Pic of Squash Molly Parkin with lentils and greens

Squash Molly Parkin with lentils and greens

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Vegetarian mains

Squash Molly Parkin with lentils and greens

Serves 2 1h 5 min
Creamy and comforting, this recipe is adapted from a classic 1970s parsnip Molly Parkin recipe, named after a flamboyant fashionista. We’ve used squash here for an all-year round version. There’s no need to peel the squash, it cooks down brilliantly, and contains lots of good nutrients. We’ve added some lentils for extra protein and a side of greens with garlic and lemon; ring the seasonal changes with the greens, using cabbage, chard, whatever you have to hand.

Cook's notes

This recipe can easily be made in advance and reheated.


  • Oil for frying
  • Large knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 350g (prepared weight) unpeeled Butternut squash, sliced into 1cm rounds
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced into rounds
  • ½ tin dark green lentils
  • 1 good tbsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried
  • 100g Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 150ml double cream
  • A small handful of breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200g spring greens, leaves stripped from their stalks and thinly shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon
Image of Squash Molly Parkin with lentils and greens


Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 45 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat your oven to 180˚C/Gas 4.
  • Step 2

    Heat 1 tablespoon of oil with half the butter and half the sugar in a large frying pan. Add the squash, in a single layer. Fry on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, then turn and fry for another 2-3 minutes, until starting to caramelise. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining butter, sugar and squash (no need to clean the pan between the two batches or add more oil).
  • Step 3

    Grease a casserole or baking dish with oil. Arrange alternate layers of squash, tomatoes, lentils, thyme and cheese, seasoning each layer and finishing with a layer of cheese.
  • Step 4

    In a bowl, mix the mustard, cream and 4 tbsp of water. Pour it over the veg. Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Step 5

    After 20 minutes, scatter the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake for approx. 15 more minutes, until the top is golden and the squash tender, while you continue.
  • Step 6

    When the bake is almost ready, heat a splash of oil in a medium saucepan. Stir-fry the greens for 3-4 minutes, adding the garlic towards the end, about 1 minute out. Add lemon juice and season to taste, then serve with the bake.

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