Try this Roast Pumpkin, Spinach and Feta Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing for your next Sunday lunch! Terrific as a side or as a meal, this is a really magical combination of flavours.
I want to regale you with tales of how I always make this Roast Pumpkin, Spinach and Feta Salad for lunch with the girls. How perfect it is for a lazy weekend get together because it’s make ahead and a crowd pleaser because it’s got enough oomph to be a meal in itself whilst still being healthy and gluten free too. (Who else needs to cater for varying diets at get togethers??)
I’ve even recommended this to numerous friends who have come to me asking for ideas for make ahead lunch recipes.
But truthfully, I have never made this for my friends. I can’t ever embellish about what I’ve made for friends because weirdly, some of them actually read my blog and they would call me out. Some of these friends are serious corporate types, jet setting around the world, taking important meetings and working on top secret projects. It amuses me no end that in between reading board papers and information memorandums, they read my posts as I dribble on about whatever deliciousness I’m sharing on that day and Dozer antics. Te he he!!!
Today’s deliciousness -> This Roast Pumpkin, Spinach and Feta Salad that I’ve never made for them.
This is a really terrific combination of flavours, and I think of this as quite a classic salad. I’m sure I picked it up from a Women’s Weekly magazine many years ago.
The roasted pumpkin is sweet and juicy, the feta adds pops of salty creaminess, the pine nuts add a warm, earthy crunch, the freshness from spinach, all lightly dressed with a Honey Balsamic Dressing. You really don’t need that much dressing for this salad, just enough to coat the baby spinach. Plus, I don’t know if it’s just Aussie baby spinach, but dressing just never sticks well to baby spinach.
So I really mean it when I say this salad is light on the dressing!
I know pine nuts are quite expensive so are a bit of an indulgence, but you don’t need much. You can substitute it with other nuts, but if you’re making this to impress guests, it’s worth using pine nuts. No other nuts have that same soft, creamy crunch and the distinct flavour of…. well, pine nuts. 😉
This is not a difficult salad to make but I have a few tips that I’ve picked up over the years, like roasting the pumpkin so it’s golden but still holds its shape rather than turning into mush.
I usually serve this at room temperature but it’s great warm too. Also, rocket lettuce (arugula for those on the other side of the pond) works well with this if you want a bit more of an edge to it. I like using baby spinach because the flavour and texture is quite soft, unlike other lettuces that are really crunchy.
Good way to kick off a new week, with a healthy salad! Giving myself a pat on the back. 😉 – Nagi x
Try this Roast Pumpkin, Spinach and Feta Salad for your next Sunday lunch! Drizzled with a Honey Balsamic Dressing, this is a magical combination of ingredients. I usually serve this at room temperature but it's also great warm. Recipe VIDEO below. Serves 2 - 3 as a meal, 4 - 5 as a side.
- 600 g / 1.2 lb pumpkin (after peeling), cut into 3cm / 1.25" cubes (Note 1)
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2.5 tbsp / 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup / 35g pine nuts (Note 2)
- 150 g / 5 oz baby spinach leaves (4 handfuls)
- 60 g / 2 oz feta , crumbled (or more!!)
Preheat oven to 220C/430F (standard) or 200C/390F (fan/convection).
Toss pumpkin with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on baking tray, bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip, then bake for a further 7 - 10 minutes until golden but not mushy. (Note 3) Loosen pumpkin with egg flip (it can adhere as it cools), then if serving salad at room temperature, leave to cool.
Shake Dressing in a jar. Taste and adjust to taste. I like it a bit sharp because it balances out the flavours in this salad.
Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until light golden and it smells nutty. Remove pine nuts from skillet as soon as it's ready.
Place Spinach in a bowl. Drizzle with a bit of dressing then toss.
Add pumpkin, just a bit of feta and pine nuts, then GENTLY BRIEFLY toss just to disperse the feta. (If you toss vigorously, the feta can make it look messy).
Transfer to serving plate. Sprinkle over remaining feta and pine nuts. Just before serving, drizzle with remaining dressing (dressing doesn't stay on baby spinach well, so worth drizzling at end). Serve!
1. You can use any pumpkin or squash for this recipe.
2. Pine nuts are expensive but worth using in this recipe, it's the perfect finishing touch However, you can sub with any other nuts of choice. Chopped almonds and macadamias are great.
3. Pumpkin turns to mush if baked for too long. You don't want mush in your salad. So keep an eye on it - it should be tender with a nice golden surface on at least 2 sides (i.e. the sides that were in contact with the tray during baking). And also, loosen pumpkin from tray using an egg flip / spatula when you take it out of the oven - if you don't do this while hot, it might stick to the tray.
4. Nutrition per serving, assuming 4 servings and that all the dressing is consumed. Reality is that most of the Dressing ends up at the bottom of the bowl because dressing doesn't stick that well to baby spinach. So actual calories will be less than this.
Roast Pumpkin, Spinach and Feta Salad recipe video! PS That pumpkin Dozer gets at the end is raw. RAW. 😳
LIFE OF DOZER
Contemplating whether this meatless meal is worth begging for.