Jan 13, 2010
Have you ever had pumpkins sitting around in January (or any other time really) and thinking, I should really do something with those. Well that was me last week, I had three beautiful pumpkins I brought home from my in-laws farm in Oregon just begging for me to do something with them, besides just look at them. I've bought pumpkins before with good intentions of cutting them up and roasting either the flesh or the seeds, but it always seems like to much work to actually cut into the pumpkin.
I was strong last week though and took matters into my own hands...I cut into the pumpkin. And it actually wasn't as hard as I thought. Just like a big butternut squash really. This recipe used about a quarter of my chopped up pumpkin so the rest is in the fridge already chopped up and ready for the next pumpkin recipe. I know this is January and not everyone will have access to pumpkins right now, however I think in this recipe other kinds of squash (I found beautiful Acorn squash at the farmers market last week) would also work.
Thankfully the chicken only required a quick marinade, and after a few minutes in the broiler (a nice new trick I learned with this recipe) it was beautiful crusted on the outside and only needed a bit longer to finish cooking. I ended up slicing it long ways to be placed a top my salad along with the roasted pumpkin.
Also, remember the blue cheese from last fall. I crumbled a bit of it on top of the entire salad. Oh, it was so good and creamy and blue. Yum.
roast pumpkin salad with balsamic chicken
adapted from two recipes in The New Cook
1 lb sweet pumpkin, sliced (about 1/4 of a medium sized pumpkin)
cracked black pepper
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large chicken breast fillets (or four smaller fillets)
1/2 cup marinated olives
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 cups arugula
blue cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the pumpkin in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and soft. Allow to cool.
Turn the oven up to preheat the broiler. Combine the 3 tablespoons of vinegar, crushed garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and pepper. Pour over the chicken and allow to marinate for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Cook on a foil covered baking sheet in the broiler for 7-10 minutes and then bake at 425 degrees F for an additional 10-15 minutes or until cooked through (alternatively cook on a preheated grill).
Toss the olives, oregano, and rocket in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and two 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar. To assemble the salad and the chicken, first place the dressed salad on serving plates. Top each salad with the roasted pumpkin, and 1/2 of a chicken breast, and crumbled blue cheese if you wish.