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Spiced Almond and Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Pumpkin Salad

Serves 4.


    If you think pumpkin is best trotted out twice a year as a pie filling, think again. Chef Luptak prefers using Rouge vif d’Étampes pumpkin, a French heirloom variety, when he makes this salad. “Rouge vif d’Étampes” means “bright red from Étampes”—an old commune in France. These flat pumpkins were a fixture in Paris’s central market in the late 1800s.


    If you have ground spices on hand instead of seeds, they’ll work fine in the pumpkin seed crust as well. Toast them in the frying pan, but skip the grinding.


    Spiced Almond and Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Pumpkin Salad


    • 2/3 lb (300 g) red Kuri squash or butternut squash
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped onion
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) minced garlic
    • 4 cups (1 L) low-sodium vegetable stock
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) maple syrup
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) pepper
    • Leaves from 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
    Roasted Pumpkin
    • 1 1/3 lb (600 g) Rouge vif d’Étampes pumpkin or sugar pumpkin
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) black pepper
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground nutmeg
    • Leaves from 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) maple syrup
    Pumpkin Seed Crust
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) cardamom seeds
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) coriander seeds
    • 1/3 cup (80 mL) pumpkin seeds, reserved from roasted pumpkin
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) almonds
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried chili flakes
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) black pepper
    • 2 1/2 tsp (12 mL) raw sugar
    • 2 cups (500 mL) sprouted lentils


    Per serving:

    • calories338
    • protein8g
    • fat17g
      • saturated fat2g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates46g
      • sugars15g
      • fibre5g
    • sodium608mg



    To make “pumpkin” purée:

    Leave skin on Kuri squash. If using butternut squash, peel skin off. Cut in half and remove seeds. Cut squash into cubes.

    In medium-sized pot, sauté squash in olive oil over medium heat until there’s some caramelization on the squash. Add onion and garlic and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.

    Add stock, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and thyme and continue to cook for 10 minutes, allowing all the flavours to come together.

    Transfer mixture to blender and purée until smooth.

    Cool and reserve. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

    To make roasted pumpkin:

    Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Leave skin on Rouge vif d’Étampes pumpkin. If using sugar pumpkin, peel skin off. Remove and clean seeds, reserving them for pumpkin seed crust.

    Cut pumpkin into 1 1/2 in (4 cm) cubes. Toss with salt, pepper, olive oil, nutmeg, thyme, and maple syrup.

    Transfer cubes to prepared baking sheet and roast in oven for 15 minutes.

    Cool and reserve. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

    To make pumpkin seed crust:

    Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

    Toast cumin, cardamom, and coriander in frying pan over medium heat, shaking pan often, until spices begin to smell fragrant. Remove spices from pan and blitz in spice grinder to a fine powder.

    Toast pumpkin seeds and almonds on sheet pan in oven for 5 minutes.

    In food processor, pulse toasted spices, toasted almonds and pumpkin seeds, chili flakes, salt, pepper, and sugar to desired consistency. Store pumpkin seed crust in airtight container for up to 1 month.

    To assemble salad:

    Dollop “pumpkin” purée in centre of each of 4 plates. Top with sprouted lentils and roasted pumpkin, sprinkle with pumpkin seed crust, and garnish with a nice spicy green, such as watercress or arugula, if desired.


    Like this recipe?

    This recipe is part of the Vegan recipes from The Acorn collection.



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