This autumn is only my second writing Coconut and Berries but I did read blogs for a few years before that so I’m fairly used to the pumpkin fever that takes over the blogosphere come October time.
Before that, pumpkins to me were simply Halloween decorations and it didn’t even cross my mind that you could eat the stuff, let alone in desserts! I finally took the plunge last year and was introduced to the deliciousness that is pumpkin pie and also discovered how well pumpkin works in baking- it keeps my Chocolate Pumpkin & Cranberry Muffins really rich and moist.
Canned pumpkin still isn’t the easiest thing to get hold of in England (though it is becoming more common) but I spied some whole pumpkins on my usual Sunday morning farmers’ market visit and thought I’d pick one up and join in the pumpkin fun.
FYI, you can definitely make your own pumpkin purée to use in desserts and baking. It’s hardly more difficult than opening up a can, probably cheaper, and some say it’s actually tastier.
But pumpkin is also delicious prepared as you would your favourite squash. Just dice it, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over a little seasoning and roast until sweet and tender.
The chunky cubes of pumpkin are lovely in this autumn kale salad, and with beans, toasted nuts and a simple dressing, you’ve got a substantial meal.
You can either briefly steam the kale or just massage it well with the dressing to soften it up before tossing with the other ingredients.
- 500g/18oz Peeled, diced pumpkin OR squash
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1/2 Bunch of kale, washed, tough stems removed and chopped into bite-size pieces (approx 125g/4oz when prepared)
- 1 C Cooked white beans
- 1/4 C (heaping) Toasted walnuts
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Maple syrup
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
- Salt & Pepper
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Toss diced pumpkin with 1 Tbsp oil, salt and pepper, spread on a baking sheet and roast for approx 25 minutes, stirring half-way through.
- Meanwhile, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and either steam the kale for a few minutes, just until it turns vibrant green, or massage with half the dressing (use your hands and be aggressive!) until it softens.
- When the pumpkin is ready, add to the kale along with half the dressing (if not yet added), beans, and the walnuts. Add remaining dressing to taste.
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a copy of “The Vegan Cookie Fairy’s Little Book of Chocolate”!
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