Warm Pumpkin and Bacon Salad
Here comes Turkey Day. It’s unavoidable, like drunk football fans in November. I love Thanksgiving, but I do get sick of the same old spread. To be honest, the only thing I really like is the stuffing, the potatoes, and the pie. But I have to serve more than that, so I am constantly on the lookout for something different.
This warm salad is full of typical fall flavors, but it is still challenges the palette with contrasting flavors and textures. It’s a plate of sophistication for the otherwise humdrum holiday table. (By the way … this recipe is in my Sensation Salads book, which you can order in the upper right hand corner of this page! … hint hint.)
1 medium pumpkin or 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 2-inch cubes
4 TB. olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
4 scallions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Zest and juice of 1 orange
4 sliced bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 450˚F. Toss diced pumpkin with oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast until tender and browned, about 20 minutes. Toss occasionally for even cooking.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add pecans and cook, tossing, until golden and lightly toasted. Add scallions, garlic, and keep cooking until tender, another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, orange zest, and juice. Set aside.
- Combine warm pumpkin and dressing, and toss thoroughly. Serve immediately, topped with bacon and crumbled cheese.