This Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Lentils is a salty, sweet, spicy, and crunchy all at once. Loaded with plant-based protein and topped with toasted cashews, crumbled feta, and micro greens, it's a colourful, festive squash salad that doubles as a side dish or a vegetarian main.
Preheat your oven to 200C / 400F. If your oven has a convection setting, use it.
Peel the squash and split it in half, scooping the seeds out. Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes, and spread them out on a baking sheet in an individual layer.
Drizzle 2 tablespoon olive oil over the squash and add the cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Use your hands to mix everything together so the squash is well coated.
Set in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove, turn the squash over, and then roast for another 15 minutes. The outside of the cubes should be crispy and the inside tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
While the squash is roasting, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Salt it generously, then add the lentils.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes. At this stage start checking the lentils often. They should be just al dente, not mushy when they're finished. Drain and rinse well with cold water.
Place the lentils in the bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
Combine the lentils with the squash, scraping any remaining oil and spice off of the sheet the squash was roasting on into the bowl. Add the crumbled feta.
Transfer the salad to a platter. Top with additional feta, roasted cashews, and micro greens. Serve!
Nutrition values are an estimate only.
The squash can be roasted up to a day in advance and kept in the fridge.
The lentils can be cooked up to 2 days in advance and kept in the fridge.
If you're making the salad in advance, add the cashews and micro greens at the last minute.