Warm lentil salad with pumpkin and chilli

Neil Perry
Neil Perry's dish makes a beautiful winter vegetable side (or main).
Neil Perry's dish makes a beautiful winter vegetable side (or main). Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Vegetarian

This makes a fine meal on its own or a perfect side to a family roast. These vegetable and pulse salads can be changed up, you could use white beans or red lentils, chickpeas or for that matter couscous or change the pumpkin for parsnips or sweet potatoes

Ingredients

350g small Jap pumpkin

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup Puy lentils

1 sprig rosemary

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 deseeded long red chilli, finely diced

2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley leaves

1 tbsp chopped mint leaves

2 spring onions, very finely sliced

2 tbsp Dukkah mix

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 220°C. Remove seeds from pumpkin and leaving the skin on slice into 1½ cm moon shapes. Place pumpkin on a baking paper lined roasting tray. Drizzle with oil and seasoning and place in oven.

2. While the pumpkin is roasting, rinse lentils, place into a pot and cover with plenty of water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add in rosemary and bay leaf. Simmer, uncovered for 15-20 minutes (they should still have some bite to them). Drain well and return to pot to keep warm.

3. Check the pumpkin which should be almost done, after about 30 minutes. The outside should be golden and inside soft while holding its' shape.

4. Make a dressing by whisking together lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning. In a large mixing bowl, combine the lentils, herbs, spring onions and dressing.

To serve: Place even amount of roast pumpkin over four plates, spoon over lentils then garnish with chilli and dukkah.

Suggestion: Serve with Neil Perry's slow-cooked duck legs.