In Season : Halloween

It’s hard to miss what crop the autumn season bring us. Pumpkins are just about everywhere I look right now.

Pumpkin carving, toffee apples and other traditions of Halloween are wrapped up with the foods the calendar has to offer us in October.

Pumpkins, squashes and apples are all in abundance at this time of year and I’ve been loving trying out the huge variety of squashes that have been springing up as summer turns to autumn. I’ve tried gem, summer squash, delicata, crown prince, red kuri, you name it I’ve had them all. (That is apart from the supermarkets favourite, butternut!)

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The one recipe that I’ve been perfecting over the season is my squash and lentil burgers. They are super easy to make and are a nice change to simply roasting or stuffing them.

You might think with the amount I’ve made over the last few months I would actually have managed to perfect them but these were a little wet as I don’t think my squash, lentil ratio was quite right. I used half a delicata squash but should have thrown in a couple of carrots as it was quite a small squash.

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This recipe uses delicata squash but you can adapt it to whatever squash you happen to have or use the innards of your carved pumpkin.

Makes 3-4 burgers

1/2 cup split red lentils (you can use other lentils but I think these work best)
1/2 delicata squash
2 carrots
1/4 cup rolled oats
A pinch of cumin, ground coriander and cayenne pepper
Sprinkle of dried herbs (I used thyme as that’s what I’ve got in my cupboard)
Glug of olive oil

Peel and dice the squash and carrots.
Place on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, add the herbs and season with salt and pepper.
Roast at 180°C until lightly browned and soft.
Meanwhile bring the lentils to a boil and simmer until cooked and most of the water has been absorbed. Stir the lentils as they cook so you end up with a dhaal like consistency.
Put the roasted squash and carrots in a bowl with the cooked lentils, oats and spices and season with salt and pepper.
Mash everything together until you get a fairly smooth consistency.
When the mixture has cooled slightly, divide the mixture into four.
Sprinkle a clean surface and your hands with some flour. Press the mixture together in your hands to form a ball, then place it onto the floured surface and flatten to make your burger.
Chill the burgers in the fridge for half an hour or as long as your rumbling tummy will allow. This helps them hold their shape when you cook them.
Fry or bake with a little oil olive until they are nicely browned and hot through.

I served mine in a bun with fried onions, tomato, gherkins and a nice bit of ketchup.

Happy Halloween!

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