Best Ever Pumpkin, Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Dressing

It’s fall, which means salads have been forgotten in favor of steaming warm dishes. But, never fear salad! You have been resurrected and odorned with pumpkin, lentil and goat cheese.

I’ve been on a lentil kick. They are quick to cook and completely satisfying. I could live on beans. When I lived in Guatemala. It was my host family’s staple. I ate beans and eggs three meals a day. Occasionally, we ate caldo de pollo, but mostly just beans. If we were lucky the avocados in the yard were ripe and we could have beans with freshly picked  avocados with homemade limón agua fresca. Deliciously satisfying. Ah.

I’ve also been craving Central America’s warmth in Shanghai’s chilly November. Perhaps that’s why everything has been beany lately… I’m trying to recreate hot sunny days. No matter how many chili peppers I add to the beans the outside temperature doesn’t change. However, things are certainly heating up in my mouth.

Speaking of Central America, we have also begun experimenting with pork belly. I think we figured out how to my homemade chichirones. EXCITING.

On a healthier note, here is a lovely fall salad. Pumpkin, lentils, peppery arugula and tangy goat cheese make this a filling and homey meal.

Pumpkin, Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad
Pumpkin, Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad

Pumpkin, Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad

Salad
1/4 of a pumpkin, peeled & cut into 1 inch by 1/2 inch chunks
5 cups arugula (rocket)
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Balsamic dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup  balsamic vinegar
1 clove minced garlic
1 spring fresh thyme, minced about 1 teaspoon
2 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Peel pumpkin and cut into 1 inch by 1/2 pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 350 F for 15-20 minutes until cooked through, but not mushy.

While pumpkin is cooking boil water and add lentils. Simmer lentils for 20 minutes until cooked al dente.

You may like also : Pumpkin Peanut Butter Curry Soup Recipe

Slowly add balsamic vinegar to the olive oil while whipping furiously. (A food processor works equally well.) Add chopped garlic, thyme, brown sugar, salt and pepper.

Toss lentils with 3 tablespoons of dressing.

Combine pumpkin, arugula, lentils and 1/4 goat cheese crumbles. Drizzle salad with balsamic dressing.

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