I guess I`ll have to admit it anyways, I`m in a really long roasted pumpkin salad phase in my life. It just feels like it never gets old. It probably will at some point, but let`s just enjoy it for the moment. The whole thing started in December, when I tried the delicious kabocha squash for the first time. I had to realize that pumpkins can be really different even if the orange flesh of them look all alike. It can vary from sweet to almost neutral and from creamy to watery and the kabocha was far the tastiest I tried so far.
This salad is so easy to prepare, I tend to bring it to work almost every week a few times in the past months. You can cook a big batch of chickpeas ahead and use it during the week or just take it easy and simply open a can. You can vary the proportions depending on your current mood. For a more filling salad just double the chickpeas or for a bit sweeter craving just toss in some extra pumpkin.
Kabocha pumpkin originates from Japan, its flesh is sweet and moist yet not watery. When cooked in water the pumpkin would lose a bit from the taste and becomes moister, the flesh becomes evenly soft so this method is best for making a puree or creamy soup. Baking however concentrates the flavours and infuses the pumpkin with the spices and oil rubbed in, deepens the flavours and creates a soft, almost creamy texture. I use this method for my pumpkin hummus as well (also one of my new favs, maybe I will dedicate an article to the exotic spicy pumpkin hummus as well).
Ingredients (for 6):
- 1 kabocha pumpkin
- 2-4 cm fresh ginger peeled and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon caraway seed
- 2 tablespoon pumpkin seed
- 100 g fresh mixed salad
- 100 g feta cheese
- 200 g cooked chickpeas
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dark honey
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and start preparing the pumpkin. Mix the spices and the oil in a big bowl. Wash and scrub the pumpkin and cut it into 2 centimetre thick strips (no need to remove the skin). Tip it into the bowl and coat the slices with the spicy oil. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the pumpkin on it. Bake for 20 minutes and then let it cool down slightly (10 minutes). In the meantime prepare the rest of the salad.
Heat up a dry pan and toast the pumpkin seeds for 2 minutes. Mix the oil, vinegar and honey for the dressing and toss with the salad. Arrange the salad and chickpeas on 6 plates, place the pumpkin slices on top and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and pumpkin seeds.