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Author Notes: I love pumpkin and have a mild obsession with it from September through November. Pumpkin's packed with good nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins A and C and for a mere 49 calories a cup, you can't really go wrong. Reducing the balsamic vinegar gives this recipe a deliciously sweet but tangy overtone and the crispy fried shallots bring a little indulgence and crunch to the dish without going overboard on calories or fat. Who knew fried shallots were so freaking delicious! —MarissaRD
the salad: the whole shabang
- 1 small to medium pumpkin, chopped and peeled *if it's too difficult to peel prior to roasting, allow pumpkin to cool and remove skin afterwards
- 1 cup dried French lentils
- 4 oz goat cheese (1 small log)
- 1 shallot, peeled and cut into thin rounds or half-moon shapes
- olive oil for "frying" the shallots
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil for drizzling, extra for roasting
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 4oo degrees. Soak lentils for 10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss pumpkin with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and season lightly with salt. Spread on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan and roast until soft, about 30-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook lentils in salted, boiling water until soft, about 30 minutes.
- Pour about 1 inch worth of olive oil into a small-medium heavy pan or skillet (enough oil to cover shallots). Heat oil over medium-high and fry shallots for 3 to 5 minutes until crispy, golden brown. Remove and drain excess oil on a paper towel.
- Toss pumpkin with balsamic reduction and mix with lentils and goat cheese. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and garnish with crispy shallots.
- 6 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Heat balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan on medium-low and reduce to about half, about 10-15 minutes.