I made this a few weeks before the Christmas Pot luck. It consists of pumpkin, fennel, pomegranate seeds, spinach, parmesan and a lemon vinaigrette. Much more ingredients tho. As for during the pot luck, I still remained the same dressing but just used pumpkin, spinach, mixed salad leaves and homemade croutons. Kinda forgot about the parmesan, but really no one complained about it.
Roasted pumpkin is probably my only favourite way of cooking / eating pumpkin. I usually leave the skin on and slice them thinly so the flesh is soft and the skin is crispy. Plus, the cooking time is shorter!!
I remember one of my very first pumpkin salad (Yes I’ve made ALOT of pumpkin salads in my cooking life) I roasted pumpkin and orange sweet potato, then added sliced beetroot (those from the can, cause its crunchy and yet tender to eat) with some spinach and scattered some ricotta cheese on top. There are alot of ways you can make your salad interesting. I mean, salad doesn’t have to be just greens and leaves. Even just by adding a vibrant colour to it, it makes it more appetizing already. I’m not a salad person. Or rather I should say, I’m not a salad leaves / lettuce person. I need different textures and colours in a salad, otherwise I won’t be interested in it at all.
For the pot luck, I didn’t had to buy any herbs from the supermarket at all. All sage, rosemary and thyme were cut from my garden. It was a moment of self satisfaction, a proud moment, especially when everything I tried to plant in my old house all died before I could even use it. So for the pumpkin salad, I used rosemary and thyme as an aromatic.
Roasted Pumpkin and Spinach Salad
1/2 of a Japanese or local Pumpkin
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
a couple sprigs of fresh thyme
salt, black pepper, olive oil
A bag of baby spinach leaves. (you can use any other lettuce / salad leaves)
seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
1/2 cup parmesan shavings
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 a lemon,zested
juice from 1/2 a pomegranate
salt and black pepper to taste
1. Clean the skin of the pumpkin, remove the seeds (or you can leave them) and slice thinly.
2. Arrange on a tray and scatter rosemary and thyme over it. Drizzle some olive oil to coat and some salt and pepper. Toss around to coat.
3. Roast in a 180 C oven for 15-20 minutes or until soft. This depends on how thick or thin you cut them.
4. To make the salad, remove the green parts of the fennel. thinly shave the white part of the fennel. In a big salad serving bowl, add in salad leaves, in my case spinach, then add shaved fennel on top.
5. Top with roasted pumpkin, herbs and some shaved parmesan cheese. For the pomegranate, squeeze it over a strainer / sieve. Toss in the seeds and save the juice to make the vinaigrette.
6. Combine all ingredients to make the vinaigrette. Season well.
7. Pour the vinaigrette on top only when serving. You don’t want a soggy salad!