Roasted butternut squash with lentils and sage

An aromatic and flavoursome winter warmer.

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients

2 butternut squash (about 2kg)
4 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp sweet smoked paprika
6 cloves garlic (skin on, bashed once with the flat of a knife)
8 sprigs thyme

For the lentils

3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
4 bay leaves
1.5 litres vegetable stock
400g Puy lentils
Juice of ½ lemon

For the garnish

200ml vegetable oil
2 x 20g packs fresh sage leaves
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6. Peel, deseed and cut the squash into wedges, or into 5-6cm cubes, whichever you prefer. Toss the squash with the olive oil, cinnamon, paprika, garlic, thyme and some seasoning in a roasting tin. Roast for 20-25 minutes.

2. For the lentils, heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion, celery and carrot for about 10 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the bay leaves, stock and lentils and gently simmer for 20-25 minutes until soft but not mushy. Season and add the lemon juice.

3. For the garnish, heat the oil in a small saucepan to about 180ºC (when a cube of bread will sizzle and turn golden in about 20 seconds). Drop in the sage leaves and remove with a slotted spoon after 10 seconds. Drain on kitchen paper.

4. To serve, pile the roasted squash onto the lentils, top with sage leaves and drizzle with oil.