Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cayman Roasted Pumpkin Holiday Salad

Just in time for the holidays - a Caribbean inspired salad from the Cayman Islands! 

James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink at Camana Bay on Grand Cayman has created a roasted pumpkin salad that's perfect for any fall festivity. 

Photo Credit: Camana Bay

Michael originally created this dish for Slow Food Day, an annual daylong celebration of the Cayman Islands’ farmers and fishermen that calls attention to eating locally and sourcing sustainability. Pumpkin is available almost year-round in the Cayman Islands and can be found at the weekly Farmers & Artisans Market at Camana Bay.

This easy to make recipe combines fresh pumpkin, quinoa, long beans and heart of palm with a savory parsley vinaigrette, making it the ideal seasonal side dish for a dinner party or a Thanksgiving celebration.

Roasted Pumpkin Salad - Serves 6

  • 3 quarts fresh pumpkin, peeled and cut into large cubes
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 pound long beans
  • 1/2  cup heart of palm, shaved
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup parsley vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup scallion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
  • 1/2  cup cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the cut pumpkin on a sheet pan, dress with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the pumpkin until it becomes tender, about 12 minutes. Once tender, remove and allow to cool at room temperature. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the long beans for 15 seconds then shock into ice water to stop the cooking. Once the long beans are chilled, cut into 2 inch long pieces. 

To assemble the salad, warm the roasted pumpkin in an oven set at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine the warm pumpkin, cooked quinoa, long beans, shaved heart of palm and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the vinaigrette and herbs. Serve while the salad is warm.

Parsley Vinaigrette - Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup parlsey leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup oregano leaves, packed
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Add 1/2 cup of water to a saucepot over medium heat and add the salt. Once dissolved, set aside and allow to cool. Finely chop the parsley and oregano. Combine the herbs, shallots, garlic and sherry vinegar in a mixing bowl. Using a whisk, bruise the herbs with the vinegar and whisk in the salt water and finally the olive oil. Place in a plastic container until ready to use. You can allow the dressing to marinate for a day and the flavors will improve.

Happy Travels,

Source: The Wilbert Group

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