Sunday, December 9, 2012

Warm Pumpkin Salad with Farro and candied pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2C raw green pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. cayenne
¼ tsp. salt
1 small cheese pumpkin or butternut squash (2 lb.), unpeeled,
  quartered lengthwise
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1C cooked farro or barley
6-oz. piece parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese, shaved
5 oz. bag baby arugula
12 dates, pitted and sliced
1/2C fresh pomegranate seeds

2 Tbsp. pomegranate juice
1 Tbsp. sherry wine vinegar
1 tsp. honey mustard
4 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

For the pumpkin:  Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut pumpkin quarters crosswise into ½-inch slices and toss with one tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  Arrange slices in one layer in a shallow baking pan and roast until just tender – about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, cover with foil and keep warm.  Remove seeds.

For the pumpkin seeds:  Melt one tablespoon butter in a heavy pan over moderate heat, stir in sugar, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne and ¼ teaspoon salt.  Cook, without stirring, until caramelized.  Add the pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until the seeds are puffed and golden.  Transfer to a plate to cool.  When seeds have hardened, break up any clumps with your fingers.

Toss farro, arugula and dates with vinaigrette to lightly coat.  Divide pumpkin slices among plates and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.  Top with farro/arugula/date mixture.  Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and top with parmesan shavings.
MAKES:  6 servings

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