|green pumpkin or possibly Crown Prince squash|
I've invested in a pumpkin. And yes, invested is the right word. When a vegetable weighs 3kg and costs £7 from the greengrocer, it's time to spin a few dishes out of it. A bubbling vat of Moro's spicy pumpkin soup topped with cinnamon butter, toasted pine nuts and a swirl of garlicky yogurt (from Moro East) has only made an indent in the 'kin. It's a monster.
So day 2 of Pumpkinapalooza brings us to this unassuming little pumpkin, Feta and chickpea salad. It's partly inspired by a simple but delicious squash and chickpea salad I ate at French and Grace in Brixton Village last week (the new restaurant from Salad Club bloggers and supper-clubbers Rosie French and Ellie Grace.) And partly inspired by an incredible tapa of roasted sweet potatoes with pine nuts, red onion and Feta on the menu at El Parador in Camden. The salty cheese and caramelised sweet spuds melt together. It's insanely good. I think of it often. More often than is probably healthy.
You can serve this pumpkin salad warm or cold. The former works better if you like the pumpkin to soften the Feta a little. It can easily be adapted depending on what's languishing in your cupboards and fridge. I prefer the gentle sweetness of pumpkin, but butternut squash or sweet potatoes will work just as well, perhaps roasted with a little maple syrup. A few black olives would add a welcome briny note to the sweetness of the pumpkin, and of course there's chorizo if you need a little pig with your dish.
**27/10/11 an eagle-eyed reader has pointed out that what the greengrocer sold to me as a 'green pumpkin' is in fact a Crown Prince squash. They are very similar and you can use either pumpkin or squash in this dish. Explains why it cost £7 though!**
|pumpkin, Feta and chickpea salad|
Pumpkin, Feta and chickpea salad
Makes 2 huge portions or 4 modest ones
1kg pumpkin, peeled and de-seeded
400g tin chickpeas, drained
200g Feta, cut into cubes
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
large handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to season
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
Cut the pumpkin into large cubes (about 3cm). Add the diced pumpkin to a large bowl and toss with 2 tbsp of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Add to a large roasting tin and roast for 40 mins or until the pumpkin is starting to darken at the edges.
Drain the chickpeas and add to a large bowl with the warm roasted pumpkin (you can also leave the pumpkin to cool completely if preferred). Add the Feta, chilli flakes, lemon juice and another tbsp of olive oil and stir gently with a metal spoon to combine so the pumpkin doesn't break up too much. Garnish with flat-leaf parsley and serve.