Arugula Salad with Beluga Lentils, Butternut Squash and Grapes
Last Christmas I went a little crazy buying presents for Octavian. I had convinced myself that it was due to boredom- after all, at this time one year ago he was home with me all day, every day and we hadn't started going to the gym yet.
Playdates aside, we had a lot of time on our hands.
When it came to gifts and shopping, I for sure thought that this year would be different. Unlike last year, this year I have no free time on my hands. I barely have enough time to wash my hair let alone shop for my toddler. Plus, last year I could take him shopping with me and he would forget about the gifts by the time we got home.
He's three now. My child forgets NOTHING.
Well, you guys, it's pretty amazing how a person can find time when they really want something. Also, Amazon isn't helping. Or should I say they are helping? perspective, I guess.
Either way, my child, my one and only boy that drives me completely mad 90% of the time is going to be spoiled rotten come Christmas morning because I love him to death and it's the ONLY time each year that I can buy him the toy store. The rest of the year I'm pretty good about saying no, but I'm learning that come Christmas, all bets are off.
Besides, kids are seriously so much fun to shop for!
Ok, let's get to this salad...
I considered calling this salad The November Salad because, not even kidding, you guys, I ate this salad at least two weeks out of the month at least once a day as a side or main course.
I just couldn't stop making it over and over.
And, thanks to this salad, I learned how much I love love love arugula. While I've always eaten arugula, I guess you could say I've never appreciated arugula. Now? Well, now this slightly peppery leafy green is my go-to for almost all my salads.
This salad is full of other delicious surprises like sweet red grapes, roasted sweet potatoes and earthy sweet beets. And then there's the beluga lentil. Ahh, beluga lentils, how I love thee. Jam packed with protein and fiber, these little jewels hold their shape even after cooking and, unlike other beans and lentil, do not require soaking.
As if it couldn't get any better, it's super easy to prep everything ahead of time and toss together just before serving. Yep, if you're wondering what I will be bringing to my family Christmas gathering this year, you're lookin' at it. Can't wait to make this until Christmas? I highly recommend pan-frying a piece of salmon and sticking it right on top. Dinner perfection.
Arugula Salad with Beluga Lentils, Roasted Butternut Squash and Beets
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Type: Salad, Vegetarian, Healthy, Fall, Easy
For the Salad
1 small to medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt + pepper
2 cups cooked beluga lentils
4 small cooked beets, chopped into small cubes
1 cup red grapes, halved
2-3 shallots, finely chopped
7 ounces fresh arugula
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
10 mint leaves, finely cut (chiffonade)
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
For the Dressing
2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt + pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl toss cubed butternut squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the butternut squash in an even layer onto the prepared baking sheet and roast for approximately 20 minutes, or until butternut squash is fork tender (but NOT mushy). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, as the butternut squash is roasting add the dressing ingredients to a small jar or bowl and whisk until creamy and fully combined. Set aside.
In a large salad bowl gently toss together the cooked lentils, beets, grapes, and shallots. Add the arugula, spinach, mint, roasted butternut squash and dressing and gently toss one more time.
Top with pepitas and serve.