Usually for a salad, we just toss ingredients together and mix a little dressing into it. Why not try something different this time? Pumpkin when roasted develops a lovely caramelised flavour which goes so well with spinach. It is healthy and at the same time tasty!
Sweet caramelised honey and sesame roasted pumpkin paired with creamy ricotta, leafy spinach, crunchy almonds and a lime dressing which cuts through the sweetness of the roasted pumpkin.
Ingredients: (Serves 4 people)
- Yellow Pumpkin- 500 g
- Spinach leaves- 4 cups; roughly torn
- Ricotta cheese- 50 grams or 1/4 cup
- Blanched almonds- ¼ cup
- Honey- 3 tablespoons
- White sesame seeds- 2 tablespoons
- Red chilli flakes- 1 teaspoon
- Olive oil- 4 teaspoons
- Neutral oil like sunflower or vegetable oil- 1 teaspoon
- Lime juice- 3 tablespoons
- Salt and pepper- to taste
Preheat oven to 200 °C. Peel and cut the pumpkin in ½ inch long pieces. Toss it with 2 tablespoons of honey, red chilli flakes, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil. Place the pumpkin pieces on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20- 25 minutes or until just tender but not too soft/mushy, making sure you turn the pumpkin at the half way point. Once baked, sprinkle with sesame seeds and place under a grill for a further 3-5 minutes. Remove and cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the blanched almond. Once toasted, roughly slice them. Wash and pat dry the torn spinach leaves. In a bowl, mix the remaining honey and lime juice. Whisk in the remaining oils and set aside. Season with salt and pepper. To a large bowl add the spinach leaves, roasted pumpkin, almonds. Dress the salad with the dressing, check for salt and season if necessary and place on plates.
Crumble some ricotta cheese on each plate, season with freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately. Note- make sure the spinach leaves are fresh, not very bitter and not having a lot stringy fibers.
A few health benefits of pumpkin and spinach-
- Pumpkins Keep Eyesight Sharp as they are rich in Vitamin A and carotenoids.
- Pumpkins are a great source of fiber and zinc
- It also provides skin health and protection
- Spinach is an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, iron, calcium, folate, vitamin B2, potassium and also vitamin B6.
- Spinach nourishes the eye and strengthens the bones