Sam’s salad: roast carrot and squash with orange, pumpkin seeds and goat’s cheese

Sam’s salad: roast carrot and squash with orange, pumpkin seeds and goat’s cheese

By
From
The Sunday Night Book
Serves
2
Photographer
Patricia Niven

Sam is a great friend who is always highly appreciative of whatever I cook for her. She loves a risotto, but her second favourite is a goat’s cheese salad – and she made me promise that if such a thing made an appearance in my book I would name it after her! Her favourite version is with beetroot, which you could easily use instead of the squash, but I was aiming for a wintry salad here, full of rich tastes and warm colours. I absolutely love rainbow carrots – they give such vibrancy to any dish, I think, but you could of course substitute regular carrots.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
40g pumpkin seeds
400g squash, butternut is easiest to find, but I also like gem, onion or Crown Prince
150g rainbow carrots
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 sprigs of thyme
1 large orange
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
2 large handfuls mixed salad leaves
60g soft fresh goat’s cheese
sea salt
black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Toast the pumpkin seeds on a small baking tray in the oven for about 4–5 minutes while it’s heating – keep an eye on them as they burn easily. Toss them in a little salt while they are still hot.
  2. Use a large sharp knife to cut the squash in half, then scoop out the seeds and cut into more manageable pieces to peel – a small sturdy knife is generally best for this, as squashes tend to have very tough skins. Once peeled, cut the flesh into 2 cm chunks and put in a large bowl. Peel the carrots and cut into 2 cm chunks, then add to the bowl. Pour the olive oil into the bowl, add the thyme and toss everything together. Peel the orange and segment it over the bowl, catching any juices, and then squeeze any remaining core into the bowl too. Season the vegetables well with salt and pepper. Tip the lot out onto a large non-stick baking tray and spread out evenly. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the squash and carrots are tender and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
  3. When you are ready to serve, tip the vegetables into a large bowl and lift out the thyme. Add the vinegar and salad leaves, and mix briefly. Crumble in the goat’s cheese, then divide between two plates and scatter with the pumpkin seeds.
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