Monday, November 23, 2009

Maple Roasted Pumpkin Salad

When's the last time you put pumpkin in your salad?

Yesterday? Really?

Wow! Until we ate it at the Squash Tasting, we never thought about adding pumpkin to our salad before, but that's exactly what makes this salad unique. There are a lot of wonderful flavors in this salad that makes it superb, but pumpkin is definitely the most unusual ingredient of them all!

Even though the pumpkin appears to take the spotlight in this salad, ALL the other flavors blend together beautifully to create the most peculiar, yet spectacular rainbow of flavors.

Not convinced? You don't like pumpkin??! Here's a crazy idea - leave out the pumpkin altogether and substitute apple instead...fresh cut apples. Apples would mingle perfectly with the feta, arugula, toasted pumpkin seeds and toasted garlic and lime dressing. AND... leaving out the whole "roasting the pumpkin" step would make this a quickie in the kitchen. Of course, you may have to rename the salad, but we don't want you missing out on this salad altogether if you have an issue with pumpkins - the dressing is soooo good!

Whichever way you go, go to the kitchen and create this salad for your next dinner - you'll fall in love with the rainbow!

Maple Roasted Pumpkin Salad

1/4 Cup Pumpkins Seeds
One Pumpkin (3-4 pounds) peeled and cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
6 Garlic Cloves, unpeeled
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Course Ground Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoon plus one teaspoon Pure Maple Syrup
3 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
One Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1-1/2 Pounds Arugula
6 Ounces Feta Cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread pumpkin seeds on rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until fragrant and starting to brown, 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

On that same baking sheet (lined with foil - trust us!) toss the pumpkin with 2 tablespoons olive oil, unpeeled garlic, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender - about 30-40 minutes.

Remove garlic cloves from sheet pan. Set aside. Drizzle pumpkin with 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup; toss to coat. Return to oven and roast, tossing occasionally until glazed, about 5-10 minutes more. Let cool.

Squeeze out roasted garlic and mash to a paste. Transfer to large bowl. Add lime juice, mustard, and remaining one teaspoon maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk constantly as you add remaining oil. Set dressing aside.

Add arugula and pumpkin and toss to combine to combine. Serve salad sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds and crumbled feta.

Serve it up and eat it up and be prepared to be impressed!


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