I love this salad. I call it my “clean out the veggie drawer” salad. The ingredients below are a suggestion, they work. But you can ad lib by using whatever you have to hand. I get great satisfaction out of making a meal out of ingredients that were looking like they were ready for the bin. Roasting vegetables gives them a new lease on life and can turn the average into something simply stunning.
- 300gm peeled and diced butternut pumpkin
- 1 tblspn ground cumin seed
- Olive oil
- 2 red capsicum
- 1 eggplant
- ½ cup pinenuts
- 200gm baby spinach leaves
- ½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tblspns white wine vinegar
- ¼ tspn Dijon mustard
- Ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius (160 fan forced).
- Line an oven tray with baking paper. Place pumpkin on the tray and sprinkle with cumin. Drizzle with olive oil and a couple of pinches of salt. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until cooked and slightly crisp on the edges. Remove and let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, place capsicums on your gas flame and turn with tongs every now and then until black and charred. Alternatively, bake in the oven with the pumpkin.
- Remove and place in a bowl. Cover with clingwrap and allow to sit. This helps steam the capsicum and the skins will be easier to remove.
- Meanwhile, cut the eggplant into 3mm slices. Heat a grill pan and brush with a little oil. Cook eggplant slices in batches until cooked and charred on both sides. Cut into strips. Set aside.
- Remove clingwrap from capsicum and rub the skins off with our fingers. Remove and discard stem, seeds and membranes. Cut into strips and set aside.
- Heat a frypan to moderate heat. Add pinenuts and toast for 2 minutes, turning frequently, until starting to colour. Remove from heat.
- Make dressing:
- Place all ingredients in a jar with a lid. Close the lid and shake to emulsify. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Alternatively mix in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place pumpkin, capsicum and eggplant in a bowl. Add dressing and mix gently.
- Place spinach leaves on a flat plate. Top with dressed vegetables, pinenuts and chopped parsley.