Spiced Pumpkin, Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad

(loosely based on the recipe from the October 2009 Bon Appétit magazine)

• 3/4 cup lentils

• 6 cups 1-inch pieces peeled seeded sugar pumpkin (from about one 2-pound whole pumpkin or butternut squash)

• 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

• 1 teaspoon ground cumin

• 1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika (found in most grocery stores—I found mine in the Fresh Market Grocery in Asheville or you can add some cayenne pepper to smoked paprika for the same effect)

• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

• 4 cups of baby greens

• 1 log of soft goat cheese log, sliced into ? inch medallions, dipped in an egg mixed with a little cream and coated with finely chopped breadcrumbs (I use the packaged Progresso kind)

• 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves

• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Soak lentils in cold water for about 10 minutes. Drain and cook in salted water until tender but firm, about 30 minutes. Drain lentils. Rinse under cold water, then drain.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pumpkin in large bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, paprika, and sea salt. Arrange pumpkin in single layer on baking sheet; roast 20 minutes. Turn pumpkin over. Roast until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool.

Combine lentils, pumpkin, and oil from baking sheet with mixed baby greens, mint, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Right before serving, sauté goat cheese medallions in olive oil and a little butter to help brown the cheese.

Divide the salad mixture among plates and place the warm goat cheese medallion on top of each salad.


Fresh Apple Cake

• 1 1/2 cups Wesson oil

• 4 or so medium sized apples, chopped finely (I use a couple of red delicious and a couple of yellow delicious apples); It is ok to leave the peelings on but I usually don’t.

• 1 cup of black walnuts, chopped

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 2 cups of white sugar

• 3 eggs

• 3 cups sifted plain flour

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream together oil, sugar and eggs in a mixer. Add dry ingredients and fold in apples and nuts. Add vanilla. Place the mixture in a greased, floured bundt pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour or so. Test with a toothpick or broom straw for doneness in the center of the cake. Because this cake is so moist, I rarely frost it. It gets better after a few days but is delicious right out of the oven.


Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1/2 cup small diced onion

• 2 teaspoons minced garlic

• 2 teaspoons chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped

• 2 pints raspberries, rinsed

• 1/2 cup raspberry vinegar

• 1/2 cup granulated sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, heat oil. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring until slightly caramelized—about 4 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté for 1 min. Add the chilies and cook, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Add the raspberries and cook until soft, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and stir to deglaze the pan. Add sugar and salt, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened and reduced by half, about 8 to 10 min. Remove from heat and cool before using.

For a clear glaze, strain through a fine, mesh strainer by pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.

*A note: I love this sauce but if I’m pressed for time, there is a nice bottled raspberry chipotle sauce (brand is Dan T’s Inferno) that is sold at Sam’s Club and other good brands of raspberry chipotle at Fresh Market. It works just fine in a pinch.

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