Pumpkin Salad with Pine Nuts, Pecorino and Balsamic Vinegar
Created by April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig
"I hate salads that are just lettuce," says April Bloomfield. She gives oomph to arugula with spiced pumpkin, pine nuts and Pecorino. Sweet, salty, tangy and nutty: This pumpkin salad is music for your mouth.
Servings: Serves 8
  • 1 small pumpkin or butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts , lightly toasted
  • Sea salt
  • Pinch ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 2 small bunches arugula , trimmed
  • 1 wedge Pecorino Romano cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • Aged balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 350°. Peel, seed and cut pumpkin into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Using a mini food processor or a mortar and pestle, chop or crush marjoram, garlic, kosher salt, coriander, cinnamon and cumin. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and mix to form a paste.

In a large bowl, toss pumpkin in spice paste. On a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet, spread pumpkin in a single layer. Top with another piece of parchment and cover pan tightly with foil; bake until tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until pumpkin browns lightly, 30 to 35 minutes; cool slightly.

Return pumpkin to bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Add pine nuts, sea salt and ground red pepper. Toss gently to combine.

Arrange 1/3 of pumpkin on a serving platter. In the bowl with the remaining pumpkin, add arugula, the rest of the olive oil and lemon juice, and sea salt to taste; toss gently. Top plated pumpkin with arugula mixture. Cut cheese into thin wedges or shave with a vegetable peeler and arrange on top of salad. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil to taste.


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