x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

healthy recipe: Roasted pumpkin, feta and chickpea salad

Don't waste the flesh when carving your Halloween pumpkin, use it to make this tasty salad.

Pumpkin is particularly rich in vitamins C and A.
Pumpkin is particularly rich in vitamins C and A.

The recipe in the Oasis pages of today's paper will help you use up the seeds from a jack-o'-lantern, but you certainly shouldn't throw away the flesh.

In fact, even if you haven't carved a pumpkin this year, it's worth buying one to eat, thanks to the health-giving properties of this vegetable.

Pumpkins are a good source of vitamins and minerals and are particularly rich in vitamins C and A, beta-carotene, potassium and manganese.

They are also low in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, making them a great base ingredient for a number of dishes such as soups, curries or salads.

Spinach, as we all know, is good for us; it's nutrient-dense, low in calories, heart-healthy and contains flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. The addition of the chickpeas not only makes the salad substantial enough to be eaten as a main meal, they provide a dose of low-fat protein and dietary fibre, not to mention vitamins and minerals: copper, magnesium and folic acid among them.

The saltiness of the feta cheese, meanwhile, counters the sweetness of the pumpkin and looks pretty when rolled in the parsley and lemon zest, while the slices of red onion add a nice crunch.

Roasted pumpkin, feta and chickpea salad

Serves 2-3

750g-1kg pumpkin

3 tbsp olive oil

400g tin chickpeas, drained

140g feta

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 lemon

tsp chilli flakes

100g baby spinach

red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced

salt and black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/ gas 6.

Peel the pumpkin and cut into 3cm cubes. Tip into a bowl, pour over two tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and black pepper and toss together. Transfer to a baking tray and roast for 40 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature.

Cut the feta into cubes. Mix together the chopped parsley, lemon zest and chilli flakes and tip on to a plate. Roll the pieces of feta in this mixture, until coated on all sides.

Drain the chickpeas. Whisk together the remaining tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper.

Tip the roasted pumpkin into a large bowl, then add the parsley-coated feta, the chickpeas, spinach and the finely sliced red onion. Pour over the lemon juice and olive oil dressing and stir together gently.