It’s difficult to bring yourself to eat a salad during the winter months, but if you treat your winter vegetables with a dash of spice, you will look forward to eating them. Roast pumpkin with cumin and sumac to give it a caramelised sweet and citrusy taste. Cumin has been attributed special powers as at one time it was thought of as being lucky and helping romance to flourish – a cupid spice! It certainly is a good source of iron and soothes the digestive system.
This is a colourful, versatile and highly nutritious salad with watercress and spinach (full of iron), goat’s cheese (protein), pomegranate seeds and satsumas (rich in vitamin C).
Calories per serving: 354
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
150g/5¼oz pumpkin (cut weight), peeled and cut into 1cm/½in slices or 2.5cm/1in cubes
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into small wedges
½ tbsp ground sumac
salt and freshly ground pepper
For the dressing
juice of ½ large orange (freshly squeezed)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp chilli (red pepper) flakes
a pinch of salt, or to taste
For the salad
50g/1¾oz baby spinach
½ a small bag (50g/1¾oz) watercress leaves
2 satsumas, peeled and broken into segments
30g/1oz pomegranate seeds
75g/2¾oz/¹⁄³ cup soft goat’s cheese
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and as soon as the seeds start to sizzle add the pumpkin and cook over a gentle heat for 5–7 minutes.
Add the onion wedges, season with salt and pepper, then stir in the sumac, turning the vegetables well until they are coated. Gently fry for another 5–6 minutes until the pumpkin and onion are soft and caramelised.
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and whisk well. Set aside.
Warm a pan over a low heat then add the remaining 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and dry-fry for 3–4 minutes. Take off the heat and grind in a pestle and mortar. Set aside.
Scatter the spinach, watercress leaves, satsuma segments and pomegranate seeds on a plate and place the pumpkin on top.
Crumble over the goat’s cheese then drizzle over the dressing. Sprinkle the roasted cumin over the top and serve.
Use clementines, tangerines or even apples if you prefer instead of satsumas.
Substitute butternut squash, raw beetroot or sweet potato for the pumpkin if you feel like a change.
The featured recipe is from ‘Spice yourself Slim: Harness the power of super spices for well-being ad weight-loss’ by Kalpna Woolf, published by Pavilion Books. Photo credit to Clare Winfield
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