Summer has definitely arrived and there are so many beautiful things at the shuk right now, it’s tough to know where to begin…
There are cherries. Mountains of them. Beautiful, deep red ones, as well as the Rainier cherries with their mottled red and yellow skins.
There are piles and piles of sweet and tangy nectarines, peaches, apricots and plums of all shades.
And there are these hunks of bright orange-fleshed pumpkin with thick white skin.
Let’s start with the pumpkin.
Roasted Pumpkin with Lentils and Wheat Berries
2-3 cups middle eastern white-skinned pumpkin, or butternut squash, cut into cubes
1 small onion, cut into wedges
good-quality olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground anise
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup dried brown lentils, soaked for a day, then cooked until tender
1/2 cup wheat berries, soaked overnight (you may need to also simmer them briefly)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
juice from 1/2 a lime (optional– sadly, we don’t have limes here in Israel right now, their season is brief, at the tail end of summer)
Toss cubed pumpkin with onion wedges, olive oil, spices, salt and pepper. Roast in a shallow pan at 375°F until pumpkin is fork-tender.
After pumpkin and onions are roasted, add cooked lentils and soaked wheat berries to the pan. Sprinkle everything with a little more olive oil and mix. Put into a 325°F oven and heat through. Sprinkle with cilantro, lime juice, and chopped walnuts before serving.