Yep, it’s another one of those recipes. You know. The ones where you busy yourself sauteing tasty veggies as the smell of roasted butternut squash begins to permeate your kitchen.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of butternut squash, especially the amazing flavor it takes on when roasted, so it’s no surprise that I make at least one dish that includes it every season. Given the size of the squashes I pick up at the farmer’s market and co-op, it’s more like three or four, with some cubes of steamed squash thrown into my lunch a few times for good measure. (It’s also really good in oatmeal. Seriously, try it.)
This time, roasted squash takes center stage with portobello mushrooms and kale in the supporting roles. When mixed together with lentils, barley and just enough curry powder to add a kick, it becomes a Curried Lentil, Butternut & Greens Saute!
Taking a cue from my Butternut Broccoli Mushroom Dream, this dish begins with roasting the squash and ends with mixing all of the ingredients together. The lentils and barley are cooked in one pot to make everything easier to coordinate, and some onions and garlic add depth of flavor to the mushrooms and kale as they cook. If you like robust flavor combinations like earthy, spicy and sweet, this is the dish for you! It’s also packed with all the nutrition that winter squashes, with their brightly-colored flesh, have to offer.
I’m a fan of hot curry powder, particularly the blend from Penzeys, which is why the recipe only calls for two teaspoons. If you’re looking for more curry flavor and less send-your-sinuses-to-the-moon, feel free to substitute mild curry powder at whatever concentration strikes your fancy.
Or use more hot curry powder if you’re that kind of crazy and don’t mind having to call NASA to retrieve your nose.
- 1 large butternut squash (about 1½lbs), peeled & cut into ½-inch cubes
- black pepper to taste
- 1 cup dried brown or green lentils, rinsed
- 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
- 5 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 large onion, sliced (about 1½ cups)
- 8 ounces portobello mushrooms, rinsed & sliced
- 12 ounces kale, leaves removed & chopped, stems sliced thinly.
- 2 tsp hot curry powder (or mild if you prefer less of a kick)
- black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Place the butternut squash cubes in a single layer on a parchment or Cookina-lined baking sheet. Roast until tender and just beginning to brown, about 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
- Meanwhile, place the lentils, barley and water or broth in a large saucepan over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the lentils and barley are tender, 40-45 minutes.
- Just before the squash and the lentil/barley mixture is done, place the onions in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms and kale stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms soften and begin to release their juices. Toss in the kale leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is bright green and wilted, 5-10 minutes.
- Add the roasted squash and cooked lentil/barley mixture to the skillet along with the curry powder and black pepper. Stir well to combine all ingredients, and cook until just heated through. Serve hot and enjoy!
What’s your favorite way to prepare butternut squash?