a warm winter salad | roasted pumpkin + cauliflower brown rice salad

This roasted pumpkin salad is the perfect thing to bring when told ‘not to bring a thing’. So leave the Favourites at home and turn up with this impressive salad instead when invited to a friends place for a barbie. Goes down really well with any grilled meat, tastes delicious, looks great and is sure to make a statement.

An old friend of mine asked me to share a recipe for a lovely winter salad to take to a barbecue and this one’s perfect. Like most of my recipes, it’s easy to put together and apart from roasting the vege it can be made in next to no time at all.

I like to keep the pumpkin in rather large pieces with the skin on, but by all means feel free to chop it in to smaller chunks if you prefer. It’ll cook quicker but there’s something quite nice about those large individual serves of golden pumpkin. I love roasted cauliflower too and what did I do before microwaveable brown rice sachets were invented? Sure makes things easier.

I always have some nice caramelised balsamic vinegar and olive oil in the pantry for dressing salads such as this and love the locally made Morella Grove variety that Mum put me on to.

Tell me a dish that isn’t made better by some feta cheese crumbled over the top and the combo of the spinach, feta, pumpkin and tomatoes works every time.

So here you Bec. I reckon your mates will be asking you for the recipe if you turn up with this.

And of course, if you run out of time – showing up with a box of choccies and bottle of red always works a treat too.

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roasted pumpkin + cauliflower brown rice salad

Adjust the amount of ingredients depending on how many people you’re making this for and depending on what other dishes, if any, you’re serving it with.

A large chunk of a Kent pumpkin, skin left on and cut in to thin slices
A chunk of cauliflower, cut in to florets
1 x 250 gram packet of microwaveable cooked brown rice
1 x Spanish onion, chopped in to wedges
A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
A handful of walnuts
A handful of sundried tomato strips
A handful of baby spinach leaves
100 grams of feta cheese, crumbled
A good drizzling of good quality olive oil
A good drizzling of caramelised balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃.
  • In a large roasting dish lined with baking paper, lay the pumpkin wedges out in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 30 minutes* until one side of the pumpkin has cooked nicely.
  • Turn the pumpkin over and add the cauliflower and onion to the pan, drizzling with a little more olive oil over the top.
  • Roast for another 20 minutes or until the vege are all cooked nicely.
  • Cook the rice in the microwave for 90 seconds (or according to the packet instructions) and lay it out on a large serving platter.
  • Layer the cherry tomatoes, walnuts, sundried tomatoes and spinach leaves out over the rice. Season with salt and pepper and toss using your hands.
  • Next, layer the pumpkin pieces on top and scatter the cauliflower and onion over.
  • Top with the crumbled feta and drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Serve warm as is for a delicious meat free Monday meal or as part of a barbecue with some grilled meat.

Lo’s tips

  • *It’s hard to say how long exactly it will take for the pumpkin to roast so keep a close eye on it while roasting.
  • You could also replace the walnuts with pine nuts if thats what you have handy.

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If you make this winter salad, please leave your comments below. xx

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the recipe Lo!
    I made this tonight for dinner for the fam with lamb cutlets.
    My husband loved it and keeps raving “how good was the salad!”
    Your recipes are fab! I love that I don’t have to think what I am going to cook for the next week. I just choose a few things from your blog.
    Keep the recipes coming!
    Julia xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Laura, made this tonight but added some Moroccan spice to the pumpkin and cauliflower and as I have carnivor males also added Moroccan chicken strips. It was a hit, even for my fussy vegan.
    Keep the recipes coming, it gives me inspiration

    Liked by 1 person

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