"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
Ingredients 1 small pumpkin or butternut squash (about 2 pounds)2 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves2 cloves garlic1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt1 teaspoon ground coriander1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/4 teaspoon ground cumin1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice3 tablespoons pine nuts , lightly toastedSea saltPinch ground red pepper (cayenne)2 small bunches arugula , trimmed1 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.