Pumpkin with chickpeas, kale, pomegranate and tahini dressing
In terms of colour, texture and flavour, roasted pumpkin is an excellent choice as the base for a colourful rainbow salad, offsetting here some of the typical ingredients of a Middle-Eastern slaw – garlic, tahini, pomegranate seeds – with characterful panache.
600g pumpkin, seeds removed and cut into large wedges about 3cm thick
Light olive oil, for drizzling
150g kale or greens
1 garlic clove, chopped
Seeds of ½ pomegranate
100g cooked chickpeas
For the dressing
1 tbsp tahini
1 garlic clove, crushed
A squeeze of lemon juice
2-4 tbsp water
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Lay the pumpkin wedges on a baking tray, season both sides with salt and black pepper and drizzle with oil. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes. The pumpkin is ready when it has some colour and is tender all the way through when pricked with a knife.
2 Pull the kale leaves off the stalks. Finely chop the stalks and roughly shred the leaves. Wash the leaves. In a frying pan, with a glug of olive oil, cook the stalks for 1 minute, then add the leaves and cover for 1 minute. Remove the lid, add the garlic and wilt for 1 minute more. Season, then remove from the pan.
3 Make the tahini dressing. In a small bowl, mix the tahini, garlic and lemon juice together. It will become lumpy. Add 1 tbsp of water to the bowl and mix to form a smoother paste. Then add another 1 tbsp of water and repeat until you have a double-cream consistency.
4 Mix the roasted pumpkin with the wilted kale and chickpeas and lay on a platter. Scatter with pomegranate seeds and drizzle with the tahini dressing to serve.
Recipe by Tom Hunt, The Natural Cook, (Quadrille)