Baked Pumpkin, Chickpea and Brown Rice Salad with Crispy Pumpkin Seeds recipe

A comforting winter salad, with an invigorating blend of textures and flavours

Winter comfort food doesn’t have to be heavy to be hearty. A pilaf style brown rice and chickpea salad pairs with sweet, roasted pumpkin and crispy pumpkin seeds for a winter dish that will comfort and nourish.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

¼ small kent pumpkin

1 cup brown rice

3 cups no-salt added vegetable stock

½ tablespoon olive oil

1 medium brown onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoons ground coriander seeds

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed

5 cups baby kale leaves

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

Dressing

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

2. Slice pumpkin into half-moons and place on baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until pumpkin is cooked.

3. While pumpkin roasts, prepare the rice. Place rice and vegetable stock into a large microwave safe bowl. Place in microwave (uncovered) and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Remove and stir. Reduce microwave power to medium (50%) and cook for a further 20 minutes stirring halfway through. Once cooked, cover top with a tea towel and set aside until required.

4. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Cook sliced onion and garlic cloves until onion becomes translucent. Add cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and black pepper. Stir until spices coat onion and cook for a further 2 minutes.

5. Add drained chickpeas and stir to incorporate, then add rice and carefully stir until everything is mixed well. Remove from heat, place into a large bowl and stir through baby kale leaves.

6. Place pumpkin seeds into frying pan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or they start to crisp and brown. Remove and set aside until required.

7. Make the dressing by placing all ingredients into a small bowl and whisking well.

8. Assemble the salad. Spoon rice mixture onto a large platter and top with slices of roasted pumpkin. Pour dressing over and then top with crisped pumpkin seeds.

Leftovers will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Note: You can substitute rocket leaves if baby kale is unavailable.

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