Fresh pear with roasted pumpkin and kabocha and butternut squash, topped with peppery watercress, drizzled with nutmeg vinaigrette, and sprinkled with crunchy, candied pumpkin seeds… Excuse us while we wipe the drool from our chins.
This delicious, pumpkin-inspired dish comes from the kitchen of Chef Aaron Wright and The Tavern at Lark Creek in Larkspur, California.
Roasted Pumpkin Salad
Time-saving tip: Purchase peeled, pre-cut squash and pumpkin.
Roasted Pumpkin and Kabocha and Butternut Squash
- 1 kabocha squash
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 sugar pie pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
- ½ cup grape seed oil
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Peel squash and pumpkin. Cut each in quarters and remove seeds by using a spoon.
- Place prepared pieces in bowl. Coat with oil and season with pumpkin spice and salt.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in a 350 degree oven until you can easily push a skewer through them. (About 45 minutes to an hour.)
Candied Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 ½ cups water
- Canola oil
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- Salt, if desired
- In small pot, bring water and sugar to a boil.
- Add pumpkin seeds. Cook seeds until coated with sugar, then strain off excess sugar water.
- Fill half of large pot with canola oil to 350°F. Make sure there is room in the top so it will not boil over.
- Fry seeds in small batches until golden brown.
- Remove from oil and spread seeds over parchment paper.
- Sprinkle seeds with salt and cayenne pepper.
- ¼ cup ginger (peeled, finely diced)
- ¼ cup shallots (peeled, finely diced)
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- Nutmeg (fresh, whole, mircoplane), to taste
- ½ cup grape seed oil
- Heat oil in saucepan and sweat ginger and shallots, stir frequently.
- When ginger and shallots are soft and translucent (but not brown), add vegetable stock. Reduce stock to 1/4 cup.
- Add vinegar and nutmeg, season with salt and pepper if desired.
Plating for 4 people
- 2 pears (peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1 cup cooked kabocha (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1 cup cooked butternut (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1 cup sugar pie pumpkin (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 2 bunches watercress (washed and trimmed)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil
- ½ cup nutmeg vinaigrette
- ½ cup candied pumpkin seeds
- Salt and pepper, if desired
- Place pear, pumpkin, and squash in bowl. Add 4 tablespoons nutmeg vinaigrette and mix till evenly coated. Place in center of plate.
- Place watercress in bowl. Season if desired. Add 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette and mix.
- Place watercress on top of pumpkin and pear, followed by candied pumpkin seeds.
- Finish dish with drizzle of pumpkin seed oil and nutmeg vinaigrette.