Amalia Scatena’s Arugula Salad with Roasted Pumpkin & Pickled Cranberries [RECIPE]
Chef Amalia Scatena of Cannon Green in Charleston, SC prepared this Arugula Salad with Roasted Pumpkin and Pickled Cranberries for us. “This is a great starter dish for a holiday dinner party,” she says. “As a main, I would serve some kind of roasted meat—turkey or lamb—along with a creamy potato and maybe some Brussels sprouts. The salad could also serve as a main dish if you added leftover turkey.” See below for the recipe and click here for more from chef Amalia.
Arugula Salad with Roasted Pumpkin and Pickled Cranberries
From chef Amalia: “To me this salad epitomizes the blending of fall with classic holiday flavors. The bitterness of the arugula balances out the sweet roasted pumpkin and tart pickled cranberries. If you roast a whole pumpkin you will have a good bit of meat leftover, which is great for pureeing into soup or eating as a side dish the following day. If you can’t find a good cooking pumpkin, butternut squash would make a nice substitute.”
Ingredients for the Salad
- 1 small cooking pumpkin
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon good chile powder (such as dried ancho chile powder) – check me on these amounts
- 1 cup pecans
- ½ shallot, finely diced
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey, or more to taste
- 5 ounces arugula, washed and dried
- 1 cup Sicilian pecorino, shaved with a vegetable peeler
- Pickled Cranberries, recipe follows
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Directions for the Salad
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Cut pumpkin vertically down the center and scoop out the seeds (wash and save for roasting if you’d like). Rub flesh of pumpkin with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with nutmeg, chile powder, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet flesh side up and roast until flesh is easily pierced with a fork but does not fall apart, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and dice pumpkin evenly into cubes.
Place pecans on a clean baking sheet and toast in oven until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, season with salt, and set aside to cool.
To make the vinaigrette, combine shallot, apple cider vinegar, mustard, and honey in a medium bowl and whisk together to combine. Continue whisking as you slowly drizzle in the remaining 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, until the dressing is loosely emulsified. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and a bit more honey, if desired.
Fill a large salad bowl with arugula and top with toasted nuts, shaved pecorino, and diced pumpkin. Dress lightly with vinaigrette (reserving extra vinaigrette for another use). Top with pickled cranberries (recipe below) and serve immediately.
Ingredients for Pickled Cranberries
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
Directions for Pickled Cranberries
Combine red wine, red wine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Remove from heat and allow liquid to cool to room temperature. Place cranberries in a heatproof container such as a mason jar and pour pickling liquid over to cover. Cover tightly and let sit in the refrigerator for 5 days before using.