Introduction: Spicy Goat Cheese and Pumpkin Salad

This salad is a meal for 3, or a starter for 6.

Gather your ingredients:

A half midsized pumpkin.
About 1/4 head of lettuce
3 slices of frozen white bread
1 clove of garlic, peeled
3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
A handful of pine nuts
100 g soft goat cheese
1 onion
1 apple
10 leaves of fresh mint
Fresh cilantro, a few twigs with leaves
1 rawit pepper, or any spicy pepper of about 5 cm
Tbsp of raw sesame seeds
1/2 Tbsp dried sage, or 3 leaves of chopped fresh sage
1 tsp cilantro seed powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 lemon
Black pepper
Sea salt
Olive oil
Half tbsp sugar or honey

Take out the frozen bread when you get to that point in the recipe.

Step 1: Prepping the Pumpkin

Preheat your oven to 200 Celsius or 390 Fahrenheit.

Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. You might save these for toasting in the still-warm-oven after roasting the pumpkin.

Peel and dice the pumpkin to 2,5 cm or 1 inch cubes. Toss in a baking tin.

Step 2: Roasting

Cut the onion in 8 parts. Leave a bit of the root part (harder part on the bottom) to keep the layers together. Add to the pumpkin. Also add the 3 garlic cloves in their skins.

Then drizzle royal amounts of olive oil over the pumpkin /onion. Add the cilantro powder, ginger powder, cayenne pepper, sesame seeds. Hussle it up so the spices and oil covers every part in the mix.

Put it in the hot oven, set it for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Croutons, or Crunchy Breadcubes

Grab the frozen slices of bread. Use the peeled garlic as a piece of chalk and chalk away on both sides of the bread slices. Then stack them and cut into strips (same width as the bread slices' thickness), then into cubes.
Add some olive oil to a hot pan and heat it until it's ready for frying.

Cut the dried pepper, toss the breadcubes and the pepper flakes in the pan and move them around. Add some extra olive oil to get a nice glossy crunch. Not too much, about 1/3 should have that transparent look.

Step 4: Prepare the Base of the Salad

Roast the pine nuts in a dry pan, keep moving it every 30 seconds over a medium fire.

Wash and dice the apple, 1 cm or 1/3 inch. Sprinkle with lemon juice and add to the lettuce. Cut the cilantro (with the stems) and mint and add to lettuce. Drizzle with some olive oil and mix it with your hands.

Step 5: Cool the Hot Stuff

When you have achieved a nice crisp and brown on the croutons, transfer to a plate. When the pumpkin has become soft and is showing caramelization, take from oven and let cool slightly.

Step 6: Finish the Salad

Put some of the salad base on each plate. Then take the roast garlic from the pumpkin mix and squeeze out the soft garlic into a bowl. Mash the garlic with a fork and whisk in some olive oil and lemon juice. It should not be sour, just a little lemon to give it a kick. Add some freshly ground pepper.

Step 7: Finalize and Serve

Carefully arrange pumpkin (try not to Mash the cubes), onion, croutons, pine nuts, goat cheese and some finely cut red pepper/rawit (I like it wíth the seeds). Then drizzle it some more with olive oil.

Finally take a teaspoon and drop little drabs of roast garlic/olive oil over the salad.


Cheese Challenge 2016

Runner Up in the
Cheese Challenge 2016