When I dine out, especially at cafes and bistros, I have a habit of dissecting my meal and thinking of just how I can recreate it at home. Recently, I had lunch where on the menu as appetizer, was a roasted slice of pumpkin served with a salad. It was delicious!
Naturally, I had to figure out how I could recreate it at home. It looked simple enough and I balk at paying RM18 for a thin slice of pumpkin and some raw vegetables So, from memory, I assembled my version of the salad and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sure, its a little different but it was delicious all the same.
Serve it as an appetizer or as a main meal. and because I’m nice like that, I’m sharing my recipe here
Roast Pumpkin & Arugula (Rocket) Salad
- 1 pumpkin slice (leave the skin on to hold the shape)
- Arugula (Rocket) leaves
- Lettuce Leaves and any leaves you want in your salad
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Pesto sauce
- Pine nuts or sunflower seeds lightly toasted
- Salt, Pepper and Mixed Herbs to taste
- Pre-heat your oven to 200° for about 15 minutes
- Toss the pumpkin slices with some olive oil, sea salt, pepper and mixed herbs
- Lightly cover pumpkin slices with foil and place in oven at 200° for about 30 minutes. Check about halfway through to see if they are cooked. In the last few minutes, remove the foil and let the edges brown.
- Meanwhile, mix some olive oil with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper for salad dressing. Or use a premade french or italian dressing if you prefer.
- Dress your salad and assemble on plate. Serve with roasted pumpkin and a spoonful of pesto sauce and sprinkle over with the pine nuts or sunflower seeds.
Because this is not a cooking or a food blog, here are some beauty benefits of this dish:-
- Pumpkins are rich in beta-carotene which is an antioxidant. Its good for health and you know what that means. A healthy body means good skin.
- Pumpkin is very filling. So if you are trying to go on a low carb diet, I think this is a nice substitute. I didn’t realize it myself until I tried to eat 2 slices in one sitting. Surprisingly filling! The sweetness of the flesh is also a nice substitute for those who have a sweet tooth. Little wonder they use pumpkin in desserts too.
- Lots of greens make for a healthy gut. Lots of greens mean lots of fibre and that keeps your gut healthy. A healthy gut can also potentially mean lesser breakouts and better skin.
- Arugula (Rocket) leaves are very rich in vitamins. I love Rocket and I love liberal amounts of this spicy herb in my salad. Its now much easier and cheaper to get it locally so I’m very happy.
- Olive Oil is good for the heart. Olive oil is well documented as being good for overall health. I don’t use it in general cooking but its nice for salads and it was infinitely healthier than using butter in this recipe! Actually I would have used butter but I didn’t have any but olive oil is good enough.
Above all, its pretty delicious, if I don’t say so myself. I used to hate eating pumpkin. It stemmed from some sort of phobia as a kid (being served it too often) but now, I’m starting to enjoy it again in small quantities.
The pesto dressing is optional but adds a lovely flavour when paired with the roasted pumpkin. I eat the pumpkin skin and all, because its all so crispy and aromatic! The sunflower seeds or pine nuts too are optional but they are delicious to add a bit of crunch to the dish. It is fresh, easy to prepare and quick.
Do you like eating pumpkin? Would you try making this? I had a delicious crabmeat nicoise salad recently too. I might try to replicate that at home soon
Paris “Martha” B
Scrumptious Saturday: One day in a week where I indulge in my other love – food and cooking. Most food escapades are documented in my food blog but some of the more interesting ones will be shared here.