Tuesday 14 September 2010

September 2002 - Spicy Roast Pumpkin, Feta and Olive Salad

Goodness me it has taken a while to get started posting this month. It is almost half gone and I am just doing my first one. At least it is just the posting that I am behind with and not both posting and cooking. I have been cooking my way through another stack of back issues of delicious. magazine. Spring is well and truly the theme running through all of the September issues, even if it doesn't always feel so spring-like outside. There are some wonderfully light, fresh and tasty meals on offer. 

I have to admit that I struggled with something to make from this issue. Not because there wasn't much that I wanted to make but because I had already made so much from it already. Jill Dupleix's Scotch egg recipe is a winner. She uses a muffin pan to pack the mince mixture around the boiled eggs and then bakes in the oven. I really enjoyed them when I first made then and have made them several times since.

The "a-z ingredients" feature in this issue is iceberg lettuce. I had already made the San choy bau, which was lovely, Nasi goreng, which was terrific, and the Marinated lettuce salad, which seems rather old fashioned but was very nice. The only other option in this feature was iceberg wedges with blue cheese dressing. I have made something similar in the past so decided not to go with that one. 

I did consider making Nigella's Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova. I love pavlova and it sounds so luscious. Nigella's description of it makes it sound wonderfully rich and crisp with a chewy centre. I was having my grandparents around for father's day on the first Sunday of this month so thought that I could make it for that. However the prohibitive cost of berries at that time made me hesitate. With raspberries being $9 for a 125g punnet it is rather crazy. Blueberries were about the same price. Strawberries were much cheaper but I thought that the sweetness of strawberries might make the whole thing a bit cloying. There was, of course, the option of frozen raspberries but they would not look near as nice. Instead I decided to make a pumpkin pie for Father's day dessert and make something else from this issue. 

Since I had the pumpkin, butternut pumpkin, for the pie I decided to make Bill Granger's Spicy roast pumpkin, feta & olive salad. It was very good. Although a little bit more cumin and cayenne pepper would have been good as it wasn't quite as spicy as I was expected. I didn't have any spinach so used iceberg lettuce. I didn't use as much oil in the dressing either. I probably used 1/2 to 1 tbsp and I didn't bother with the shallot. I would definitely make this one again. 

Spicy Roast Pumpkin, Feta and Olive Salad

Serves 2
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 800g pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 100g baby English spinach leaves
  • 150g marinated feta
  • 20 kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped  shallots (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 220C. 
  • Place oil, cumin, cayenne, salt and freshly ground black pepper in a bag, add pumpkin cubes, hold closed tightly and shake to cover evenly. 
  • Transfer to a roasting tray and bake 30mins or until tender and caramelised. 
  • Combine dressing ingredients an a jar and shake until combined.
  • Divide the spinach leaves among 2 plates and scatter pumpkin, feta and olives over the top. 
  • Drizzle with dressing.

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