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Roasted Pumpkin, Walnut and Feta Salad

What a glorious weekend we had, with beautiful weather and our seasonal cookery days and Great Bath Feast keeping us blissfully busy on the hunt for the best produce in Bath. Of course, the hunt wasn't very hard - the Southwest of England is bursting which phenomenal fruit and veg, as well as artisan cheesemakers and top notch food producers, many of whom can be found in Bath. We had a blast this weekend meeting some of them and turning their goods into delicious meals.

It began on Saturday at the Bath Farmer's Market. Amongst the many stalls we visited was Homewood Cheeses who makes a selection of gorgeous sheep cheeses, including a pickled ewe's cheese that is akin to feta. We love this, and feature it frequently on our courses.

Sunday brought us to Castle Farm, an organic farm just outside of Bath where you'll find the most awe inspiring pumpkin patch around.

Naturally, we couldn't resist taking one of these beauties home with us. This single pumpkin should last us through summer!

What do you do when life gives you pumpkins and pickled ewes cheese? You make a delicious salad, of course, involving roast pumpkins, fresh cheese, and some walnuts for crunch and texture. This roasted pumpkin, walnut and feta salad was one of the highlights of our cookery weekend. Of course, there was plenty more food where that came from - edible flowers, tomatillos, courgettes, spinach, rhubarb, pink fir potatoes, tomatoes, raspberries, loads of fresh herbs - all found in and around Bath, many of which were picked the same day we cooked with them. You really can't get more seasonal - or more sumptuous - than that.

Roasted Pumpkin, Walnut and Feta Salad

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
400g pumpkin flesh
4 garlic cloves
pinch of salt
2 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
60g walnuts toasted in salt and olive oil
100g feta cheese (or pickled ewes cheese if you can!)
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190C/Gas5.
  2. D-skin and de-seed the pumpkin and chop into small cubes.
  3. Crush the salt and garlic together to a smooth paste and then mix in the olive oil.
  4. Place the pumpkin in a baking dish and stir in the garlic oil.
  5. Roast the pumpkin in thepre-heated oven for 40 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft.
  6. Leave the pumpkin to cool, add a good twist of black pepper.
  7. Roast the walnuts with a little oil and salt in the oven for 5-6 minutes.
  8. Crumble up the feta cheese and chop the oregano.
  9. Serve the pumpkin on a plate, sprinkled with the feta, walnuts and oregano.

Tips: Serve the above on top of a green salad of interesting leaves, fresh herbs and edible flowers and lay out on a salad plate. Finish with a simple drizzle of good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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