Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Maple Dressing

A few weeks ago we attended the Naming Ceremony of our friends’ brand new beautiful baby on a gorgeous sunny day in October. She was officially given her name at the bank of Clear Creek in Golden—how appropriate since her sweet name is Brook. We were all asked to give a blessing to baby Brook and without hesitation I bestowed on her the love of food and cooking. The celebration was followed by a beautiful spread of dishes in their backyard. I brought a salad to share and now would love to share it with you. I dedicate this recipe to baby Brook, as her day was my inspiration and may she always adore the food the seasons bring to us.

My focus for this dish is on the delights of the end of summer and the beginning of fall’s harvests. Roasted bell peppers & green beans remind us of summer. The pomegranates & roasted pumpkin seeds are to celebrate autumn.

To make this salad, I would recommend prepping all of the roasted vegetables the night before and allow them to cool overnight. Layer and dress the salad just before serving. Whole Foods and other groceries seem to be supplying us with ready to eat pomegranates, but if you would like to take the time to deseed the jeweled fruit yourself there are directions below. See my previous blog for directions on roasting pumpkin seeds.

Roasted Pumpkin Maple Salad

4-6 servings

Roast the pumpkin and prep the veggies first (night before is ideal):

1 lb pumpkin, deseed, rinse and reserve the pumpkin seeds

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

1 tbls olive oil, divided

2 large yellow or orange bell peppers, cut into 1-2 inch chunks

1 lb green beans

For the Dressing:

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tbls maple syrup

1 tbls apple cider vinegar or balsamic

1/4 cup olive oil or pumpkin seed oil

4 cups baby spinach

4 cups spring greens

1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds*

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds or 1 small pomegranate** see note about deseeding a pomegranate

4-6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled slightly (or more to taste!)

Best to prep the vegetables several hours before to allow them to cool, I make them the night before.

Preheat the oven to 425. Peel and chunk the pumpkin into 1-2 inch cubes. Spread the chunks on a large roasting pan. Sprinkle with the seasonings, salt and 1 tbls of olive oil. Toss lightly to evenly coat. Place in the oven and roast for 15-25 minutes until the chunks are slightly golden and tender. Remove and cool.

Toss the bell peppers and green beans with the remaining olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Spread out on a roasting pan and roast for 12-18 minutes until golden and tender.

To make the dressing:

Place the pumpkin seeds through the vinegar in the blender. Blend until the seeds are smooth. Slowly drizzle in the oil in a steady stream to emulsify the dressing.

For the Salad:

Layer the salad in a large salad bowl. Start with a few cups of the spinach and spring greens. Top with the roasted bell peppers, roasted green beans, pomegranate seeds, and roasted pumpkin chunks. Crumble on part of the goat cheese, sprinkle on pumpkin seeds, and drizzle on the maple dressing. Continue layering until all of the ingredients are utilized. Be sure to have enough pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, goat cheese, and dressing to top the final layer.

*See my blog on Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
**For Deseeding a Pomegranate:

Be sure to wear an apron or clothes you do not mind getting splashed with red staining juice. I am typically a mess when I do this so please be advised! Take a large pomegranate and cut down the middle in half. Work over a bowl of water and gently pull apart the flesh of the pomegranate, shake out the seeds and allow to drop to the bottom of the bowl of water. The excess membranes will float to the top. Once all of the seeds have been removed, scoop off the floaters. Drain off the water and enjoy your yummy pomegranate seed jewels.


Xerxes said...

I loved this salad and I'm sure Brook will too when she gets her choppers.

Jenna said...

i love love love roasted veggies on salad, great idea to roast pumpkin, never done it, but we eat winter squash once a week (in the winter, ha!) thx for visiting my blog. did you include this in the POM recipe contest? it's over now, but if not, you should next time, looks beautiful!