Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanksgiving time! Roasted Pumpkin Salad **Guest Spotlight**

The remainder of this week and into the next is all about a Foodie's favorite feast - Thanksgiving. My soon-to-be sister-in-law (holy hyphenations, Batman!) Michele invited me to cook up a feast with her in her lovely kitchen. We experimented with recipes, some tried and true, some new and not so true...

The menu:

Today, I'll start off with a first course - a Roasted Pumpkin Salad. Although the Italian family we were cooking for (including Michele) eat their salad at the end of a meal, I consider salad to be a beginning of a meal.

Keep checking back this week and next to see some great recipes and tips to try at your own thanksgiving feast! If you have a recipe that you're planning on making, send it to me - and if you have any pictures of your concoction, you may just be the very next Suburban Spoon Guest Spotlight!

Some tips I'd like to offer:

The pumpkin I used was something called a cheese pumpkin, purchased from a local farm called maple Acres. These aren't typical Jack-o-lantern pumpkins; they have a thinner, paler skin and are a lot shorter than the typical pumpkin.

While the flavor of the cheese pumpkin was great, preparing it (getting a knife through it to cut it, scooping out the seeds and all of its stringy innards, etc) was an awful pain. The flavor is so similar to its cousin squash, the Butternut Squash, I recommend using those instead if you are not up for a challenge.

Roasted Pumpkin Salad
  • 1 small cheese pumpkin, cut in half and seeds/strings scooped out
  • Seeds from pumpkin, rinsed free of all pumpkin strings
  • Salt
  • 1 bag baby arugula, washed and spun dry1 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 oz. Asiago cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • Dressing (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place hollowed-out pumpkins, face side down, on a cookie sheet. Roast for 40-50 minutes, you will be able to tell when the pumpkin is done, it is visibly softer and a knife can easy pierce all the way through.

Peel off skin and cut into 1" cubes.

For the pumpkin seeds, spread them out in a single layer on another cookie sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast for 10-12 minutes.

Place arugula in serving bowl and add cranberries and shaved Asiago. Add with pumpkin cubes and pumpkin seeds, and drizzle with dressing (recipe below).

For the Dressing

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
Whisk all ingredients until well combined. Taste and add any ingredient, bit by bit, until the dressing is to your liking.


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