Our newest favourite on-the-road dish, the squash lentil risotto! Brought to you fresh and directly from the road in the north of Spain, inspired by the hotsprings of Os Banos.
Now this is a classic example of what sort of recipes we make up on tour in Ronnie the Campervan’s kitchen! Tired of the common question we often face come dinner time – risotto or lentil dhal? – we just combined the two into one. And were so super happy with the result, that we immediately decided to share it with you, lovely audience.
With the fusion of flavours and its Italian origin of the risotto, this squash lentil risotto pays a homage to the place it was created, the Roman thermal baths of Galicia. Warm, steaming and nourishing, just like the hot springs ;-)
Our squash lentil risotto packs carbs, protein and vegetables and lots of flavour into a quick and absolutely awesome dish. We have cooked squash risotto in our campervan kitchen lots of times before – it is our go-to meal when we have a squash on our hands. Even more often we must have had lentil dhal, our favourite way to get our protein.
We had not had a proper portion of protein in a day or two, so when we were making the risotto, this time we threw in some lentils along with some extra spices for good measure. Lentils always want some flavour to live up to their potential. It was a simple and obvious choice, yet from the first bite, this combination of risotto and lentils felt like a mini revelation to us. Both flavours and textures went great with each other, making this meal more than the sum of its components.
What meal does not taste even better after a hot soak in an ancient hot mineral water pool or a walk through mossy autumnal forests?
With love from northern Spain,
Paul & Sophie
Squash Lentil Risotto
- 1/2 small butternut squash, cubed
- 1 cup risotto rice
- 1 cup puy lentils soaked
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp za’atar spice mix
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 pinch asafoetida
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp garlic powder (or 3 garlic cloves)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp kala namak (black salt) optional
- 1 1/2 tsp stock powder
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 cups water
To garnish (optional):
- nutritional yeast
- squash seed salt
- pumpkin seed oil
- Heat up olive oil in a pressure cooker. (see notes)
- Add za’atar spice mix, allow to fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring a few times.
- Add garam masala and asafoetida. Stir immediately, and add squash cubes.
- (optional): Fry the squash for up to 5 minutes for extra flavour.
- Stir in the rice and keep frying for another minute.
- Add smoked paprika and garlic powder.
- Deglaze with lime juice and soy sauce. (see notes)
- Add the drained and rinsed puy lentils, water, stock powder, salt, and if using, kala namak. Stir.
- Put the lid on, wait for the pressure to build, and cook under high pressure for 7-8 minutes. Allow for natural pressure release.
- Top with nutritional yeast, squash seed salt (see notes), and the optional pumpkin seed oil.