Pumpkin and feta salad with the yum pumpkin

Roasted pumpkin and feta salad

Yellow pumpkins feature prominently during the harvest season. Not only is it a tasty  vegetable into which we can infuse warm flavours but it’s also considered very auspicious to consume during the harvest festival ,known as Sankranthi or Pongal. The yellow pumpkin or arasanikkai as it is known in my state of TamilNadu is a plump round fellow that also features in the Halloween tradition in the west !

The pongal hamper minus the main pongal ingredients !

The pongal hamper minus the main pongal ingredients !

My lovely mum and sister ramya ,send me a pongal hamper every year with blessings for the harvest season and for a year filled with harmonious prosperity. The yellow pumpkin is a very prominent feature of this huge hamper ! Therefore I make sure it is cooked without fail ,every year for the lunch on Pongal day !

It’s sweetness absorbs all kinds of strong flavour additions very well. Pumpkin pies loaded with cinnamon is a treat that my sister in law Priya makes every year and is absolutely delicious ! Pumpkin soup is a big favourite of mine in the soup category and it just sings with the addition of chilli and garlic ! This year for Pongal day lunch ,we decided to deviate from a traditional South Indian lunch and feast on a lighter meal . The pumpkin ,however had to feature and was non negotiable….for me !!! That’s how this roasted pumpkin salad happened. After doing a quick run through of my refrigerator and finding feta ,the memory of Nigella’s pumpkin salad flashed in my mind. Being hard pressed for time to go through her actual recipe ,I went ahead ,making it ,my way and hence I give you this altered version.

 

Salad in the roasting tray

Salad in the roasting tray

The family, I must say ,aren’t pumpkin aficionados like me ,so I was a trifle nervous….. Huge sigh of relief that it went down quite well ,so…now, this recipe can  be an addition to my list of salad sides. Thanks again to mum ,for the beautiful coconut shell bowls with the metal coating which illuminated the golden pumpkin beautifully !Happy me !!! 😉

Considering this ingredient is easily available everywhere , I suggest you do try it out. The salty feta is just right for the sweet concentrated flavours of the roasted pumpkin and the chilli and lime round it all off perfectly. Yummy yummy !!!

 

Viola !

Viola !

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Instructions

  • 1. Cut the pumpkin into cubes. you can leave the skin on if you prefer and push it aside while eating or peel it beforehand.
  • 2. Place the cubes spread on a lightly greased baking tray
  • 3. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the pumpkin cubes and drizzle with the olive oil
  • 4. Mix it all together to coat evenly.
  • 5. Bake in a moderate oven for half an hour to 40 mts until the pumkin is well roasted ,soft and golden
  • 6. Cut the feta into even sized cubes ,similar to the size of the pumpkin
  • 7. Slice the onion into very fine slivers and place in a dish
  • 8. Pour the lemon juice over the sliced onions
  • 9. Add the chilli flakes to the lemon juice and mix well . Cover and set aside to marinate for 30 mts.
  • 10. In a pan ,over low heat ,lightly toast the pumpkin and sesame seeds until crunchy-for about 1 mt or so. Set aside to cool.
  • 11. Once the pumpkin is roasted to your liking ,place it in a serving platter or bowl.
  • 12. Add the feta to the roasted pumpkin.
  • 13. Scatter the marinated onion slivers evenly over the top. Drizzle the lemon and chilli juices over the pumpkin.
  • 14. Using your finger tips ,loosely sprinkle about the toasted seeds.
  • 15. Give it all a light tossing and serve .
  • 16. It's a great accompaniment to grilled meats or a simple bowl of garlic and herb spaghetti.

About Chef

Shanthini Rajkumar

Hello ☺ ! Welcome to Pink lemon tree. A suggestion that has turned into an immensely satisfying connect with foodies from near and far. Best described as a foodie mom ...