See, I actually do know what a salad is.
And yes, I’m bringing you another pumpkin recipe. Please don’t hate me if you’re getting sick of it by now cause I still have more pumpkin coming. It’s only the first week of November though, so it’s cool right? We’re good? K, thanks.
Growing up, I never realized that people actually ate pumpkin as a vegetable and not just an ingredient for their favorite orange pie. In fact, the inside with all the sticky stringiness used to make me gag whenever we carved pumpkins. That’s understandable, don’t you think? I mean, a carving pumpkin is a whole different animal than a young, sweet sugar pumpkin. If you ask me, the small ones are indistinguishable from any other sweet squash. I’m learning to love em.
This salad was originally going to include craisins and bacon until I realized we didn’t have any of the former and decided I’d prefer to go meatless and make it more of a side dish. If you feel like it though, add both of those things to this because they’d be yum! I really wanted to do feta in this too, but I’ve never been able to find it here because the cheese selection offers pretty slim pickins, whamp whamp whamp. It’s getting better though, I’m just thankful they’ve started making cheddar that’s available locally.
So, salad is one of the things that I feel always looks prettier when you allow each component to visually shine. That just doesn’t happen when you toss it all in a bowl and throw it on a plate. What I’m saying is that I probably wouldn’t serve it as pictured to a 7-year-old. Not that I know any of those that would even get near a salad, but hypothetically speaking, I usually go with a more chopped salad approach for serving. The pumpkin skin is completely edible but not everyone is into it so feel free to peel the skin before roasting or before adding to your salad.
Also, you can replace the pumpkin with any winter squash you like such as acorn or butternut squash. Another also, you can roast the seeds of any of those for putting on top of this yummy salad.
I love this combo and the peppery flavor of the arugula goes really well with all the toppings. Personally, for actually eating it, I’d prefer it would you like some toppings-with-your-mountain-of-arugula? style because I love arugula! This is possibly my favorite autumn/winter salad ever.
- 1 small sugar pumpkin, washed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups fresh arugula leaves
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 4 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup cooked garbonzo beans
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinager
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Heat oven to 400F (200C) and use a large metal spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp of the pumpkin. (Rinse and save the seeds for roasting) Use a sharp knife to cut slices of pumpkin, about 1-inch thick.
- Place pumpkin slices on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and rub on both sides of pumpkin. Season with salt and roast for 20-25 minutes until fork tender.
- Spread the rinsed seeds out on a towel and pat dry. Toss in a bowl with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on a second baking sheet lined with foil. Roast in oven with the pumpkin for about 10 minutes, stirring halfway, until toasted and crisp.
- Allow the roasted pumpkin to cool a bit while you prepare the salad.
- Toss salad ingrdients together in a large serving dish and top with roasted pumpkin seeds and warm pumpkin slices (you can peel and/or chop into bites first, if desired).
- Whisk ingredients for vinaigrette in a small bowl until completely smooth and drizzle over salad or serve on the side.