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Author Notes: I first heard of making a salad inside a hot, roasted pumpkin from the Argentine chef, Francis Mallman. He actually roasts his in a campfire! My version of this unusual salad is streamlined for the home cook. Enjoy this wonderful comfort food on a cold day. Makes enough for a light meal, or use it as an impressive starter in a larger feast. NOTE: You can make the salad with any gourd that is in season - pumpkin, acorn squash, etc. I used acorn squash because of the small size and quicker roasting time. I first made this dish for my blog Global Table Adventure, where I cook one meal for every country in the world, A-Z. - Sasha (Global Table Adventure)
For the Salad
- 2 Acorn Squash
- splashes Olive Oil
- pinches Salt
- pinches Pepper
- 1 bunch Baby Arugula
- 8 ounces Bucheron - aged goat cheese (or substitute chèvre)
For the dressing
- 1.5 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1.5 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Cut pumpkins in half and remove seeds and strings. Brush cut ends liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 45 min-1 hour, or until a fork pierces the flesh with no resistance.
- Meanwhile, whisk together ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small bowl. I used an immersion blender to emulsify and “puree” everything together. You can also add everything to a blender or food processor and get the same result.
- Transfer roasted pumpkin to serving plates. While still steaming, fill the cavities with crumbles of goat cheese and then baby arugula.
- Add vinaigrette to taste and toss, being sure to scrape pumpkin flesh into salad as you toss. Eat immediately.
- NOTE: I suggest letting guests assemble their own salad at table. This is a fun and interactive first course. Provide a shallow bowl to hold the pumpkin and 2 small spoons per person so that they can smash the ingredients together themselves.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Halloween Treat