I usually make salads that involve throwing a bunch of pre-sliced ingredients into a bowl. But sometimes I make more of an effort, especially if the ingredients intrigue me.
This salad calls for roasting butternut squash with cardamom, something that I’ve never done before but sounded delicious. I would put cardamom in everything if I could. It makes me dream of warm places with spice markets, vibrant colors and sitar music.
My favorite part about this salad is the oranges. The citrus balances the sweeter red onion and the spicy squash. I might add some pomegranates next time I make the salad to give it even more sweetness.
Here’s a song for carb detox, citrus salads and surviving the cold winter months. I like the shout out to Aaliyah’s Back & Forth. You should also probably listen to that song.
Winter Citrus Salad (slightly adapted from Jam Lab)
2 ½ cups green lentils
3 cups butternut squash cut into small cubes
about 2-3 tbsp olive oil for the squash
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
1 teaspoon paprika
¾ teaspoon chili powder
½ red onion thinly sliced
3 cara cara blood oranges, skin peeled and sliced into rounds
1/2 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1 ½ cups baby kale
2 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
2 tbsp coarsely chopped mint
2 tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
4-5 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat oven at 420 degrees. On a small sheet pan, with aluminum foil paper, add in the squash. Sprinkle the cardamom, smoked paprika, ancho chile, salt and pepper and olive oil. Mix well and lay them flat on the sheet. Put it into the oven for half an hour. The squash cubes should be slightly charred.
In a medium saucepan, add the lentils and add enough water to soak them completely and leave about 2 inches on top of it. Add 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp salt to the water. On medium heat, keep the lid partially covered and let it boil for about 20 minutes. Check the lentils after 20 minutes to see if they are al dente(not too soft yet there is a bite to the lentil).
Once the lentils are cooked, drain the water. Add in the olive oil, salt and pepper and mix. Add in the red wine vinegar and mix. Add in the orange slices, squash, hazelnuts, red onions, cilantro, parsley, mint, baby kale and gently mix. I leave a few of the orange slices, red onion slices, squash strips, cilantro leaves and hazelnuts to garnish on the top after plating. Enjoy!