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
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
cup dried French lentils
oz goat cheese (1 small log)
shallot, peeled and cut into thin rounds or half-moon shapes
olive oil for "frying" the shallots
Tbsp olive oil for drizzling, extra for roasting
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.
Heat balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan on medium-low and reduce to about half, about 10-15 minutes.