Harvest Salad with Pumpkin, Feta and Pumpkin Seeds
It is officially pumpkin everything season! Whether you are making pumpkin pie, using it as a flavor in your favorite drink or cooking the seeds, you can’t go wrong with this delicious food!
Pumpkin (winter squash family) are rich in folate, omega-3 fatty acids, copper, and vitamins B1, B3, and B6. These healthy compounds have powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. Winter squash is also diabetic-friendly because of its great source of healthy carbohydrates.
Roasting is considered a healthy cooking technique. During the roasting process, caramelization occurs. Caramelization is the browning of vegetables which brings out their natural sugars and adds a depth of flavor.
Pumpkin Seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which is good for brain and heart health.
Feta cheese and pumpkin seeds are great sources of natural sodium! By seasoning with fresh herbs and spices and allowing the vegetables to caramelize, you will not need to add any additional salt!
Key Techniques & Helpful Hints
- Halloween or Jack o lantern pumpkins are perfect for carving not for eating. Look for baking; “pie” or “sugar” pumpkins that have hard thick skins but have sweet flesh inside.
- Choose a squash that has a dull, deep-colored rind, is heavy for its size, and is free of moldy or soft spots.
- Winter squash can be baked, steamed, simmered, stewed, mashed and puréed. Try seasoning with honey, real maple syrup, tamari or soy, ginger, nutmeg, curry, or cinnamon. All complement winter squash well.
- Pumpkin seeds can be purchased for this recipe or see recipe below. Sometimes called pepitas, they are the edible seeds of a pumpkin or winter squash. Straight from the pumpkin, they usually have a white outer hull that is edible. The green pepitas at most stores have the outer hull removed.
Serving size- 5 Servings
For the Roasted Pumpkin:
- 5 pounds sugar pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons olive/canola oil (in mister bottle)
- 1 tablespoon McCormick salt free seasoning blend
For the Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette:
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons honey
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Dijon mustard pinch of ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive/canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
For the Salad:
- 7-1/2 cups arugula
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons hulled pumpkin seeds
- 5 tablespoons lemon thyme vinaigrette
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- To Roast the Pumpkin: Split the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half in half and then use a peeler to take off the skin. Cut each of the quarters into 1 inch across strips. Lay the pumpkin strips in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spray with oil and sprinkle with McCormick salt free blend. Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.
- For the Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette: Combine the lemon juice, balsamic, honey, Dijon, salt and pepper in the bowl. Slowly drizzle in oil whisking to emulsify. Finish with fresh thyme. Reserve cold until ready to use.
- For Family Style: in large shallow bowl arrange the arugula on bottom, top with roasted pumpkin slices, and sprinkle with feta and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
- For Individual Salad: toss 1-1/2 cups arugula, with 1 cup of the roasted pumpkin slices, 1- 1/2 tablespoons feta crumbles, 1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds, and 1 tablespoon vinaigrette.
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