Pumpkins aren’t just for pies and Jack O’ Lanterns. They are just begging to be turned into delicious dishes.
Most recipes for pumpkin are sweet and sometimes overly so. I love to play with different combinations of flavors that speak to the season but with a new twist. Think sweet and spicy.
At my local YMCA (The Harris Branch) there is a great little café in there called Flavors. My friends kept talking about this fantastic salad they had with pumpkin in it. I thought it would be a great thing to make for you guys. I kindly looked at all the ingredients and came up with my own version. It is beautiful.
Roasted Pumpkin Salad w/ Arugula, Feta cheese and Pumpkin Seeds
1 Pie Pumpkin or Cut up Butternut squash
1 package of Arugula
Fresh crumbled Feta
¼ cup of toasted Pumpkin Seeds
½ cup Lemon Vinaigrette
You will need a pie pumpkin. They sell them in the produce department. I will warn you that you will need a chainsaw to cut into one of these things. I actually went into the garage to look for a saw at one point, gave up and just put the entire whole pumpkin into a 350 degree oven for a while to soften up so I could cut it up. Feel free to use the already diced butternut squash they sell instead. You will get the same flavors.
Once you have the pieces cut. You can drizzle them with olive oil, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Just enough to jazz it up a bit. Roast them for at least 30 min or so then let them cool.
To assemble the salad, just toss the fresh peppery Arugula, crumbled feta with the pumpkin. Then dress the salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette and then sprinkle the pumpkin seeds. You can either make your own or just buy them. I prefer the store bought ones for this recipe. I used both and found the ones I roasted to be a bit tougher to chew.
Enjoy. You will love the spicy pepper along side the sweet of the pumpkin and the saltiness of the feta.
Curried Lentils w/ Sweet Potatoes and Greens
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, Chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded if desired, then minced
4 to 5 cups vegetable broth as needed
2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
1 bay leaf
1pound Mustard Greens, center ribs removed
1teaspoon kosher salt,
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/3 cup finely chopped tamari almonds, for garnish (optional), available in health food stores
1/4 cup chopped scallions, for garnish.
1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
2. Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. (If lentils seem dry, add up to 1 cup stock, as needed.) Stir in chard and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and chard is cooked, about 30 to 45 minutes total.
3. Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Spoon into a large, shallow serving dish. Garnish with almonds if desired and scallions.
There are few times I try a recipe and I can’t tell if I am going to love it or hate it. I have made this two times in the last 10 days because it is so delicious. I had received both sweet Potatoes and Mustard Greens in my weekly delivery from Simply Fresh Charlotte so I started an internet search with those ingredients. This one from Smitten Kitchen came up and it had curry in it which I ADORE!!!
Fritz came home to the smell of this and was a happy happy man. He loves anything curry just like me. Like the pumpkin salad this one also has a spice to it that balances out the sweetness of the potatoes. My 5 year old was hoovering it down off our plates.
Hey Smarties, I am still on the hunt for the perfect Pumpkin Bread recipe. Share yours in the comment section for me.