A hearty roast pumpkin salad with aromatic Moroccan spices that is substantial enough to keep you satisfied and energized for hours.
This Moroccan roast pumpkin salad calls for one of my most favourite spice blends - Ras el Hanout which translates to "top of the shop". It originated in the Meghribi villages of North Africa and it is a complex and distinctive medley of fragrant spices. I have included my version of Ras El Hanout in case you are unable to find it.
How to Prepare Pumpkin
- First of all, wash the pumpkin to remove any dirt and grime then pat dry.
- Hold it carefully to prevent it from rolling while you cut off the ends using a sharp chef’s knife.
- Cut it in half horizontally through the middle to separate the bulbous bottom of the pumpkin from the slender neck.
- Stand up each half.
- Use a heavy-duty Y-shaped vegetable peeler to remove the skin until you come to the yellow flesh.
- Then cut the two ends in half again.
- Scoop out the seeds with a spoon from the bulbous end (you may keep them for roasting).
- Then cut the pumpkin according to your recipe – wedges, rounds or dice as we have for this recipe.
How to Make this Salad
Preheat your oven to 220°C (430°F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Place your diced pumpkin on your tray add the oils and Ras el Hanout and season with salt and pepper then mix until the pumpkin is well coated with the oils and spices.
Spread pumpkin out evenly on your prepared baking tray, making sure the pieces don’t touch so that they brown evenly, add two tablespoons of water.
Put your baking tray in the middle section of your oven and roast until soft and golden brown (approximately 30 minutes). Once it is roasted allow to cool slightly.
Place your sesame seeds on a lined baking tray and your pepitas on another and roast in your hot oven until golden brown - approximately 10 minutes.
Place all the dressing ingredients in a glass jar, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper then shake until emulsified.
Wash your baby spinach under cold running water, remove any damaged or wilted leaves then, either pat dry with a towel or spin in a salad spinner to remove excess water.
Add your cooled pumpkin to your baby spinach, add most of the pepitas and sesame seeds (reserving a few to add on top as a garnish). Pour your dressing over your salad, toss until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
Arrange your roast pumpkin salad in a bowl, scatter the reserved pepitas, sesame seeds and the pumpkin seeds (if you are using) on top. Serve when you are ready.
Can I Make It Ahead?
- You can roast your pumpkin a couple of days in advance and keep it in the fridge.
- Make your dressing 2-3 days in advance and keep it in the fridge, allowing it to get to room temperature before mixing your salad.
- A great salad to food prep into individual containers for the week, make sure your spinach is completely dry, add the pumpkin, sesame seeds and pepitas. Keep the dressing in a separate container to add to the salad just before eating so that your spinach does not become soggy.
Try it As a vegetable side
- This is a versatile recipe as you can serve it as a warming winter salad or as a vegetable side if you just leave out the baby spinach and the dressing.
A great salad to serve with winter roasts, great with tagines or even warming casseroles or stews. Try it with...
Similar Salads to Try
- Salad Spinner
- 1 butternut pumpkin (just under 1kg)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2-3 tsp Ras el Hanout (depends on how much spice you like)
- Sea salt & cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp pepitas (toasted)
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds (toasted)
- 100 grams rocket (arugula)
- ½ tbsp1 sesame oil
- ½ tsp1 Ras el Hanout
- 1 tbsp1 soy sauce (low salt)
- 1 tbsp1 olive oil (extra virgin)
- Preheat oven to 180°C degrees and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Peel your pumpkin, remove the seeds2, then cut into 2.5cm pieces, place them in a colander and wash them under cold running water, then drain well.
- Place your pumpkin on your tray add your oils and Ras el Hanout and mix well until the pumpkin is well coated with the oils, spice and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread pumpkin out evenly on prepared baking sheet, making sure the pieces don’t touch so that they brown evenly, add a little water.
- Put your baking tray in the middle section of your oven and roast until soft and golden brown (approximately 30-40 minutes). Once it is done allow to cool.
- Wash your rocket well and spin a salad spinner to remove excess water. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Place all the dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
- Add your cooled pumpkin to your rocket, add most of the pepitas and sesame seeds (reserving a few to add on top as a garnish). Pour your dressing over your salad, toss until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
- Arrange in a salad bowl, scatter the reserved pepitas, sesame seeds and the pumpkin seeds (if you are using) on top. Serve when you are ready.
- You will need to taste and adjust to your taste depending on the strength of the soy sauce and sesame oil that you use as soy sometimes gets a bit salty and the sesame oil can sometimes be overpowering.
- You can wash your pumpkin seeds and roast them to add to your salad if you like.