More Buns & a Simple Salad

This really could have been just a quick tweet but as the bestie was keen for me to blog about a very simple but tasty pumpkin salad, I figured I’d add a quick post here and include my second gourmet bun as a bonus extra. Yay! *tumbleweed rolls across the screen*

I serve this salad to hubby mainly as an accompaniment to crumbed fish or steak. It’s easy to prepare but packs a whole lot of goodness into you, which I believe is what the bestie needs right now, given she is pregnant with her second baby and struggling to keep food down.

You can use either butternut pumpkin or Japanese pumpkin. The former is great for a more subtle salad but the latter gives you a lot of sweetness and flavour, especially after a roast in the oven. Dice up about a quarter of a Japanese pumpkin into small squares (or rustic pieces if precision is not your forte) and place them on an oven tray. Drizzle olive oil over the pieces and season to your liking (just salt and pepper suits me but some herbs could be nice). Let the pumpkin pieces roast for about 20 minutes in a slow-ish oven (let’s say 170C). If you like an even golden colour, turn the pumpkin pieces after 10 minutes. Towards the end of the roasting stage, throw in a small plate of pinenuts (you don’t need much and you can use walnuts instead if you like) on the top shelf and allow to gently toast. Keep a keen eye on the nuts! They do burn easily…

Once the pumpkin and nuts are roasted, allow to cool. Prepare a bowl of salad greens. Rocket and spinach is ideal but any mixed greens are fine. I am currently in love with Kumato grape tomatoes which are not as sweet as Momoko tomatoes but just enough to give the salad a tart edge. Once the pumpkin pieces are at room temperature, scatter over the greens and tomatoes. Add some shaved Parmesan on top and sprinkle with pinenuts. To dress the salad, prepare a small dish of extra virgin olive oil and add a tablespoon of good Balsamic vinegar. By good, I mean something that is older than 8 years of age that you did not purchase from Coles. Sorry to sound snobby but the real deal doesn’t really cost that much and lasts a good while. Blend the oil and vinegar well and pour over the salad.

As for my bun, it’s just a variation of what I baked some time ago (Caramellised shallot, provolone & kewpie mayo buns). This time I used onions sauteed in butter and Balsamic, oven-dried Kumato grape tomatoes, provolone and mayo. It wasn’t a bad combo either :D

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