We finally have one weekend where we’re not traveling this month so I was actually able to cook a few times! We had two potlucks this week — one on Tuesday (Happy Diwali, by the way! it’s a public holiday here in SG…) for our annual Thanksgiving dinner with lots of our American friends and one on Saturday to celebrate our friend’s adorable 2-year older daughter’s birthday.
I cheated and made the same dish twice…
It’s just so much easier to buy more of the same ingredient, and to have fresh in your mind how to make a dish quickly. Plus, honestly, people were raaaaaving about this salad –and I don’t think it was just out of kindness because it disappeared at Thanksgiving potluck within minutes. I definitely loved it! It’s hearty enough not to feel like a “light salad” so it’s great when you want a heartier salad.
I really have to credit G, who has a knack for coming up with good ideas and then somehow inspiring me to google it or create the recipe. This time, given I haven’t cooked in awhile, after he said “how about…a roasted pumpkin, pomegranate, feta cheese salad?”, I googled “pumpkin pomegranate salad” and voila! There it was.
So easy too–check it out.
First, chop up pumpkin into cube and carrots into slices. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven on 200C or 400F for 10 minutes, then turning them and roasting the other side for 10 min. I love roasted vegetables so inevitably a few make their way into my mouth rather than the serving bowl…
Meanwhile, wash arugula or wild rocket leaves (by the way, did you realize wild rocket and wild arugula is the same thing? I learn so much by shopping in groceries out here–they use different names than my Whole Foods back home for vegetables and I’m realizing at restaurants, I often thought I was eating something really fancy but it was things I bought a lot! Like arugula v rocket). Love my salad spinner–spin it dry, otherwise pat it down so it’s dry and the dressing can coat the leaves.
Also prepare the pomegranate seeds. Getting the pomegranate seeds out of the pomegranate and cutting the pumpkin/carrots are the most time consuming parts. In my case, I benefited from making it twice because the second time, I knew to enlist “sous chef G” and put him to work chopping and getting pomegranate seeds out.
Prepare the dressing. I always put my dressing in a glass jar so I don’t have it whisk it. Just shake it around to mix. It’s also good for potlucks because you can bring the jar and pour in the dressing right before serving so the salad doesn’t get soggy. These are all my ingredients and you can see the jar and dressing on the bottom right. The Clovis mustard is amazing by the way. I love Dijon mustard with the seeds, but apparently the smooth kind won the “Silver Medal Winner (Classic Dijon category) at the 2012 World-Wide Mustard Competition“. Who knew there was a mustard competition?! That’s awesome. This one has a kick…so much better than the you-know-what-brand kind that they serve at hotdog stands which are fluorescent yellow. eek. I bought this at Cold Storage here in Singapore, but online it says Balducci’s has it too.
Once the roasted pumpkin and carrots are ready, I usually let it cool down a little bit and then pour it into the arugula, put pomegranate seeds on top and crumble feta cheese on top. Of course, if you want the dish to be vegan, just leave the feta cheese out. Since this was to serve for others, I figured it’d be more “substantial” (and a bit prettier for the colors) to have it in.
Voila! Isn’t that awesome? So easy too (as long as you don’t mind a bit of chopping and pomegranate seed extraction). Awhile ago, back when xanga was still cool (hm, that probably reveals my age bracket, huh…), I wrote a xanga post about my obsession with pomegranates (NYC Chinatown has the BEST pomegranates for really good prices) and that for a period of time, I would discover random red splatters of juice all over my kitchen or dining table! I asked if there was an easier way to get all the seeds out neatly and someone told me to do it in a bowl of water so the seeds would float to the top, then use a strainer to get the seeds out. I never got into that though…I feel like the water will “dilute” my delicious seeds.
Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Pumpkin and Carrot Pomegranate Salad
3 cups cubed pumpkin or butternut squash (approx. 1.5 small butternut squash)
2 large carrots, sliced in circular rounds
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
3 cup arugula, loosely packed
1/4 cup crumbly feta cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard (less if you want less of a kick)
Preheat oven to 200C (400F).
After slicing the carrots and cubing the pumpkin/squash, toss in olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Put in a single layer on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes on each side.
In a serving bowl, combine pumpkin, carrots, arugula, pomegranate and feta. Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake it up to mix/emulsify. Drizzle dressing onto salad right before serving.
My google inspiration (love this blog too!) is from here.