When choosing which pumpkin to carve this year, let me suggest a pie pumpkin, because I've come up with an ingenious way to have your jack-o-lantern and eat it too.
For your next October dinner party, start your meal with a seasonal salad complete with an edible centrepiece component — a curry-roasted baby jack-o-lantern. Spiced and roasted until fork tender, the pie pumpkin is easily sliced at the table and served with a healthy kale salad topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and crumbled goat cheese.
This salad can be dressed well before serving so it’s ready to go when you want to serve.
Kale, goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seed salad Photo by Paul Lillakas
Roasted Baby Jack-o-Lantern Salad Centrepiece
1 baby (pie) pumpkin
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp curry powder or Indian curry paste
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 bunch green kale
1/3 cup goat cheese crumbled
1/4 cup hulled toasted pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sunflower oil
1/8 tsp salt
PREHEAT the oven to 350F. Prepare curry oil by mixing desired curry seasoning with coriander, sunflower oil, salt and pepper.
CUT out the top and bottom of the baby pumpkin on inward angles so cutout circles fit nicely back into the pumpkin without falling in. Generously rub the inside of the pumpkin with the curry oil and use remaining oil on the outside. Reassemble the pumpkin.
ROAST pumpkin on a baking sheet for 1 hour.
TEAR kale leaves into bite-sized pieces discarding stems. In a large bowl, massage the kale to bruise the leaves.
WHISK the cider vinegar salt and oil in a small bowl to create the dressing. Dress the salad 15 minutes before serving.
SERVE the salad family style topped with goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve the roasted pumpkin on a wooden board in the centre of the table. Easily cut slices at the table and serve on the side of the salad.
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