Deliciously preserved: Roast butternut, pickled beetroot, feta and Puy lentil salad 

Deliciously preserved: Roast butternut, pickled beetroot, feta and Puy lentil salad


300g puy lentils, or green speckled lentils, rinsed

600ml vegetable stock

500g butternut squash, skin on, cut into wedges 2cm thick

3 tbsp light olive oil, or rapeseed or vegetable oil

1 large red onion, cut into thick wedges

60g pickled beetroot (see left), cut into chunks

60g feta cheese, crumbled

30g-40g rocket or fresh tarragon leaves

juice of 1 lemon

about 3 tbsp good-quality extra virgin olive oil

2 heaped tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Combine the lentils and stock in a large saucepan, cover with the lid, and bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. This should take 7-8 minutes. Reduce the heat and keep at a steady simmer, partially covered, for 15-20 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 5 minutes of cooking time to evaporate the remaining water. The lentils should be cooked but with a slight bite, so test them along the way.
  • Meanwhile, place the butternut squash in a large roasting pan and drizzle over the light olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and use your hands to toss, coating the squash evenly. Bake in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove the squash from the oven and turn the pieces over, then toss in the onion wedges, coating them with some of the cooking oil. Bake for a further 10-12 minutes or until cooked.
  • Remove the squash and onion from the oven and let rest for 6-7 minutes. If necessary, drain any excess water from the lentils then gently toss them through the baked vegetables. Toss through the pickled beetroot, feta and rocket. Serve on a large plate, drizzled with the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with the toasted pumpkin seeds.