This Roast Pumpkin salad is tastier than most because of one simple ingredient.
It is perfect to accompany a festive holiday dinner, barbecue or even serve this salad as a complete light meal. Do you want to know what makes this salad so good? Read on.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Salads used to be boring but not anymore! With flavors that dance in your mouth, this Roast Pumpkin salad will excite even the most ardent salad haters.
It’s true! The extra flavor and sweetness comes from caramelization of the pumpkin and the onions. Combined with acidity in the honey, mustard dressing, this salad recipe has a perfect balance of flavors.
In Australia “pumpkin” is any type of pumpkin
- Queensland blue
That’s just to name a few. BUT I believe in the US what I call “pumpkin” is called butternut squash. So, if you are in the US, you need to buy butternut squash.
Plus the special ingredient is homemade caramelized onions which add an amazing depth of flavor to this salad.
Obviously, adding feta and pepitas can never be a bad thing. Plus this dressing is the perfect balance of flavours – acidity of the red wine vinegar, slight sweetness from the honey and the creaminess of the Dijon mustard. Actually this dressing would complement steamed fresh green beans as well.
I can’t take credit for this clever and tasty addition to Roast Pumpkin salad. I have to admit, it’s my talented cousin-in-law who first roasted onions and added their goodness to this salad.
When an onion is roasted or fried gently, the natural sugars are caramelised and intensified resulting in extra deliciousness. By adding the caramelised onion to the salad some amazing complex flavours develop. Such a simple ingredient that adds the va va voom to this salad.
While I like to roast the onion with the pumpkin for convenience, another way is to fry the onion gently in a little oil in a frying pan.
Can this Roast Pumpkin salad be prepared ahead of time?
Because this Roast Pumpkin salad is served at room temperature, the pumpkin and onion can be roasted well in advance. In fact, the pumpkin and onion can be left at room temperature for a few hours. However refrigerate if you wish to keep the roasted pumpkin and onion for longer.
As well, you can assemble the Roast Pumpkin salad an hour or so before and keep covered in the refrigerator. Drizzle with dressing just before serving.
Roast Pumpkin salad is one of the most popular salads I make. There is no meal that isn’t improved with a platter of Roast Pumpkin salad. Whether it’s a festive holiday meal, the barbecue you’ve been invited to or a picnic with friends, this salad is perfect.
For a complete meal, why make roasted butterfly chicken while you have the oven on? And prepare a meal for your family and friends.
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Roast Pumpkin salad
For the salad
- ½ red onion sliced
- 5 cups chopped pumpkin cut into cubes (see notes)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- 3 ½ oz (100 grams) feta cheese
- 6 cups (180 grams) baby spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoon pepitas
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt to taste
Roast the onion and pumpkin
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180ºC. Line a baking tray with non stick baking paper.
- Place onion and pumpkin on lined baking tray then drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Toss to coat onion and pumpkin.
- Roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- Turn pumpkin and rearrange onion so that it is will cook evenly.
- Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked through.
- Remove and allow to come to room temperature.
- In a jar put all the dressing ingredients except the salt.
- Put the lid on the jar and shake dressing to combine well.
- Season with salt to taste.
- On a large plate arrange baby spinach leaves.
- Scatter on roasted onions and pumpkin, tucking some under the leaves.
- Crumble the feta over the salad and sprinkle with pepitas.
- Drizzle over some of the dressing. Remaining dressing can be served separately.
- Pumpkin in Australia is butternut squash in the US. So if you hail from the US, use butternut squash. Aussie use your favourite pumpkin!
- I don’t like to toss this salad because the pumpkin and feta can break up quite easily. Just arrange on a serving platter and offer extra dressing to diners who want more.