Roast pumpkin and crispy beef salad with tahini dressing

 

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This salad is packed with filling pumpkin, fresh green salad leaves, crispy beef and topped with a  creamy tahini dressing. Served warm it is a fantastic hearty winter salad.

ingredients.

500gms prime beef mince.

4 cups chopped pumpkin.

2 small red peppers.

1 orange.

1 tablespoon fennel seeds.

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds.

large bunch of robust leaves, I used baby kale, rocket, spinach and parsley.

a good glug of olive oil.

2 tablespoons tahini.

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar.

water for the dressing, about 2 tablespoons.

salt.

Peel and chop the pumpkin into small cubes. I used a green pumpkin and the skin can be eaten with this sort so I like to roast the slices of skin to be eaten topped with cheese or pate like crackers. Cut the peppers in half and de-seed. Roast everything with some coconut oil and salt at 180c for 30-40 minutes, stir occasionally, imagethey are ready when they look like this.

Then melt some coconut oil in a frying pan and fry the minced beef. I like to break it up with a potato masher as it cooks down. At this stage add a scant teaspoon of salt and keep frying on a medium heat breaking up the clumps evey now and then as it cooks. First some moisture will come out of the beef but keep going and eventually it will start to fry, but keep going, we want some of the bits to get quite crispy. You can be doing this while prepping some of the other ingredients and the pumpkin is in the oven.

Dry toast the fennel seeds in a small pan until fragrant then add to a pestle and mortar  and smash them up a bit. You can do this in a coffee grinder too, or alternatively use ready ground fennel seeds. Then add these to the beef once it is crispy and ready.

Dry toast the pumpkin seeds in the same pan until they pop up and begin to turn brown.

Chop the roasted red peppers into bite size pieces, then cut the skin off the orange and also chop into bite size pieces. Clean the greens and cut up a bit if they are big, put them in a bowl and douse them in olive oil.

Next make the dressing, put the two tablespoons of tahini in a bowl and add the cider vinegar as you stir an emulsion will quickly develope and you will get a thick paste. It’s is important to do it this way, if you add tahini to liquid for some reason it does not emulsify properly so add the vinegar to the tahini, once it has turned into a paste you can start adding the water slowly until you get a dressing the consistency of thick cream. Then add some salt, taste to get it just how you like it, but it does need salt.

Now it’s time to start building your salads, this quantity will make four, first lay out a bed of the dressed greens, then top with some of the roast pumpkin then crispy beef.imageNext add some oranges and red peppers. imageFinally top with lots of the tahini dressing and some of the toasted pumpkin seeds. Serves four hungry people. Of course you can also put everything into a giant salad bowl and toss together and serve the tahini dressing on the side. Total carbs for this dish is about 56gms so 14gms per large serve.

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