I have to admit something. This dish wasn't a recipe I had been developing for months and months. In fact, the whole concept came together in a matter of minutes. Two of its key components, the lentils and the poached egg, were premeditated. But I had NO idea what else to include. When I looked around the kitchen for guidance, I realized there wasn't much to work with; only a head of lettuce in the drawer and a big bag of potatoes on the counter. And then I saw a small container of roasted acorn squash that I'd prepared the night before. "That should bring the whole thing together." I thought.
It's a hearty bowl, ideal for these chilly nights, and, like most of the best weeknight meals, can be adapted based on your crew. The poached egg is a nice choice for protein, as the yolk creates a dressing over the lentils, but sliced chicken or a piece of fish or a crumbly cheese would also make for a nice addition.
Lentils + Roasted Acorn Squash + Poached Egg
Acorn squash, halved and seeds removed Olive oil Smoked paprika 1 cup lentils, washed in a colander 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 yellow onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced Salt and black pepper 1 lemon
For poached eggs
Eggs Water 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Slice acorn squash into 3/4-inch thick half moons. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika. Lay the acorn squash slices flat on the prepared baking sheet. Baking in the oven for 15 minutes. Flip slices over and bake for another 15 minutes. When they're done cooking, remove from oven.
2. While the squash is roasting, cook the lentils. Add the rinsed lentils and 2 cups of water to a pot. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.
3. Transfer lentils to a large bowl.
4. In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
5. Add sautéed onions and garlic to the bowl with the lentils and mix to incorporate. Season with salt, pepper and chopped parsley.
6. Spoon the lentil mixture into a serving bowl. Top with roasted acorn squash.
7. Fill a small pot with enough water so that it's slightly more than half way full. Set over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt to water. Bring water to a boil. Crack the egg into a small bowl. Using a wooden spoon, give the water 10 good stirs and then carefully pour the egg into the pot. Give the water a few more gentle stirs. Reduce heat to low and set timer for 3 minutes. Keep stirring the water gently. When the timer goes off, use a slotted spoon to remove the poached egg. Place poached egg over acorn squash/lentils. Sprinkle a little salt and black pepper on top of the egg. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the dish before serving.