Pumpkin and blue cheese salad

Pumpkin and blue cheese? 

You hear me right! Pumpkin and blue cheese. Hear me out, I know squash and pumpkin are usually paired with goats cheese and you’re right they make an amazing flavour combination. But there is just something about the blue cheese in this recipe that I love. The squash has been honey and rosemary roasted so its beautifully sweet and herby, the wholegrain mustard dressing is sharp and peppery and the blue cheese adds a wonderful depth of flavour.

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In my opinion us Brits don’t eat enough squash and pumpkin. Especially pumpkin, its something that we associate with halloween, we buy one to carve, throw it out on November 1st and don’t see another pumpkin until next October. But it shouldn’t be like that. They make fantastic sweet and savoury dishes, can be chipped, mashed, roasted or purred in a pie. So this is my celebration of the underrated pumpkin!

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Ingredients – for the pumpkin

  1. 350g Pumpkin cut into 1-2cm cubes (or butternut squash if you can’t find pumpkin)
  2. About half a bulb of garlic, separated into cloves. But don’t peel.
  3. 1 large sprig of rosemary
  4. 1 tablespoon honey
  5. cracked black pepper
  6. salt
  7. olive oil

Ingredients – for the salad

  1. 85g blue cheese (whatever kind is your favourite)
  2. 150g baby spinach
  3. 30g pinenuts
  4. 30g pumpkin seeds

Ingredients – for the vinaigrette 

  1. 2 1/2 tbsp vinegar. I used white wine vinegar but apple cider or any nice vinegar you have would be good. Just not malt or white.
  2. 1tbsp dijon mustard
  3. 1tbsp wholegrain mustard
  4. 1 clove roasted garlic (use one you roasted with the squash)
  5. 1/2tsp fine chopped rosemary
  6. salt and ground black pepper
  7. 45ml olive oil

Method – for the pumpkin 

  1. Place the pumpkin in a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil, just enough to coat it. Add a few good grinds of  salt and pepper to taste and a few rosemary leaves and mix gently so everything coats the pumpkin evenly.
  2. Spread the pumpkin evenly onto a baking tray and add the garlic cloves, its important not to peel the garlic as it will burn not roast, we want it to develop that lovely sweet roasted garlic flavour.
  3. Strip the leaves from the rosemary stem and sprinkle over the pumpkin. Drizzle the honey over the pumpkin and garlic.
  4. Roast at about 180C/gas mark 4/356F for 30 min. Once soft inside set aside to cool whilst you prepare the salad and dressing.

Method – for the vinaigrette 

  1. Using a mortar and pestle crush the roast garlic and rosemary into a paste. Pop the garlic out of the skin first and just use the soft flesh.
  2. In a small saucepan whisk together the honey, vinegar, both mustards. Add the garlic and rosemary mixture and bring it to the boil over a medium heat stirring frequently for a few minutes. Remove it from the heat and add the olive oil, salt and pepper. whisking gently.
  3. set aside to cool

Method – for the salad 

  1. In a salad bowl, add the pumpkin, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds. Crumble in the blue cheese.
  2. Give the dressing a final quick whist then drizzle over the salad and serve.

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And its as easy as that!

If you don’t like blue cheese, you can substitute for any kind of soft textured cheese you like. Adding red onion would also be a great idea (I don’t like onion so I alway leave them out). Red bell peppers either roasted or raw would also be amazing with this recipe.

If you make this recipe let me know how it turns out by tagging WhatsEatingManchester on your social media!

Sarah x

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