A beautiful colourful salad with a life changing dressing. Vegan, hearty and filling this salad will convert even the harshest of plant-based critics.
Preheat the oven to 160°c fan/180°c/350°f.
Add the cashew nuts for the dressing into a bowl and cover with just boiled water. Allow to soak for 20-25 minutes while you prepare everything else.
Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways, remove the seeds with a spoon and cut into 2cm strips. Place on a baking tray before coating with the coconut oil and seasoning with the sage, salt and pepper. Roast for 40-45 minutes in the preheated oven until golden and soft.
Remove all the hard stalks from the kale and finely shred the remaining leaves with your fingers into a large bowl. Add the lemon, oil and salt and massage the kale with your hands for 2-3 minutes until it has turned a bright green and halved in size. Add the puy lentils and 3/4 of the toasted pine nuts into the bowl and mix to combine.
To make the dressing, add the soaked cashews, lemon, water, garlic and salt into a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Taste, and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
To serve, spread the kale salad onto a large serving platter and top with the roasted butternut squash before drizzling with the creamy garlic dressing and sprinkling on the remaining toasted pine nuts.
To make ahead, keep the butternut squash, kale salad and the dressing in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days until ready to serve.
For this recipe I used the merchant gourmet ready to eat puy lentils. If you want to use dried lentils measure 75g (1/2 cup) and cook according to the packets instructions.
Puy lentils can also be known as lentils vertes or french lentils but are not the same as green lentils.