Mee McCormick My Pinewood Kitchen by Mee McCormick

Butternut squash and lentils are a perfect combo for a cool fall day. This recipe is comfort food all the way - it’s full of flavor and has a satisfying crunch. Lentils, pumpkin seeds, and butternut squash are great for the gut. All the spices in this dish boost our immunity, too.


  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt, divided

  • 4 cups warm soaking water

  • 1 cup dried black lentils, picked over and rinsed

  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces*

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 4 cups fresh water

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

  • 1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds, toasted, or pepitas


*If short on time, buy butternut squash that’s already peeled and chopped in your produce department.


  • In a medium bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon of the sea salt in the soaking water. Add the lentils and soak at room temperature for a minimum of 1 hour. Drain well.

  • Adjust the oven racks to the middle and lowest positions and heat the oven to 450℉

  • Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1½ teaspoons of the vinegar, the remaining sea salt, and the black pepper. Arrange the squash in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast on the lower rack until well browned and tender, about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring halfway through roasting. Let the squash cool slightly. Decrease the oven temperature to 325℉

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the lentils, 1 tablespoon of the oil, the garlic, coriander, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the 4 cups of water. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes until the lentils are soft. Drain well.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, the remaining oil, and the remaining vinegar. Add the parsley and onion. Toss in the lentils and squash. Season with additional sea salt and pepper, to taste.

  • Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds or pepitas. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Reprinted with permission from My Pinewood Kitchen. Copyright © 2020 by Mee McCormick. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Michael Bromley. Published by Health Communications.