Recipes -


1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1.25cm (½ inch) slices (or use carrots, parsnip or kumara)
Extra virgin olive oil
½ cup lentils (black or green), rinsed
10 green olives, pits removed
10 wrinkly black olives, pits removed
2 cups baby rocket (arugula) leaves
Sea salt and black pepper

Quick pickled shallots:
1 small French shallot, very finely sliced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar

Special sauce:
½ cup whole egg mayonnaise
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 tbsp grated pecorino or parmesan
1 tbsp grated swiss cheese
50g fresh mozzarella, finely diced
Juice of ¼ lemon
Sea salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 190˚C / 375˚F.

For the quick pickled shallots, place the shallot slices in a small non-metal bowl, add the vinegar, sugar and about 1 tablespoon of water. Stir and leave to pickle while you prepare the rest of your salad.

Place the butternut squash on a large baking tray and drizzle over the olive oil. Toss to coat well and then arrange the slices in a single layer on the tray. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the squash is tender and golden. Remove from the oven and season with sea salt and black pepper. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, place the lentils in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water and add 2 pinches of salt. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are tender. Drain and set aside to cool. Or if using canned lentils or chickpeas rinse under cold water, drain and set aside.

Prepare the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Place the squash in a large mixing bowl, along with the lentils, olives and a few of the pickled shallots. Add about half the sauce and toss gently to combine.

To serve, place ¾ of the rocket on a plate, top with the squash mixture. Dollop the rest of the sauce on top and scatter over a few more pickled shallots. Serves 4.