Acorn squash is one of those squashes you walk by in the grocery store and think, “I wonder what this tastes like!” or you may see it on a restaurant menu and be curious. Well, acorn squash has a slightly nutty squash flavor that comes alive with a little sweet maple syrup and basic seasonings like salt and pepper.
Some of my favorite ways of serving acorn squash is by simply roasting slices, stuffing a halved acorn squash with grains and legumes, and also simmering acorn squash in a fragrant curry sauce.
This acorn squash is the star of the show, over a bed of lentils with some salty crunchy pistachios, fluffy feta, and an herbed tahini sauce you’ll want to make over and over again. No seriously, bookmark this recipe and at the very least, make the tahini sauce.
The tahini sauce brings all the flavors together and breathes life into the earthy lentils.
I like to serve this family style, but it can also be enjoyed portioned out into bowls. If you want a heartier protein (although there’s plenty of protein here from the lentils and feta), you can top with a roasted tofu or chicken.
And dare I say… this is a great Thanksgiving dish, especially for vegetarians? Yes, I’m already thinking of 2022 Thanksgiving.
Maple Roasted Acorn Squash and Lentils with Herbed Tahini Sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons extra virginolive oil
- 1 large acorn squash
- ¼ teaspoon salt + more to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup dry brown lentils
- 2 large garlic cloves chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro
- ¼ cup parsley
- ¼ cup basil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup tahini
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup roasted and saltedpistachios chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and set aside.
- Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Slice each half crosswise into ½-inch thick slices(half-moon shapes.) Lay the slices out on the prepared baking sheet, brush with the maple olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash until slightly browned, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the lentils.Place the lentils with 4 cups of water and a bay leaf in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain off any excess liquid and remove the bay leaf.
- While lentils and squash cook, prepare the tahini sauce. In a food processor, pulse together the garlic, cilantro, parsley, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, and 1/3 cup water until combined. Add the tahini, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and season with pepper and blend until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust with more salt, if needed.
- Spread the lentils out in a serving bowl. Top with acorn squash. Drizzle with tahini sauce, sprinkle with feta and pistachios.