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Pumpkin, Cranberry & Almond Salad

This quickly made salad is perfect for any occasion or family gathering. It is not only nutritious, but it is also full of delicious flavours and textures. As a bonus, friends and family, who have specific dietary requirements, will also be able to enjoy it. It is vegan, gluten free and dairy free.
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish, Starter
Cuisine Australian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 283kcal
Author Alexandra

Ingredients

Salad

  • 500 g butternut pumpkin (squash) after peeling *
  • 20 ml olive oil extra virgin
  • 10 g flaked almonds
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries * slightly sweetened
  • ¼ cup mint leaves fresh
  • 50 g rocket/arugula leaves *
  • sea salt flakes and ground black pepper to taste

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

  • 60 ml olive oil extra virgin
  • 20 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon caster sugar superfine
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • sea salt flakes and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Pre-heat your oven to 200 Degrees C (400 F).
  • Prepare the ingredients for the Apple Cider Vinaigrette.
    In a small glass with a tightly fitting lid, add all ingredients and shake to combine.
    Taste the dressing and if the taste is not to your palate, adjust the ingredients accordingly until it has the balance you enjoy.
  • Peel the pumpkin.
  • Cut the pumpkin into 3cm/1” cubes.
    Wash and dry the pumpkin well.
  • Place the pumpkin in a bowl, toss well with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
    Turn the pumpkin onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
  • Roast the pumpkin in the pre-heated oven for 20-30 mins, turning once or twice, until the pumpkin is tender when tested with a skewer.*
  • Meanwhile, place the flaked almonds on a small baking tray and roast in the oven for about 4-5 minutes.*
  • Place the rocket leaves on a large serving platter.
    When the pumpkin is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes.
    Distribute the pumpkin on the rocket.
  • Evenly sprinkle with the cranberries, flaked almonds and mint.
  • Pour dressing over the salad, and serve immediately. 

Notes

*The butternut pumpkin, AKA squash, weighed about 540 gm before peeling.
*The pumpkin is easily peeled with a regular vegetable peeler.
*If it suits you better, you can make the roasted pumpkin ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Return it to room temperature prior to serving.
*Keep an eye on the flaked almonds – they tend to burn the moment you turn your back.
*My cranberries were plump and moist. If your cranberries are dry, you will need to re-hydrate them. Measure out the cranberries and put them in a bowl. Pour over hot water to cover them. Cover the bowl, stand for 20 minutes. Pour off the water and strain the cranberries.
*To make a larger salad, use a larger quantity of greens.
*I prefer to use caster/superfine sugar as it is easily dissolved. However, if you choose to avoid refined sugar, you could use honey, or, to keep it vegan, pure maple syrup.
*The nutritional data is per serving, based on 4 servings, and assumes that all the dressing is consumed. In actual fact, some of the dressing remains in the salad bowl so calories will be less than shown. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 519mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 1.4mg