Roasted Squash With Emmer Wheat & Lentil Pilau

Roasted Squash With Emmer Wheat & Lentil Pilau

by Jenny Chandler October 01, 2021

This superb dish of bold, autumnal flavours was inspired by Mother Root's Ginger Switchel and created by Jenny Chandler. Featuring our Pilau Mix #2 and seasonal squash, it’s perfect for early autumn days. Serve with a Switchel & Soda garnished with a slice of pear for the ultimate feel-good night in.

Makes 4 servings


  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • 2 sticks Celery, finely sliced
  • 600-700g Seasonal Squash (Celebration, Acorn, Onion or Butternut)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 250g Hodmedod's Pilau Mix #2 (blend of Emmer and Olive Green Lentils)
  • 60ml Vegetable Stock (or chicken stock if you prefer) and a pinch of salt
  • 150g Cavolo Nero
  • 50g Walnut Halves
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp Chilli Flakes (Urfa flakes are deliciously fruity and smokey, with a bit of heat)
For the Yoghurt
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed with a pinch of salt
  • 12 Mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 200ml thick Greek Yoghurt
  • Salt and Chilli Pepper to taste


  1. Set the oven to 200ºC
  2. Take a large pan (you will require a lid later), and begin by frying the onion and the celery in the olive oil over a low heat. The onions need to soften completely and begin to brown a little, this will take about 20 minutes; meanwhile you can prepare the squash.
  3. Halve the squash, remove the seeds and then chop into segments; crescent shapes that show off the shape of the squash will look much more beautiful on the plate than chunks. Leave the skin on, it will crisp up and make a wonderful contrasting texture to the creamy soft flesh. Place the squash on a large roasting tray, add the olive oil and toss it around a bit.
  4. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, turning once so that the squash browns evenly.
  5. Now add the pilau mix to the onion pan, give it a stir and then pour in all the stock with a pinch of salt. Cover with the lid, bring up to the boil and then turn down to a simmer for about 30-40 minutes until all the stock is absorbed and the emmer wheat has softened (there will still be a bit of delicious bite and chewiness). You may need to add another 100 ml water if your lid isn’t a perfect fit.
  6. Mix together your yoghurt, garlic and mint, then season with salt and chilli to taste.
  7. Once the pilau grains and lentils are just cooked, place the chopped greens on top of them, replace the lid and allow the leaves to wilt over a low simmer for a couple of minutes.
  8. When the squash is tender and gorgeously toasty add the walnuts, sprinkle with the salt and spices and return to the oven for a couple of minutes.
  9. Pile the pilau and greens onto a plate, top with the roasted squash and walnuts, serve with the yoghurt alongside.

Jenny Chandler
Jenny Chandler


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