The Pumpkin turns into a Prince
The combination of pumpkin and sun-dried tomato is really remarkable. The cream cheese brings in a creamy element, the rocket contributes to the freshness, earthiness, and peppery element of the salad. The toasted almonds adds a crunch, and the heat of the chilly flakes lifts the whole dish.
If you know you’ll be under a lot of pressure to prepare a salad for Friday night’s dinner party, this is a really basic deconstructed salad to prepare, but very compelling in flavour. A bonus is that you can start prepping the day before your dinner party. Adjust the recipe according to the number of guests, there really is no wrong or right when it comes to the ingredients.
Pumpkin, ever so Versatile
Pumpkin is such a versatile vegetable that can be eaten as a gluten-free, paleo carb. The size and the variety of pumpkin does not matter. It is up to you and what you prefer. For me it was about what locally produced pumpkin I could get my hands on in Lagos. All over Lagos you see these cute little pumpkins. Now if you are a lover of all things miniature like me, these little pumpkins sold by the buckets will make you go all ‘goo goo ga ga’ and ‘look at this little cutie’ in your best baby talk. These little pumpkins vary in size. Some are small like oranges, some are larger like sweet melons. You can see some examples of the pumpkin sizes the previous blog post – First Month in Lagos, Nigeria. Sometimes, but not often, you will see full-sized pumpkins the size of large watermelon. These are usually pre-cut into smaller pieces like slices of watermelon.
You can use any pumpkin you like for this recipe, but the one I used was a small pumpkin that was easily cut without dislocating my shoulder (still waiting for our container with our sharp knives to arrive). 😉
Cut the pumpkin lengthwise into halves. About 2 – 3 cm slices. I prefer to keep the pumpkin in whole slices because I personally feel it looks more appealing and modern. You are welcome to cut the pumpkin to your liking. You know that the pumpkin slices are done roasting when the inside and the skin can be easily cut. And yes, you can actually eat the skin with the flesh – no need for wastage!
Easy as Follow Your Heart
You will see that there are no measurements next to the ingredients, this is because the recipe can be adapted to the amount of guests you will be feeding. You just follow your heart and your hand! If you would like less of the sun-dried tomato pesto, you just add less. The same goes for all the other ingredients. The suggested amount is really just an estimate, you can double or half the salad as you wish. This salad (as per the photos) would be a decent size for 4 guests as a main meal, or 6 guests as a side dish.
Hope you find so much joy in eating this salad as I did!