I know, it’s cold and you’re not totally thinking about salad at the moment – but this one is warm and let’s face it – we don’t want to eat heavily all the way through winter. We have to give our body’s a break from the carbs! Well, that’s what I keep telling myself anyway 🙂
I love the nutty flavours of pumpkin in this recipe, mixed with the salty prosciutto and peppery rocket. If you don’t have prosciutto – you could also cut a few rashers of bacon into largeish pieces, fry them off and add them to the mix instead. It’s also great to take to work for lunch 🙂
Prosciutto and pumpkin salad
- 1 butternut pumpkin
- olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Half a teaspoon of chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 20 slices of prosciutto (you can get this at all good delis and even at your local supermarket)
- 4 handfuls of rocket
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (please buy the best balsamic you can find – it makes ALL the difference)
- 1 small block of parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 190°C. Peel pumpkin, remove the seeds and cut into largish cubes. Lay in a roasting tray, season with salt and pepper, the coriander and chilli flakes and drizzle over a little olive oil. Use your hands to rub the mixture all over the pumpkin. This is the best way to get the flavours going – it beats using a spoon any day. Roast the pumpkin for half an hour or until soft and golden. Allow to cool a little.
Lay your prosciutto over a large serving platter – let it twist and turn so it doesn’t look neat and flat. Put the pumpkin around the meat and then sprinkle over the rocket. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil to dress the leaves, as well as the balsamic. Use a vegetable peeler to shave over the parmesan.
If you wanted something to go with it – some really simply grilled chicken would be great.
As for a song to groove to while you whip this up – I think something light and refreshing is in order. The Script are an awesome Irish band – and their song This Is Love is inspiring. You’ll want to play it over and over 🙂
What’s flicking through on your iPod at the moment? Share your favourite tunes in the comments section below and keep us all inspired!
With the Easter Bunny visiting most of us on Sunday, I know I’m feeling like something light for lunch.
Matt and I were chilling on the couch one day watching Giada De Laurentis’ Everyday Italian cooking show. When we saw her whip up this simple dish, we both agreed we had to give it a go. We are both lovers of the good old toasted sanger – this is just a slightly fancier version with prosciutto instead of ham and ricotta instead of your standard cheese. But, it’s just as easy. When Giada did it, she didn’t add tomato – but I like to – along with a bit of baby spinach. Matt prefers the simple version – but the thing I like about it was I never thought of using pita bread in this way. You could really fill it with anything you like.
Because it’s so simple, you can easily whip this up at work for a quick and easy lunch, or on the weekend when you have unexpected guests. Pita bread freezes really well, so it’s easy to always have it on hand.
Prosciutto and Ricotta Panini
- 2 pita bread rounds
- 6 slices of prosciutto
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 cup of baby spinach
- 200gm of smooth ricotta cheese
- the juice of half a lemon (or to taste)
- a pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper
Pre heat your sandwich press until it’s nice and hot.
Lay the pita breads out on your bench. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, lemon, salt and pepper and stir well. Taste it and adjust seasoning to taste.
Spread half the ricotta mixture over half of the pita bread, and then cover it with the sliced tomato, half the baby spinach and prosciutto. Fold the uncovered side of the pita in half, over the ricotta, tomato and prosciutto and then fold it in half again, making the pita a quarter of its original size. Place it in the sandwich press and cook until the filling is hot and the pita is crispy and golden. Repeat the process for the second pita.
This is great served on its own, or with a light salad. Mix and match the fillings – avocado instead of ricotta would be tasty. Have fun with it!
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I’m not really in to vegetarian food – but this dal is really something else. It’s filling, comforting and full of beautiful flavour and spice. You get all of this, and it’s quick and easy too.
Dal is the Indian word for pulses, as well as the finished dish. Chickpeas and other beans are also popular for this style of curry.
This dal is very mild – so if you like heat – add more chilli to taste.
RED LENTIL DAL
- 3/4 cup of red lentils
- 3 cups of water
- 3 thick slices of ginger
- 1/2 a tsp of turmeric
- 1 tbs of olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1/2 a tsp of whole grain mustard
- 1 tsp of ground cummin
- 1 tbs of coriander root, finely shopped
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- The juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 of a cup of coriander, roughly chopped
Put the lentils, ginger, turmeric and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are tender. Stir occasionally to ensure they don’t stick.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan add the onion, garlic, mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat for five minutes. Add the cummin, coriander root and chilli and cook for two minutes.
Add the cooked lentils to the frying pan and stir through. Add a little more water at this point, if the mixture is looking dry. It should be like a thick soup.
Reduce the heat, simmering gently for 5 minutes, then add the lemon juice and fresh coriander. Serve with some nice naan bread or pappadums.
This makes a lovely lunch dish. I take it to work and have it with a nice dollop of natural yogurt. It also freezes nicely too.