A friend asked me for this recipe recently and I thought I would take the opportunity to share it with you all, at the same time. I’m not even sure where the original idea came for this, perhaps from a mixed vegetable salad my Mum used to make (and still does a bit actually), but I’ve been making it for at least 5 or 6 years, and it always wins fans when its part of a meal. Slightly sweet (from the pumpkin), slightly salty (from the olives), slightly mushy(the pumpkin again), but also still with structure (carrots), and a little bit of pepper (courtesy of the basil). This salad is super simple, keeps in the fridge, and hits all the notes on your palate for a tasty dish.
Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Salad – serves 6
- approx 5 medium carrots (or 250g)
- 1 medium sweet potato (Kumera) (approx 500g)
- 1 medium-sized butternut pumpkin (approx 500g of flesh)
- 12 Kalamata Olives – pitted and sliced.
- handful fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
Heat your oven to approx 180C.
Peel, de-seed and cut your veg into approx 2cm cubes. I normally slice the carrots a little smaller as they take longer to cook.
Coat the veg in a bowl together in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a metal baking tray, not too over stacked so that the veg roasts until slightly crispy around the corners. This should take about 30-40 mins depending on your oven, and the size you cut your veg. Don’t mix them up too much as they are cooking or the pumpkin in particular will disintegrate.
When you veg is cooked, take it out of the oven and allow to cool completely. I would suggest over night in the fridge before mixing in the olives, basil and pine nuts.
When ready to put your salad together with the cold roasted pumpkin, carrot and sweet potato, wash and pick your basil leaves into small pieces. Halve your olives and cut into small bits. Slightly roast your pine nuts on a tray in your oven until they are just slightly turning golden. They will keep cooking when you remove them from the oven, particularly on a tray, so take care to get them completely off the heat when they are ready.
Like all my dishes, variety is the spice of life, so occasionally I will add rocket (arugula), or potato to the mix, or even try adding some fetta cheese. Don’t stress too much about the quantities. as long as there is a reasonable blend, I use what I have in the pantry, sometimes with more sweet potato, omitting the pumpkin…..
Happy Cooking, Leah