Squash might very well be one of my favorite vegetables. I’ve never heard a person say, “I don’t like squash.” There are so many varieties, saying you dislike squash is like saying you don’t like herbs. It’s hard to generalize. I’m not a huge fan of spaghetti squash. Perhaps it’s because I don’t quite “get it”. But shying away from that one variety isn’t going to put me off squash for life. In the summer, I love zucchini, bright yellow summer squash and all the mini variations that come with it. Winter warms me to butternut squash, acorn squash and pumpkin (yes, pumpkin is a squash too!). I put up both summer and winter varieties, shredded or chopped in the summer, pureed in the winter so I’m never without.
This recipe is to celebrate summer squash and my beautiful CSA bounty. There’s something about the brightness and warmth of summer squash that is so inviting. It welcomes you with a smile and shines “this is freshness!” A new Meatless Monday favorite, it’s packed with nutrition and flavor. For dinner we enjoy it warm, right off the stove, for lunch, chilled or at room temperature. Possibly my favorite thing about this dish is that it’s a one pot meal. Lately I find myself overwhelmed with details. Toasted this, or a sauce of that. Weekday dinners should be simple, easy and low on dish washing responsibilities. While the lentils cook, you chop your veggies. Drain the lentils and leave them in the colander while you sauté your squash and vegetables. Mix it all together, season and enjoy.
Summer Squash Lentils (Serves 4-6)
- 1 1/2 c dried green lentils
- 3 c water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium summer squash, diced into ½-inch pieces
- 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
- Salt to taste
- 1 c sliced scallions (about 3 whole)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice
In a small dutch oven (3.5 quarts) bring lentils and water to a boil. Reduce heat to an almost simmer and cook until tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain lentils and set aside.
In the same dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat. Add squash, corn and a generous pinch of salt and sauté until tender. Stir in lentils, continuing to cook over low heat until dish is evenly warmed.
Remove from heat, stir in scallions and balsamic vinegar. Season with additional salt if desired and serve.
- Summer Squash, Sausage, and Potato Quiche (spoonful.com)
- Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash Stacks with melted mozzarella cheese! (thefitspirationalblonde.wordpress.com)
- Herbed Summer Squash with Leeks and Lentils (lattesandleggings.com)
- Summer Squash and Lentil Pasta (kcet.org)