Warm Lentil Salad with Roasted Acorn Squash

During the late autumn months and into winter, food must be warm. Even the salads must take on the qualities of a comfort dish and this salad is a balance of fresh leaves with warm, hearty lentils tossed in a slightly sweet apple cider dressing. The nuts provide a nice crunch, while the goat cheese offers that rich, satisfying creamy finish. I love making this salad and sometimes will substitute rice, such as nutty forbidden rice or brown rice instead of the lentils. Either way, as long as the lentils or rice is warm, the spinach or kale will brighten as it wilts slightly. You can also add bacon to make this more of a main dish or just because bacon is right in just about anything.

1 cup cooked lentils or rice
2-3 cups leaf lettuce, spinach or kale, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup nuts (pecans, walnuts, pistachios, or hazelnuts), toasted and chopped
1/4 cup raisins or craisins
Crumbled goat cheese

Roasted Acorn Squash:
1 squash cut into slices
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp agave or honey
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ground garlic
1 tbsp ground pepper
1 tbsp sea salt

Apple Cider Dressing:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider
2 tbsp agave or honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp pumpkin pie spices (mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom)
1 tbsp minced shallot
Sea Salt and Pepper


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°.
  2. Toss squash with oil, agave or honey, and spices.
  3. Place squash on baking sheet and roast in oven for 30-45 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Dress salad to your preference and toss.
  5. Top salad with roasted squash and crumbled goat cheese.