I always have a bout of what I call ‘food depression’ when I come back to Australia after being in KL. I tend to be less excited about food, I lose motivation to cook and I just generally lose interest in anything that doesn’t resemble nasi lemak, roti canai, chicken rice or wan tan mee. I know, I know, and I frickin’ love Australian produce, but I think it’s the reality of having to commit to just one plate of food. Asian food is so much about choice, and lots of it. Or maybe it’s the whole not covered in grease, not deep fried and you know having to actually cook stuff yourself thing.
But it’s probably the best time to come back to healthy eating. Summer is upon us and there are berries, asparagus, vine-ripened tomatoes that are some of the best in the world . Check out EPIC farmers’ market for some heirloom tomato varieties, alternatively, the supermarket Kumato or black tomato has pretty darn good – it’s like a concentrated tomato. I’m getting sidetracked here, clearly, none of those made it into this salad. What this salad does have on it’s side though is simplicity, can’t-stuff-it-up-goodness and the ability to be thrown together while cleaning the house/fridge/doing general life admin.
The sweetness of spiced roasted pumpkin, salty Meredity Dairy goat’s curd, crunchy pine nuts, the zing of good balsamic and some green things chucked in for good measure. Don’t even bother dirtying a dish to make the dressing, just drizzle the olive oil and balsamic right over the salad – it’s that easy. Just make sure to use a good quality balsamic vinegar, which will have a natural sweetness, or a caramelised balsamic which is like the cheat’s version.
Make sure you roast the pumpkin for long enough so that the edges are browned; pumpkin tastes better charred. Trust me.
- ½ butternut pumpkin
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground paprika
- 200g rocket, rinsed
- 50g goats' cheese
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 40ml extra virgin olive oiil
- 10ml good quality balsamic vinegar, or caramelised balsamic
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- Peel the butternut pumpkin, remove the seeds and roughly cut into 2cm chunks.
- Place on a baking tray, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle the ground cumin and paprika over the top. Bake for 30 mins or until browned. Add the pine nuts to the baking tray and bake for a further 3 minutes - alternatively, just toast them in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Place the rinsed rocket in two bowls, top with the roast butternut and crumble over the goats' cheese. Sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts.
- Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar.