One of My Favorite London Salads: Roasted Pumpkin and Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts and Feta

When I was quite a bit younger, like most young adults in their early twenties, I took some time to travel. Luckily, being Canadian, I qualified for a traveling work visa for countries that are part of the Commonwealth. The beauty of traveling this way is that not only can a person make a little money while exploring new countries, but a person can stay for quite some time and really get to know an area. If you ask me this is so much more enjoyable than the whirlwind trips we often take and only remember through the pictures we snap because everything happens so fast.

My first stop was London, UK. I still remember my walk to work past Trafalgar Square, the Asian restaurants that served beer in tea pots after hours, the people watching and my favorite Donair shop (who, if you ask me, was personally responsible for my 15 lb weight gain while I was there).

One of my fondest memories is that of the Cafe Boheme in Soho. On the corner of Old Compton Street and Greek Street is a wonderful little cafe/bistro that served excellent food at excellent value. Good value by UK standards, which is still quite expensive if you do the currency conversion, but then you’d just drive yourself nuts if you did that the whole time.

You want $25.00 for a Martini?! Are you out of your ever loving mind? $8.00 for a latte? Is there fairy dust in this thing?! Stuff like that would happen everyday if you let it. Once I managed to turn that part of my brain off, I enjoyed myself much more. It also helped that I was earning pounds instead of dollars.

Back to the Boheme. Anywho, this cute little bistro not only served excellent food, but the atmosphere was fantastic. They had free jazz once a week with really talented musicians and excellent people watching. I tried a few different things off their menu, but once I found this salad, I never tried anything else. I went back once every two weeks for a Roasted Pumpkin Salad with toasted Pine Nuts and Feta on a bed of Roquette (also known as Arugula).  Click here to read some of the reviews and photos. Though they no longer have this salad on their menu, you’ll just have to trust me that it once was. I don’t have the exact recipe, so all I can go on is my memory to help me match the taste. I think I was quite successful.

Now because of the WWC : Millet for Lunch Event, I thought that I’d add some to this salad to add a little stickability (definition: stay full longer). The cheese is optional for those vegans readers.

Putting this salad together could take some time, simply because roasting a pumpkin is no small thing. If you’re making this on a Sunday like we are, it’s nice to prep a few things for the week. We made up a batch of millet, roasted squash and toasted pine nuts, a batch of chickpeas and hard boiled eggs. With that all done, this salad literally takes 5 minutes to put together, along with some other great recipes I’ll be able to put together during the week.

Roasted Pumpkin and Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts and Feta

Serves 4

  • 1 small to medium sized  squash or pumpkin (I used a buttercup squash)
  • 1 cup cooked millet
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 8 cups arugula or spinach/arugula blend

To cook the pumpkin or squash, I prefer to peel it (using a peeler), split it, scoop out the seeds and chop it into chunks. Lay the pumpkin in a single layer on a couple of baking sheets. Spray with oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 45 minutes at 375 F or until tender. My small squash provided me with 8 cups of cubed roasted squash. I’ve kept 4 cups for the salad and froze the rest for a quick dinner in the future. While the pumpkin cubes are roasting, I also toast the pine nuts.

To assemble, put the squash in a large  bowl. Toss the squash with 3 Tbsp of the dressing until well coated. Add all the remaining ingredients and toss until well combined. Serve the remaining dressing on the side, to allow those to add more if needed.

Balsamic Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Balsamic
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and stir until well combined. I use a small jar and shake the heck out of it. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. You may need to adjust the sweetness level by adding more honey (more sweet) or more vinegar (less sweet) to match your families taste buds.

360 calories per serving

I’m sharing this with Meatless Monday’s, My Meatless Monday’s, Mouth Watering Monday’s, Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, A Little Birdie Told Me, Gluten free Wednesdays, and Traditional Tuesday’s.

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25 Responses to One of My Favorite London Salads: Roasted Pumpkin and Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts and Feta

  1. Linda October 11, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    I absolutely love this salad! I’ve made a similar salad but had not thought to add millet and the pine nuts with feta sounds so tasty! Wow.. $25 for a martini…I’d have a hard time with that!!

  2. Kelly October 11, 2011 at 2:18 am #

    Oh, what a lovely, warming salad and your balsamic dressing is dreamy. I chuckled reading your post – the prices are rather shocking aren’t they – particularly as a young student, I can recall feeling precisely the same way (are you kidding me?!!)

  3. Elsa October 11, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    Yes, the prices would shock me as well! :) I love this salad it’s beautiful. I never would have thought to add pumpkin to it.

  4. JoAnn Ryan October 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Thanks for being our first Food Blog: Post of the Day winner!
    Love your blog!


  5. Kristen October 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    This looks delicious…and I’ve been looking for some new ways to incorporate fall squashes and pumpkin. I bet the bite of the arugula is fabulous in combo with pumpkin.

    • France Morissette October 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

      I love the mix of a peppery arugula with the roasted sweetness of squash. They’re a lovely combo in risotto too!

  6. France Morissette October 11, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    Hi JoAnn, thanks for choosing us!

  7. shuuan October 11, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    thanks for the review of that cafe! i’ve yet to visit it! the salad looks and sounds awesome, and perfect for fall!

  8. Joanne October 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    This is definitely a salad I could get completely addicted to! Man, if I had been in London with you, I would have convinced you to go get this with me daily!

  9. jill October 12, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. Hope to see you next week! Be sure to visit on Sunday for
    Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

    If you have grain-free recipes please visit my Grain-Free Linky Carnival in support of my 28 day grain-free challenge! It will be open until November 2.

  10. France Morissette October 12, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Joanne, you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to get me there!

  11. jill October 16, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    This post is featured this week at Sunday Snippets!

  12. France Morissette October 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Thanks for the feature Jill!

  13. Lisa @ Allergy Free Vintage Cookery October 17, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    Oooh, this looks delicious! What a clever way to use pumpkin. Your photos are making me hungry :)

    Lisa @ Allergy Free Vintage Cookery

  14. Jenn/Rook No. 17 October 18, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    I cannot wait to try this salad! I love hearing about your travels, life and adventures, and always leave here inspired.

    Thank you so much for being a part of the creative spirit on “A Little Birdie Told Me…” Tuesdays at Rook No. 17!


  15. France October 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Jenn, thank you for your kind words. It’s always a pleasure to have you here and to spend some time on your lovely website.

  16. Torwen October 24, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    Beautiful salad! I like the colour combination and with the honey balsamico dressing it must really taste heavenly.

  17. Mary Hudak-Colllins October 27, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    OMG! That looks really good! If I can find something to replace the cheese, I’m going to give it a go :)

    • France Morissette October 27, 2011 at 9:12 am #

      Hi Mary,
      Don’t worry about replacing the cheese, just leave it out. I’m sure you’ll love it anyway.

  18. Torwen October 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Very nice recipes and nice London memories :)
    I don’t eat cheese either, but I think some fried smoked tofu cubes might do the trick. Thanks for posting!


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