Sweet and sour lentils are served in a bowl of acorn squash to create a hearty vegetarian fall dinner. The lentils are adapted from a recipe in New Kosher Cuisine for All Seasons.
Serves 4 as a main dish, 8 as a side dish
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/8 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
A dash of garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups brown lentils, rinsed
1 apple, cored and diced
2 medium acorn squash, halved and seeds scraped out
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for serving
In a medium sized saucepan, stir together the first nine ingredients. Add the lentils and mix well.
Bring to a boil, cover, turn the heat down and let simmer for about an hour, stirring a few times and tossing the diced apple into the saucepan after the first 20 minutes. Check to see if the lentils are soft and the liquid has thickened. If too liquidy, let simmer uncovered near the end. The lentils should have the consistency of a thick sauce.
While the lentils are cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the 4 squash halves in a roasting dish (cut a small slice off the bottom of each if needed so they sit securely) and add about an inch of water to the pan. Cover with foil and place in the oven. Steam the squash until tender, about 30-45 minutes depending upon how large they are. Remove from oven and set aside until lentils are cooked.
Place the squash halves on a serving platter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the lentils into each half and top with a sprig of parsley.
If making ahead: Prepare the squash and lentils and keep separate. When close to serving, spoon the lentils into the squash and warm in the oven.