Grilled Veggie Lentil Salad


Yields: 8 servings as a side dish

1 acorn squash

2 large eggplants, sliced
3 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion, sliced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbs worcestershire sauce (vegan if you prefer)
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp grated garlic (about 2 cloves)

1 1/2 cups beluga lentils (or green)
1 quart water
2 tsp turmeric
1/2 yellow onion

2 tbs sherry vinegar
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
1 tbs canola oil
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until a knife passes through easily, about 40 minutes. Let the squash cool, scoop the flesh out of the skin and chop into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

Mix the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, ginger and garlic together. Slice the eggplants about 1/2 inch thick. Remove stems from the mushrooms and pour about 1 tbs of the marinade into each mushroom cap. Let them marinate for 1-2 hours. With about 10 minutes to go, combine the remaining marinade with the eggplant in a plastic bag, tossing every couple minutes.

Heat the grill to a medium temperature and grill the eggplant, mushrooms, onion and bell pepper. You might have to brush the veggies with a little oil if your grill tends to stick. The eggplant will take 3-4 minutes a side. Grill the mushrooms for about 5 minutes gill side up. Flip over and grill for another 5 minutes. Don’t worry about the liquid spilling out. It’s mostly water. The onion should also take about 5 minutes a side. The bell pepper should char on all sides. It will take about 10-15 minutes.

Put the bell pepper in a bowl and cover for about 10 minutes. Now you can peel the charred skin off and discard the liquid and seeds. Chop all veggies into bite-sized pieces, combine with the lemon zest and juice and set aside.

After rinsing and sorting through your lentils (for rocks), combine with the water (cold), turmeric and onion. Bring water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until done (about 20-25 minutes). Drain the water and remove the onion. Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, cumin and oil, pour over lentils and combine with the grilled veggies and squash. Chop up your parsley and mix into salad after it has cooled.

Best if served at room temperature!