Everyone needs a few killer salad recipes up their sleeves - and this one is gorgeous! The combo of sticky sweet caramelised honey pumpkin, salty feta and tart balsamic vinegar are a dreamy match together. While seemingly fancy, the dish is superbly simple dish to whip up too - the oven does most of the work!
Enter pumpkin - the star of the show
Its deep orange hue is due to the presence of the plant based pigment beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Aside from being a key player in healthy eye sight, skin and immunity; this nutrient is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight damaging free-radicals within, which otherwise cause accelerated ageing - for outer beauty and skin health, eat your colourful fruit and veggies!
Get a little creative in the kitchen…
…by toasting your nuts! While you can skip this step, toasting helps intensify the flavour of the pine nuts and adds a glorious crunch to the dish. It’s really simple to do - just place the nuts in a dry frypan over a medium-low heat and stir frequently until they begin to colour a light golden brown. Toasting using a pan is quicker than an oven, although the downside is the nuts may quickly burn if you don’t keep an eye on them - so in other words, don’t multitask!
Honey Roasted Pumpkin, Feta and Spinach Salad
1 butternut pumpkin (around 1.5kg before preparing)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp runny honey
Sprinkle of salt
4 cups baby spinach leaves
75g crumbly feta cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
A squeeze of lemon
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Prepare pumpkin - scoop out the inner seeds and discard, chop pumpkin into small chunks and slice off skin. Aim for pieces to be similar sized. Place pumpkin into a mixing bowl.
3. Mix together 1 tbsp of olive oil and the honey. Drizzle the honey-oil mixture over the pumpkin and use hands to evenly coat each piece. Place pumpkin onto a baking tray and lightly season with salt.
4. Roast pumpkin for around 40-50 minutes or until soft on the inside and caramelised on the outside. Once cooked remove from oven and leave to cool.
5. Place a small frypan onto the stove and turn onto a low-medium heat. When the pan is warm add the pine nuts and toast until lightly browned. This may take a few minutes - make sure to keep and eye on the pan and jiggle it while toasting to ensure the pine nuts brown evenly and don't burn.
6. Place baby spinach into a bowl/on a salad platter. Add pumpkin and toasted pine nuts. Crumble over the feta cheese. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vingear, and mix well. Serve with a few lemon wedges to squeeze over. Enjoy!
NOTES + SERVING RECOMMENDATIONS:
Turn this into a balanced meal by adding your pick of protein-rich food. I love tinned butterbeans/chickpeas or grilled free-range chook.