Ballads of Salads! – Roast Pumpkin & Arugula

It’s theme week again! Momma was right when she said you should eat your greens. Featured this whole week will be an array of salads conventional and somewhat unconventional. Salad doesn’t have to be boring and salads are not always about leafy greens.

I would eat salads as my main meals whenever I could. It’s not about getting all posh-y or worse…DIET food, it’s just added variety. I don’t know about you but once in a while I long to be purged of meats but I still maintain that balance of adding some sort of protein in my salads.

I know in M’sia we’re pretty limited to the generic salad leaves like icebergs, butterheads, baby romaines and cabbages. But if you pay close attention, we do carry other varieties like arugula or wild rocket (my favourite), baby spinach, fennel, watercress and if you look really hard…endives and radichios.

Some people are rather intimidated by salad dressings, you just need to remember these basics, a salad dressing is usually;
1. Oil
2. Acid / Vinegar
3. Binder (to make the emulsion)

Of course, anything can be made into salads these days. Fruit salads might not require such combination of dressing so use with discretion. To prep for a salad dish, I would like to share with you;

My personal zero-tolerance rules for salads;
1. Dress your salads right before serving or eating.
2. Always shake out any excess water on your salads, do it manually or in a salad spinner. Dressings won’t adhere to wet salads and they taste horrible.
3. Wash your salads in a tub of water rather than harsh running water.

ROAST PUMPKIN & ARUGULA RECIPE

Ingredients;

Diced pumpkin, about 2/3 of a rice bowl
A bunch of arugula / rocket
Pumpkin seeds, when you buy a slice of pumpkin or half a pumpkin, save the seeds
Feta cheese
Salt
Black Pepper
Paprika
Lemon juice
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Steps;

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Toss your diced pumpkin in some oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Put them on a tray and roast them for about 20 – 30 mins or until they’re slightly soft.
2. Also toss you pumpkin seeds in a bit of oil (I toss them in the leftover oil coating of the pumpkin). Put the seeds on a piece of foil and cover them wrapped up like a package. This is because the seeds will ‘spit’ when roasting. You don’t want pumpkin seed bullets ricocheting inside the oven. Roast them in the oven too.
3. When your pumpkin and the seeds are ready, let it cool while you dress your arugula in a bit of oil, lemon juice and pepper. Toss it with the roast pumpkin. Plate together. Crumble feta on top and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds all over.
4. Eat while it’s still warm.

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