A brief respite in the cooler weather made for a perfect opening to have a room temperature salad for dinner last night. With warm air streaming through the windows, I got to work breaking down a pumpkin from our visit to Verrill Farm to serve as the star of the show.
The second I cut into the pumpkin, that smell hit me, and I was suddenly standing there daydreaming about sitting around our dining room table as a little kid, newspapers laid out to take the pumpkin guts and seeds. In that moment I literally felt like I shouldn’t be holding the knife, that my dad should be doing the carving while my sister and I drew our designs and our mom brought out cider or snacks.
I hadn’t planned on toasting the seeds, but that happy memory said that I had to, the later taste and crunch again bringing me home. It’s pretty amazing how senses can do that.
Once I snapped out of my daydreaming, I got to work once again on dinner, starting with the pumpkin. I simply roasted it at 400 degrees until the flesh was tender, then peeled the blistered skin off and chopped it into cubes.
To finish off the pumpkin, I sautéed it in brown butter and a sprinkle each of cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
Next I got my salad dressing ready, mixing apple cider, maple syrup, olive and oil, and hot paprika until it tasted just right.
I also cooked a cup of lentils and then got started building the salad on beds of Olivia’s Organics baby kale.
I topped the mix of pumpkin, lentils, and kale with creamy goat cheese and the toasted pumpkin seeds. The combination was absolutely delicious! It felt great to eat salad without feeling cold inside, and I loved the mix of seasonal ingredients.
I saved the remainder of the pumpkin to toss in a smoothie in the morning, a blend of vanilla soy milk, yogurt, cinnamon, pumpkin, and steamed spinach. With less than three weeks until NYC Marathon time, I need all the nutrition I can get!
I am excited to be participating in a Vouvray tasting with TasteLive tonight. So far it’s been a good week, and I hope keeping that positive attitude will only make it get better.
What’s making you happy this week?