This is salad that definitely got me out of a rut! The Paperchef challenge this month made me put together ingredients I would not have thought of combining before. But the results were brilliant. The challenge required that I use pumpkin, peach, capers, and lemon grass. Capers, mostly from France or Italy, and lemon grass, from Asia, do not seem like obvious friends. But they taste great together, and made a delicious main dish salad.
Ant, my husband, won't eat fruit in a main dish, though, so I adapted this salad for his dinner tonight: I ate all the lovely peach and he got salmon on top instead! And a few noodles tucked underneath were a welcome addition to his meal.
The recipe for this is very "Jamie Oliver-esque" in that I have not measured all the ingredients. I think the "handfuls" approach works best for most salads. Just combine what you have and enjoy!
Pumpkin and Peach Salad with Lemon Grass Dressing
serves 2 as a main dish, or 4 as a side dish
1.8 kg pumpkin, peeled and chopped into cubes
1 c soaked black-eyed beans (or 1 can beans)
2 large handfuls baby bok choy, or other greens such as spinach, collards, or kale
1 lemon grass stem, outer layers removed and bottom 7 cm finely chopped
2 T lemon juice
3 T olive oil
1 peach, chopped
zest from 1 lemon
1 t capers, drained
Roast the pumpkin cubes in a hot oven for 15-25 minutes, until tender.
Cook the beans in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes, until just tender. (If using canned beans, there is no need to cook. Skip this step.)
Bring a pot of water to boil and quickly blanch the baby bok choy for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain immediately under cold water to keep the bright green colour and to stop the greens overcooking.
Make the dressing by whisking together the lemon grass, lemon juice, and olive oil.
Combine the pumpkin, beans, bok choy, peach, dressing, lemon zest, and capers in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
This month's Paperchef is hosted by Asa of Miss Meisters mat med mera.... Please have a look at her very interesting food blog.
Update (10 September 2010):
The Paperchef 56 roundup is now available. See what ingenious ideas the others came up with. So clever! I think courgette and lemongrass pancakes sound particularly delightful (from Prospect: The Pantry).
Also, this recipe has been submitted to Katherine Martinelli's pumpkin link-up. Have a look for lots more pumpkin recipes.