This is my favourite salad. You can eat it on its own or as a side dish, use it as a quick weeknight meal or lay it out on your best crockery for a dinner party. Featured on our catering menus and often picked for weddings, it is easy and absolutely delicious.

I’ll lay out the method and ingredients for the ‘fancy’ version of the salad. and under ‘alternatives’ below I give you notes on what you can swap in and out, and what to do in order to speed it up for a fast meal.

Ingredients

  • One Jap pumpkin (also known as Japanese or Kent pumpkin, or kabocha) – cut into chunky uniform wedges (washed and with the skin left on). The picture shows 500grams of Kent pumpkin.
  • Rocket leaves
  • French shallots – peeled
  • Let them eat Hummus
  • One fresh red large chilli – finely sliced into rounds
  • Fresh coriander leaves – 1/4 bunch
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (fan forced)
  2. In a separate bowl, toss your pumpkin wedges and shallots in a good slathering of olive oil and large pinch of salt until coated
  3. Transfer into your best roasting dish (you can’t go past a Bessemer baking dish) to get the golden caramelisation that we need for the ultimate flavour
  4. Roast until golden (approximately 45 mins but keep an eye on them)
  5. Pick a shallow and flat crockery serving dish to lay the salad out on
  6. Arrange ingredients on your serving dish in the following order from bottom to top:

a) Rocket leaves
b) Pumpkin
c) Shallot
d) Dob (or plop – what a word) on your hummus
e) Sprinkle with the coriander
f) Sprinkle on the chilli

Alternatives

Pumpkin

  • Use whatever pumpkin variety you have
  • Peel and cut into cubes to speed up the cooking time
  • Use an air fryer to reduce the cooking time

Shallots

  • Replace with brown, white or red onion cut into chunky quarters
  • Replace with caramelised onion
  • I’ve even used Beerenberg caramelised onion but go sparingly (6 teaspoons)

Chilli

  • Replace with a chilli jam or similar relish

Coriander

  • For those of you who hate coriander, I’ve been told it is still amazing without it (courtesy of my brother who thinks coriander is offensive)

Rocket

  • Replace with another green salad leaf of choice – baby spinach works really well and I have tried it with mesculin as that’s what was in the fridge at the time.

IMPORTANT NOTES

Serves 2 – 4 people as a main and 4 – 6 people as a side, depending what else you are serving it with.
10 mins prep, 45 mins cook, 5 mins assemble

Enjoy!