Now that the weather has convinced me that it’s fall, I’ve begun making seasonally-appropriate recipes.
I’m not generally one for dishes that require presentation. I don’t put effort into how my food looks, as long as it looks tasty, and I’m more likely to make rustic-looking food than pretty, decorative food. I thought that Curried Lentil-Stuffed Squash sounded good, though, so I decided to try it, presentation and all.
I made one acorn squash for dinner, and later roasted a delicata squash to cut up to have with our leftover lentils. I saved the squash seeds to roast later for a snack. I melted butter, mixed in honey, garam masala, and salt, and brushed the mixture on each of the squashes. I roasted the acorn squash for 45 minutes as the recipe instructed; there was no need to redistribute the butter as the recipe suggested.
The lentil stew wasn’t too difficult to make. I more or less followed the recipe as written. The recipe says to partially cook the red lentils first, perhaps so you can control how much liquid ends up in the stew. I cooked ground cumin in a little olive oil, and then stirred in leeks, carrots, ginger, and salt. I only had half of the jalapenos I needed, and added them in, along with coriander and turmeric, partway through cooking. I used an undrained can of tomatoes in place of fresh tomatoes; I had to add a little extra water to the cooking liquid that gets added to the stew. I finally added the lentils, cooked the stew briefly, and then added chopped jarred red peppers and seasoned liberally with salt and pepper. I scooped the lentils into the acorn squash and garnished with Greek yogurt as instructed.
This dish was surprisingly tasty. The squash was flavorful and didn’t become overwhelmingly squashy the way squash can sometimes. I think it was the combination of honey, butter, and warm spices that made Alex say it’s the most he’s enjoyed squash. Ever. As in, he would have sought more of the squash to eat. The lentils were tasty too, he said, but he really liked the squash. The lentil stew was flavorful but not spicy, but I think it would have been spicy if I had used the amount of jalapenos the recipe called for. The entire dish melded well. I added spiced and roasted delicata squash to the lentils for leftovers; it was easier to eat, although not as pretty for presentation. I did not enjoy the Greek yogurt as garnish, and would omit it completely in the future.
In the future, I would probably go with easy-to-eat Delicata squash to make the dish more portable, and I’d skip the yogurt. This was a nice, hearty, warming meal for autumn. I enjoyed the dish and would make it again.