Although pumpkin and beets might seem like an unlikely combination, I think you will be pleasantly surprised how well these two fall veggies go together," says Jodi Moreno of What's Cooking Good Looking. "The carrot ginger dressing pulls it all together beautifully. This is a fun and unique way to incorporate pumpkin into your menu at home."
For the Salad
- 1 small pumpkin
- 4-5 large beets (with green tops)
- A couple of tablespoons of grapeseed or vegetable oil
- salt & pepper
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 cup of cooked quinoa
- 1 large bunch of arugula, chopped
For the Dressing
- 1 cup of carrots, chopped
- 1/4 cup of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, sliced
- 1/4 cup (or 2 small) shallots, sliced
- 1 tablespoon of tamari (or low sodium soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons of brown rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup of grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 2-3 tablespoons of water
For the Salad
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
- Slice the pumpkin in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp. Spread the pumpkin seeds on a parchment lined baking sheet and remove any excess pulp. Drizzle with the vegetable or grape seed oil and season with the salt, pepper, and cumin. Toss to combine.
- Place the seeds in the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until they start to brown.
- While your seeds are baking, prepare the pumpkin and the beets. Slice the pumpkin into small wedges and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the wedges with a small amount of oil and season with salt and pepper.
- For the beets, remove the leaves and set aside until you are ready to assemble the salad. **A quick tip for handling beets so you do not stain everything red, is to wear disposable latex gloves and lay out a piece of parchment on your cutting board where you will be slicing the beets** Peel and slice the beets into square chunks or thin wedges. Place the sliced beets on a (separate) parchment lined baking sheet and brush with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
- When the seeds are done, remove and set them aside to cool. Crank the heat up a little to 400º. When the oven has reached this temp, place the pumpkin and the beets in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.
- While the pumpkin and beets are cooking, make the carrot ginger dressing and the quinoa. To make the quinoa, place 1/2 cup of quinoa in a small pot with 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, remove the lid, and allow the quinoa to cool down.
For the Dressing
- Place the carrots in a food processor and pulse a few times until they are shredded. Then add the ginger, garlic, shallots, tamari (or soy sauce), sesame oil, mustard, honey and vinegar. Pulse a few times until everything is combined. Then drizzle in the oil until everything is emulsified. Add a little bit of water to thin the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning to you liking.
- Once the pumpkin and beets are done, allow them to cool a little and then assemble the salad. Start by adding the ginger dressing to the quinoa. Stir to combine. Then chop up the beet greens (stems removed) and add them to the quinoa along with the arugula. Plate the quinoa, and top it with the beets, pumpkin seeds, and a couple of wedges of the sliced pumpkin. Drizzle a little more of the ginger dressing on top.
- Serve immediately, or you can make ahead and refrigerate all of the ingredients (separately) for a few days. If there is extra ginger dressing it will keep well refrigerated for about a week.