Nice of you to stop by for maybe a minute or so. Was I not welcoming enough? Did my three batches of pumpkin cookies, one batch of pumpkin muffins and my huge pot of sweet potato soup not convince you to stay?!
Well, too darn bad! Because I am going to push onward and continue to whip up Fall dishes like this earthy maple glazed pumpkin salad despite your stealthy escape. I am going to win you over…I am sure of it. As sure as I am of loving chocolate and hating Mondays, I am positive that I can get you to plant yourself for at least a couple of months…illusiveness aside.
Readers, I see you have caught me in a bit of a tiff with Fall. I live in very sunny and HOT southern California. It was 90 degrees yesterday. It was sweltering, excessively dry, and I was TRYING to decorate my house for Halloween and TRYING to cook up a storm of Fall dishes for my mother’s birthday dinner.
I am so irked by the hot weather because I look forward to Fall like some might look forward to their birthday or Christmas. I am a Fall obsessed freak . There is no better season in the world. If you think differently, just challenge me to a duel or a debate or something.
I will win. I am ready and waiting for you.
Fall inspires big pots of soup, mounds of pumpkin anything and everything, AND it has Halloween smack dab in the middle of it…my favorite holiday.
This salad is my newest tactic to coerce Fall into staying put for awhile. I roasted a freshly cut pumpkin and a butternut squash basted with a little maple syrup, and then cubed it and sprinkled it over Mesclun and other fancy greens. The salad also got topped with crumbled aged blue cheese, toasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) and fresh, thin slices of red onion with an emulsified dressing of balsamic, olive oil and Dijon.
The richness of the roasted pumpkin along side the nice bite from the Balsamic with the crumbled blue just to give it an edge should be a grand convincing plea.
Don’t you think this pumpkin salad would convince anyone to stay for awhile? I should certainly say so, and if you are having guests for a Fall inspired supper, I urge you to make this salad. Even though it is a simple side dish, it just may steal the show and will most assuredly win over even the most illusive of guests.
Maple Roasted Pumpkin Salad
Inspired by Real Simple Magazine but changed up by me.
1 1/2 lbs roasted pumpkin or butternut squash (I used a 1/2 lb. of each and the combo was nice)
2 T. real maple syrup
6 c. mixed greens
1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
1 c. of blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 c. of toasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
Adapted from Real Simple Magazine October 2011 Edition
1/2 c. good quality olive oil
2 T. Balsamic vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 t. honey
salt and pepper to taste
For Roasting the pumpkin and or butternut squash: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a parchment sheet on top of a cookie sheet. Using a cooking pumpkin (sugar pumpkin), cut off the top and bottom portion of the pumpkin, about two inches on both sides to remove stem and base. Cut the pumpkin into four large wedges and scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp with a large spoon. For the Butternut Squash, simply cut off the top and bottom and then in half and scoop out the pulp. Use your muscles folks, getting the stringy pulp out ain’t easy. Brush with real maple syrup and season with salt and pepper.
Place the pumpkin/squash wedges flesh side down, rind up onto the prepared cookie sheet and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast for about 45 minutes – 1 hour. Check now and then by piercing the flesh with a fork. It should be just a bit tender.
Cool the pumpkin and remove the rind and the chop into 1/2 inch cubes. Toast your pepitas in a small pan for just 1-2 minutes on medium heat, tossing them with a wooden spoon now and then. Keep an eye on them, they burn easily.
Wash and dry your greens. Top the greens with pumpkin, crumbled blue cheese, sliced red onion and cooled pepitas.
For the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, dijon and honey. Season with salt and pepper.