Honey Roasted Pumpkin, Cannellini Bean and Feta Salad

09/16/2019
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While seemingly fancy, this dish is superbly simple dish to whip up - the oven does most of the work!

Everyone needs a few killer salad recipes up their sleeves – and this Honey Roasted Pumpkin, Cannellini Bean & Feta Salad is gorgeous! The combo of sticky sweet caramelised honey pumpkin, salty feta and tart balsamic vinegar are a dreamy match.

Enter pumpkin – the star of the show

Not only is pumpkin delicious, but it’s super versatile. While ideal in savoury dishes, whether roasted, in soups or mashed, it’s sweet flavour makes it work well in desserts too – think classic spiced pumpkin pie (which I tried for the first time last month while travelling in the US – so darn good!).

Pumpkin is a bit of a mission to clean, but emphasis on the ‘a bit’ – don’t let that deter you. When working with a butternut pumpkin, as I did here, simply (and carefully) slice the whole pumpkin in half, remove and discard the inner seeds and then place the sliced wedge flesh-side down on a chopping board. Here, simply slice off the skin, and then dice the flesh into bite-sized pieces – easy peasy!

Roses are red, pumpkins are orange…

The lovely deep orange hue of pumpkin is due to the plant based pigment beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Studies have shown vitamin A to be a key player in immunity, healthy eye sight, immunity and skin health, working as a powerful antioxidant helping to neutralise free radical damage (1).

Get a little creative in the kitchen…

…by toasting your nuts! This salad includes toasted pine nuts and, while you can skip this step, toasting helps intensify the flavour of the pine nuts and adds a glorious crunch to each mouthful.

It’s really simple to do – just place the nuts in a dry frypan over a medium-low heat and stir frequently until they begin to colour a light golden brown. Toasting using a pan is quicker than an oven, although the downside is the nuts may quickly burn if you don’t keep an eye on them – so in other words, don’t multitask!

Honey Roasted Pumpkin, Cannellini Bean and Feta Salad

Author Danijela Unkovich
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Rating:

Ingredients:  

  • 1 pumpkin around 1 - 1.2kg before preparing
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp runny honey
  • A sprinkle salt
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 75 g crumbly feta cheese
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tin cannellini beans
  • A squeeze lemon juice

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Prepare pumpkin - scoop out the inner seeds and discard, chop pumpkin into small chunks and slice off skin. Aim for pieces to be similar sized.
  • Place pumpkin into a mixing bowl. Mix together 1 tbsp of olive oil and the honey. Drizzle the honey-oil mixture over the pumpkin and use hands to evenly coat each piece. Place pumpkin onto a baking tray and lightly season with salt. Aim to keep each piece of pumpkin a little space out to encourage caramelisation.
  • Roast pumpkin for around 40-50 minutes or until soft on the inside and caramelised on the outside. Once cooked remove from oven and leave to cool.
  • Place a small fry pan onto the stove and turn onto a low-medium heat. When the pan is warm add the pine nuts and toast until lightly browned. This may take a few minutes - make sure to keep and eye on the pan and jiggle it while toasting to help them brown evenly and not burn.
  • Open tin of cannellini beans, and drain into a sieve. Run with water for a few moments to remove any canning liquid.
  • Place baby spinach into a bowl/on a salad platter. Add the roasted pumpkin, toasted pine nuts cannellini beans. Crumble over the feta cheese. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and mix well. Serve with a few lemon wedges to squeeze over. Enjoy!

Notes:

Vegan? Skip the feta cheese and replace the honey with maple syrup.
Dairy-free? Skip the feta cheese.

 

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  1. I tried this salad tonight – SO delicious! Can’t wait to have it again for lunch tomorrow, haha.