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LENTIL- AND SPINACH-STUFFED SQUASH HALVESHearty and gorgeous, this is a wonderful dinner party dish or even a centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table. You can swap hollowed zucchini halves or bell pepper halves for the Delicata squash, or make a really colorful platter by stuffing and roasting all three. If lentils aren’t your jam, you can use any kind of bean instead—from giant white gigantes to little navy beans.


  • 2 delicata winter squash (about 1 pound each),
  • halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra as needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces brown mushrooms, stemmed and thinly
  • sliced
  • 1 medium-size red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 8 cups lightly packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, halved, one half cut into 4 wedges
  • Wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shaved with a
  • vegetable peeler into ribbons, for serving (optional)
How to Make It
  1. 1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. 2. Cut a very thin slice off the rounded skin side of each squash half so they rest like a canoe. Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over the squash halves, inside and out, and season evenly with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Place the squash halves, cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until a paring knife slips easily into the center of the squash, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer the squash to a large platter and set it aside.
  3. 3. Toss the mushrooms and red onion with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the cumin seeds, oregano, coriander, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a medium-size bowl. Turn the onion mixture out onto the sheet pan in an even layer and roast, stirring midway through cooking, until the onions start to brown, about 15 minutes.
  4. 4. Pull the oven rack out partway and carefully add the boiling water and remaining teaspoon salt to the sheet pan along with the lentils and spinach. Stir to combine. Wearing oven mitts, cover the sheet pan with aluminum foil (you may need 2 sheets), crimping it tightly around the edges to seal. Bake, stirring midway through cooking, until the spinach is wilted, about 10 minutes.
  5. 5. Remove the pan from the oven and season the lentils and spinach with the juice of the lemon half. Taste and add more salt if needed. Divide the mixture among the roasted squash halves, top with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese ribbons (if using), and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

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