A gorgeous autumn salad that you could happily eat on its own, or serve with grilled meats and seafood. 

serves 6                                                                  

750g butternut pumpkin, cut into 3cm cubes

300g cherry tomatoes, or field ripe tomatoes, halved

1 bunch Dutch carrots

2 red onions, leaving base intact, cut into six wedges

1 bunch carrots, diced

⅓ cup olive oil

2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock, chicken stock or water

1 bay leaf

1½ cups (300g) Puy lentils

2 quarters of preserved lemon, pith removed and discarded, skin finely chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

½ bunch dill, leaves chopped

½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped

1 pomegranate, seeds removed and reserved

Preheat oven to 200°C (fan-forced 180°C).

Line two roasting trays with baking paper.  Place pumpkin in one roasting tray and the carrots and onions in the other roasting tray.  Pour half the amount of oil over each tray of vegetables,  mix well to coat and place in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes, turn vegetables pieces over to ensure they're cooked evenly.  Add the tomatoes to roasting tray with carrots and onions.  Return trays to oven and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are golden brown and just tender.

Meanwhile, place stock, or water and bay leaf in a medium sized saucepan over a high heat.  Bring to the boil and add the lentils. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are just tender and retain a bite.  Drain any excess liquid.   Transfer lentils into a large bowl.

Place lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, virgin olive oil and preserved lemon into a jar.  Seal with lid and shake to mix well.  Pour dressing over the lentils and toss throughly.  Add the herbs and warm roast vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper.  Gently toss to combine.  Transfer mixture to a serving platter.  Scatter over the pomegranate seeds, to garnish

Serve salad warm, or at room temperature.

Note: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Will keep for up to 3 days.

Fiona Hammond © April 2018 

Recipe, photos and styling by Fiona Hammond. www.fionahammondfood.com

Mark Brancatisano