Roasted Pumpkin, Sticky Red Onion, Feta and Rocket Salad with Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Serves 4 as a side or 2 for lunch
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Our salads are always full of textures and flavour combinations to create a dish in perfect harmony. Here the sweetness of the pumpkin and onions, contrasts beautifully with saltiness of the feta and the bitter earthiness of the rocket. The crunchy pumpkin seed pesto adds welcome texture against the softness of the pumpkin and feta. Finished with a drizzle of the best olive oil you can afford, this is a perfect autumn lunch or side dish to a more lavish dinner.
You can use any pumpkin or squash for this recipe, each type has varying levels of sweetness, some may be best peeled so watch out if you’re using one with a super thick skin.
600g pumpkin, deseeded and cut into 2 cm wedges
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 red onions, peeled and cut into 6-8 wedges
3 tbsp liquid coconut oil
1 tbsp best quality balsamic vinegar
100g sheep feta, crumbled
2 handfuls rocket
Salt and pepper
Pumpkin Seed Pesto
50g pumpkin seeds
¼ large garlic clove crushed/finely grated
30g fresh parsley stalks and leaves
½ green chilli, chopped
½ lemon, juiced - helps to keep beautiful green colour!
60ml olive or rapeseed oil
¼ tsp salt
Generous grind of black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. In a medium bowl, add pumpkin wedges and 2 tbsp liquid coconut oil, chopped thyme and seasoning. Use your hands to coat the pumpkin and then place on the lined baking tray. Using the same bowl, add red onions, balsamic vinegar, remaining 1 tbsp liquid coconut oil and seasoning. Use your hands to coat the onions and then place onto the baking tray with the pumpkin. Roast for 35 - 40 minutes until the pumpkin is soft, you can test this using a cutlery knife.
2. Meanwhile, make the pumpkin seed pesto, add the pumpkin seeds to a pan and dry fry for a few minutes on a low heat until they just start to pop. Once cool, place the seeds in a food processor or nutribullet with garlic, parsley, chilli, lemon juice, oil and seasoning and blend to make a course pesto.
3. Once the pumpkin and red onions are soft and have taken on some colour, remove them from the oven.
4. To eat the salad warm, place some rocket on each plate, spoon on the warm pumpkin and sticky red onions, sprinkle with feta and dollops of pumpkin seed pesto. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a crack of black pepper.