This is a rich roasted vegetable salad featuring pumpkin that is just the right combination of sweet and sharp. It makes a beautiful side dish at a BBQ served chilled, or is a soothing winter meal in itself served warm with crusty bread.
2 cups peeled, cubed pumpkin
1 cup fresh beetroot, peeled and cubed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped finely
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 cups fresh broccoli
1 (400g) tin of chickpeas
125g feta cheese
For the dressing
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons runny honey
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Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (fan bake) and roast the pumpkin and beetroot in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil with dried basil until it is browned and cooked through - around 25 minutes.
While the veges are cooking, gently fry the onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft. it is important not to let this brown as it will make the salad bitter.
Remove the veges from the oven when cooked, remove from pan, salt lightly and leave to drain on paper towels.
Bring a pot of water to a strong boil and blanch the broccoli for about 1 minute, until tender but not soft. When bright green remove from the heat and run cold water over it to stop it cooking further.
Combine the roast veges, onion and garlic and broccoli in a bowl; stir in the chickpeas then crumble the feta cheese over the top.
To make the dressing, whisk all the dressing ingredients together and pour over the top of the salad. Very gently fold the salad together with a wooden spoon. The beetroot may turn the feta a pink colour if it is left to stand, but this can look quite pretty!
Serve the salad chilled in summer and warm in winter, with a dollop pf plain unsweetened yoghurt or some sour cream.