the roasting tin with pumpkin seeds. Give everything a good stir then return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the tomatoes are just softening.
- Allow the roasted veg to cool to room temperature before tossing with the lentils (it’s a good idea to fork these through first to remove any clumps of lentils), rocket leaves, feta (if using) and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if you think it’s needed then drizzle with a little more oil before serving.