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)
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.