Ahhh, pumpkin season has arrived and I must say that this is something that pleases me very much. I adore pumpkin. It is one of my absolute favorite vegetables; it is beautiful, it comes in all shapes, colors and sizes, it is healthy and it is so wonderfully low in calories that you can just knock yourself out!
In Denmark pumpkin is not as commonly known and used as e.g. in the states where pumpkin seem to dominate everything from September-December, which I think is just fantastic! But we are slowly starting to broaden our horizon and using more hokkaido, butternut squash and a few other varieties in the kitchen.
I got familiar with pumpkin a few years back when I was travelling in Vietnam and Australia. We had a favourite restaurant in Hoi An in Vietnam that made the best pumpkin stew with garlic, white wine, almonds and something else. It was just magical and when we a few weeks later travelled to Australia, where pumpkin grow like crazy, we constantly tried to copy and indulge this magical vietnamese pumpkin dish (I think we almost nailed it). While writing this post I strikes me that I have to make it really soon again, and of course share it with you guys here on the blog.
Well, saturday night I hosted a little get together tapas-and-redwine-girls-night! We should all prepare and bring a dish and it was a great success. I made this roasted pumpkin salad, a recipe that had arisen and grown in my mind, and now needed to be tested. It turned out to be a wonderful dish which will definitely be repeated through the autumn.
I would never cheat you for a good recipe, so I grabbed the camera and an assistant (thanks Therese) and TAdaaa; material for this post was born, yay!
So please try the recipe and promise me to knock yourself out with pumpkin. I’ll then promise you that I will soon present you with another magical pumpkin dish and another and another.
1 medium/large sized Hokkaido pumpkin
Roasted pumpkin salad w. goats feta cheese
Serves 4 as a main dish
150 g/ 5 oz feta cheese (I used goats feta)
50 g/ 1/3 cup nuts or pine nuts
100 g/ 3,5 oz baby leaves mix (spinach, ruccola, arugola, red chard etc.)
1 Tbsp honey
1/2-1 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp oil
Salt & pepper
1/4 cup cherry vinegar (or another fruit or berry vinegar)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 °F/200 °C
2. Rinse your pumpkin (you are gonna use the peel). Cut it into half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut the the pumpkin into slim boats (see picture) and place them on a parchment covered baking stone. Drizzle with honey, olive oil, nutmeg, salt & pepper, and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until the pumpkin has become tender and golden. Set aside to cool.
3. Make the vinaigrette by thoroughly whisking oil and vinegar until they emulsify. If you use a vinegar which is less sweet and more sharp, you might need to replace some of it with more oil. Adjust taste with salt and pepper. Remember the best way to test the flavor of your vinaigrette is to dip a piece of lettuce in, shake off the excess and then take a bite. This will give you a better sense of how your salad will taste than by tasting the vinaigrette “straight.”
4. Roast the nuts in a pan or in the oven for 5 minutes until golden and chop them (unless you use pine nuts).
5. Wash and dry salad leaves and place in a bowl or big dish. Add the baked pumpkin and toss it gently together with the salad and the vinaigrette. Use your hands to chunk up the feta cheese and top the salad with it. Sprinkle the roasted nuts on top.
Serve with some nice bread and a pesto (or if you have a paleo dude present a big nice steak)