10 April 2015

1.10 Lamb & Roast Pumpkin Salad – Intermediate – Meat & Poultry

A fairly healthy, flavour-packed salad that should satisfy anyone. This isn’t to be served on the side. This IS the main event.

In my opinion, this dish is a good example of how simple flavours can complement one another.

I tend to do most of the preparation the night before. It isn’t that there is a lot to do, it’s just easier to do it that way, especially midweek.


300g lamb backstrap, diced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
Zest of ½ lemon (unwaxed, of course!)
Pinch of salt and pepper

This dish is all about showcasing the flavours of good ingredients. Lamb backstrap can be expensive, but it has a great flavour. Use leg steak or fillet if you prefer. The pieces should be around 2.5cm (or 1 inch) square if possible.

You could use this meat for kebab skewers instead, and serve it with some nice tzatziki and pita bread.

The marinade is quite versatile and could also be used for lamb cutlets or a roast.


1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until coated evenly. Cover, and place aside for at least 20 minutes. (For best results, refrigerate overnight and remove approx. 30 minutes before cooking.)

2. Fry in a pan over medium-high heat until well-browned on all sides. (You should not need to add oil to the pan, as there is oil in the marinade already.)

3. Place aside until it is time to assemble the salad. (It is best if the lamb is still hot or warm.)


300g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and diced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary
Pinch of salt and pepper

This is just a guide for the people who’ve never roasted pumpkin before (I’m sure they’re out there). If you want to roast it a different way, then do it.

You can use whichever type of pumpkin you like, but as noted with last week’s recipe, I prefer to use butternut squash for convenience reasons. For aesthetic appeal, the pieces of pumpkin should be a bit smaller than the lamb pieces (say 1.5cm or 2/3 inch).


1. Preheat oven to 200°C (or 390°F), line a tray with baking paper and set aside.

2. Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix until coated evenly.

3. Place pumpkin cubes on the prepared baking tray and bake for approx. 25-35 minutes or until cooked through. (It’s okay if it browns a bit on the edges, but try to preserve the bright orange as much as possible.)

4. Place aside to cool until it is time to assemble the salad. (For best results, place in a covered container and refrigerate overnight. Remove approx. 30 minutes before cooking.)


60-70mL extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (approx. 50-60ml)
Pinch of salt

Technically this can't be a vinaigrette as I don't use any vinegar, but the result is very much the same.

I like my salad dressings to have slightly more oil than lemon juice/vinegar, but this is just a preference.

Use as good of an extra virgin olive oil as you can get. It should be peppery enough that you don’t need to add any pepper to the dressing. I usually use the lemon that has been zested for the lamb marinade. Waste not!


1. Pour all ingredients into a bowl or jug and whisk until combined. (It should turn a bright greeny-yellow colour. I know that sounds gross, but it tastes amazing with this salad! You could also use a stick blender for this if you’re feeling lazy, I know I do it occasionally.)

2. Place aside until it is time to assemble the salad. (You may need to whisk/blend the dressing again if it starts to separate.)


70g baby spinach leaves
½ cup toasted pine nuts
100g fetta cheese, roughly crumbled

Feel free to use extra of any of these ingredients, this is just a guideline. As written, this recipe serves 2 people fairly generously.

I prefer to use sheep’s milk fetta as it has a sharper flavour than cow’s milk fetta and sets off the sweetness of the pumpkin really well, but you can use whatever type you like. Most imported Greek fetta is made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk, so it’s pretty decent.


1. Place some baby spinach leaves on each serving plate. (Remember: how many serves you get out of this is up to you.)

2. Spoon over the dressing. (Once again, you get to choose how much.)

3. Scatter a small handful (or more) of the toasted pine nuts over the spinach.

4. Repeat Step 3 with the pumpkin, then the lamb, and then the fetta. (You can make it look as pretty as you want, but this is all about the flavours.)

5. Time to eat! (TIP: Try to get a piece of everything on each forkful.)

Serves 1 really greedy person, or 2 normal people, or 3 “healthy” people.

A video of this recipe is also available - https://youtu.be/mz9_hMINVlg.

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