Pumpkin is one of my absolute favorite vegetables; it is beautiful, it comes in all shapes, colors and sizes, it is healthy and can be used in sweet or savoury dishes.
This salad is very simple to prepare and is absolutely delicious! I usually serve it with bbq grilled fish or chicken. Whatever you pair it with, I suggest something on the lighter side as it’s quite a hearty dish.
For you cheese lovers: sprinkle on some feta for a little decadence. It will either enhance or ruin this salad if you struggle to use with restraint.
1 small pumpkin or 1 butternut squash (3 to 4 pounds total), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 roasted red peppers, seeded, peeled and cut into large strips
1 red onion, roasted and chopped
1 eggplant, medium, roasted and cut into 1-½-inch chunks
1/4 cup pumpkin seed
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
Handful of basil or favorite herb
3 green onions, chopped
¼ cup nuts – I used walnuts
¼ seeds, pumpkin, sesame
Coarse sea salt
Ground black pepper
Garnish – toasted nuts or seeds
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a large baking pan set aside.
In a large bowl combine pumpkin and eggplant chunks,, the 2 tablespoons olive oil, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss to combine. Spread in the prepared baking pan. Roast about 35 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.* Cool to room temperature. Red onions and peppers can be roasted whole at the same time.
*Healthy option: cut squash or pumpkin in half, scrape out seeds and roast whole for 45 min. Peel and cut into large chunks.
For dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the 1/4 cup olive oil, the vinegar, and maple syrup or honey. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing evenly over the salad. Toss gently and green onion, nuts, seeds, garnish with basil, coarse sea salt and pepper.
Also goes well served on a bed of rocket or spinach.