Recipe: Roast Pumpkin + Cauliflower Salad with honeyed almonds
I can't describe to you all the incredible gift that this salad is. Our home-chef blogger Gabby has outdone herself with this one. When we sat down to our sun dappled luncheon a few weeks back my mouth exploded with the flavours in this salad. And it matches so beautifully with Gabby's Spring Chicken recipe followed up by the Rhubarb + Apple Cake. It could most definitely be served up as it's very own self-contained meal but there was something about it sitting on a table as part of a mini-feast that took it to the next level. Enjoy.
"This recipe is a roast pumpkin and cauliflower salad with fresh spinach and toasted honeyed almonds. Such lovely textures: the sweet flesh of the pumpkin (please leave the skin on: all the goodness is in here), the crunch of the almonds and fresh crispness of the spinach leaves. A quick vinaigrette brings it all together with a lovely lift. (The salad is perfect to serve alongside the chicken, or would be a lovely light spring lunch on it’s own, maybe with some goats cheese or feta crumbled over the top?) Add some crusty bread to mop up all of the delicious juices, take your dining table outside and you have a glorious Sunday Spring lunch to share with your nearest and dearest in the sunshine.
The three go hand-in-hand and present beautifully together.
- Gabby xx"
ROAST PUMPKIN + CAULIFLOWER SALAD WITH HONEYED ALMONDS
Makes: 1 large salad (4 people)
Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour
- 1.5 kg pumpkin, washed, sliced into pieces (keep skin on, see pic)
- 1 head of cauliflower, broken up into florets
- 2 teaspoons dried Zaatar (a Middle Eastern spice mix, you can substitue a teaspoon each of dried thyme, cumin and sesame seeds)
- 2 teaspoons Sumac (a sharp Middle Eastern spice with a deep vermillion colour: you can substitute 1 tablespoon of lemon rind plus a few generous grinds of extra black pepper.)
- Olive oil, approx 150 ml
- Salt and Pepper
- 250 g spinach leaves, washed
- 2 tablespoons organic dried currants
- 200 g raw, organic almonds
- 3 tablespoons organic honey
- 100 ml olive oil
- Juice of 1-2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, grainy or smooth
- 1 teaspoon organic honey
- Line a large baking sheet with baking paper and spread out the pumpkin and cauliflower pieces evenly. Sprinkle spices over, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake at 160 degrees Celsius fan (or 180 degrees C conventional) for 30- 40 minutes, or until pumpkin and cauliflower are just tender, and starting to turn a lovely golden brown.
- Remove from oven and set aside.
- For the honeyed almonds: line a small oven proof tin (a cake or quiche tin is perfect) with baking paper. Tip in the almonds, drizzle over the honey and turn the almonds over with a spoon to evenly coat with honey. Bake for about 15 minutes in a 160 degree fan oven/ 180 conventional, or until the honey is well melted and coating the almonds. Watch they don’t burn! Remove from oven and allow to cool. The honey will set like toffee, on the almonds. Not to worry: we’ll just break it up, like praline, over the salad at the end.
- To assemble: gently lift the pumpkin and cauliflower, piece by piece into a serving bowl which will hold all of the salad ingredients. The roast vegetables will be very tender, so handle carefully: you don’t want to end up with mush (though it will still taste good, it will look like baby food.)
- For vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl, or shake together in a clean glass jar with lid screwed on (tightly!)
- Put the spinach leaves on top evenly, pour over the vinaigrette, and gently toss the spinach leaves through the vegetables, using salad servers.
- Sprinkle the currants over the top.
- Break up the honeyed almonds and spinkle over the top, to serve.