This was the first year in as long as I can remember that I had a blast dressing up for Halloween . In the past I have felt awkward and shy about it, always worrying that my costume was 'stupid' or that people were going to think badly of me, but this year I went all out. Surprisingly, I don't regret brushing out my curls and dousing them with baby powder for my 'Grandmother Clock' costume, even though several people pulled my hair to find out if I was wearing a wig or not. And, if I may say so myself I made a pretty cute Aunt Jemima. As it turns out, dressing up is a lot of fun. I could get used to the whole dressing up thing, but I still find it totally bizarre that at the actual Halloween parties, everyone behaves exactly the same as they would on any other night out, except they’re in costume. Let me tell you, seeing Batman dancing with a Teletubby is a weird sight no matter how festive you're feeling.
As usual, I provided the food and my friend provided the conversation; thanks to this salad it turned out to be a pretty fair trade. On Saturday, during my daily food blog browsing, I came across a spiced pumpkin, lentil and goat cheese salad on The Bitten Word. It inspired me to make this roasted parsnip and lentil salad, and although I was a little weary that a salad would be a disappointing dinner, it turned out to be ideally comforting and hearty.
Roasted Parsnip and Lentil Salad
adapted from The Bitten Word (who got it from Bon Appetit)
1 cup French green lentils
2 carrots, minced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 cups of water
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. salt
4 large parsnips in 1/2” cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tbsp. spicy pepper flakes.
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
1)Prepare the lentils: heat up the olive oil in a pot over medium heat and add the carrots and garlic, sautee until the garlic is barely colored, about 2 minutes. Rinse the lentils and add them to the pot. Add the water, cumin and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered for 30-40 minutes, until they are tender.
2)Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the parsnips cubes on a parchment lines baking sheet. Sprinkle with pepper flakes and salt and drizzle with the olive oil, stir it around with a wooden spoon to make sure they are well covered. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, the parsnips should be golden and have some crunchy bits.
3)For the salad, lay about 1/2 cup of spinach in the bottom of a soup plate; divide the lentils, parsnips, and goat cheese evenly between the plates. Serve warm.