Roasted squash, chicken and lentil salad

When roasting a chicken for this, stuff it with a lemon half

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

  • 400g/14oz Puy lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2.5-4cm/1-11⁄2in chunks or slices
  • 180g/61⁄4oz cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1cm/1⁄2in pieces, with the feathery tops reserved and chopped for decoration
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small freshly roasted chicken (1.75-2kg/ 33⁄4-41⁄2lb), carved and the meat shredded
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped preserved lemon rind
  • A handful of fresh rocket or baby spinach leaves to serve

For the dressing

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp wholegrain Dijon mustard
  • 1⁄2 tsp runny honey
  • Tarragon white wine vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste


Preheat the oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas 5. Rinse the lentils and put into a pan with the bay leaves and halved shallot. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, until cooked.

Meanwhile, toss the squash and tomatoes with 2 tbsp of the olive oil on a baking tray. Season and roast in the oven, stirring once, for about 20 minutes, until tender and browned. The tomatoes should be collapsed but still juicy.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. Add the fennel with a pinch of salt and fry gently for 5-6 minutes, until softened but still with a bit of bite.

To make the dressing, whisk together the oil, mustard and honey in a bowl. Add tarragon vinegar or lemon juice to taste (about 2-3 tsp). Season well.

When the lentils are cooked, drain well and toss, while still warm, with the dressing. Toss in, too, the roasted squash and tomatoes, the cooked fennel, chopped shallot and the parsley, cooked chicken pieces and preserved lemon rind.

Adjust the seasoning to taste and finally toss in the rocket or spinach leaves just before turning out onto a platter or into a bowl, ready to serve. Decorate with the chopped feathery tops from the fennel.

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