I’m not a salad fan, so when I’m asked to bring a salad to a function, I try to make it as tasty for me as possible. Eating a bunch of greens just doesn’t do it for me.
This is the salad that I came up with for Christmas day with my favourite ingredients, feta and pumpkin. I love the salty-sweet combo. We actually didn’t use pine nuts in the end as they were way too expensive and we were coming close to blowing our budget, so I substituted toasted slivered almonds instead. I think pine nuts would have been better. Also, the only rocket I could find was pre-packaged rubbish, so I skipped that too, but the peppery taste of the rocket would be a nice balance to the sweetness of the pumpkin and dressing.
The salad dressing was a honey balsamic dressing.
I made this the day before, so the pumpkin was cold. I just put everything in separate containers and built the salad just before serving, in order to keep the flavours separate. Don’t dress the salad until the last minute as it will make the salad soggy.
The only downside: putting the oven on to make a salad. The pumpkin roasted: we roasted.
1/4 – 1/2 pumpkin, cut into bite sized cubes
1 “fancy” lettuce or mixed lettuce leaves
bunch of baby rocket
handful of pine nuts
150g or so of feta cheese
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F). Toss the pumpkin in some olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for around 30 minutes or until browned and cooked through, tossing once during cooking.
- Lightly toast pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat and set aside.
- Wash and prepare salad leaves, drying them well. I never thought I would say this, but a salad spinner is so worth it here!
- Build your salad by tossing a little dressing with the greens. Taste and add more but don’t overdo the dressing – you don’t want to clothe your summer salad in heavy dressing :). Add the pumpkin and feta tossing slightly. Sprinkle with the pine nuts.
- Drizzle with a little more dressing and serve immediately.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.