In this nourishing dish filled with colors reminiscent of fall foliage, squash is a standout. The fiber-rich goodness of lentils and the vitamins and minerals of bell pepper and carrot along with the squash, make a meal that is both homey and elegant, ideal for a weeknight family meal, but also perfect for guests.
Just add a crisp green salad and some muffins or bread, and you have the perfect, comforting autumn meal.
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup Riesling or other medium-bodied, high-acid, semisweet white wine
1 acorn squash, halved, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
3/4 cup red lentils
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper, or to taste
Coarsely chopped toasted walnuts for garnish
1. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, carrot, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften but are not browned. Add the curry powder and stir constantly for about 30 seconds.
2. Stir in the vegetable stock, wine, squash, and lentils. Increase the heat to medium-high. when the liquid begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the squash and lentils are tender. (Check occasionally as the dish cooks and add water if necessary.) Stir in the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
3. Spoon the dish into a large serving bowl or into individual shallow bowls and garnish with walnuts.
Adapted from The Spirited Vegetarian, by Paulette Mitchell (Rodale Press, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by Paulette Mitchell. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from The Spirited Vegetarian, by Paulette Mitchell (Rodale Press, 2005).