Pumpkin Spinach and goats cheese salad – a seriously delicious and easy to make salad perfect for Christmas celebrations.
Pumpkin spinach and goats cheese salad
It has been tradition for 12 years now.
Every year, one Saturday in December, my girlfriends and I, along with our husbands gather for Christmas dinner.
It’s strictly an adults-only event (although we’ve made exceptions for very little babies) and each year we take turns hosting it.
You might also enjoy my healthy potato salad.
The host is responsible for the venue (their home), setting the scene and the ham and the rest of us take our pick of salad, bread, dessert or nibbles (and recently we added games to the list!).
Would you believe that when we were asked what we wanted to bring I actually volunteered for
You might be interested in quick and easy salad dressings.
It’s a bit unheard of for this former salad non-lover but when the big boy and I were in Sydney a while back, a friend made THE BEST SALAD and I just had to recreate pumpkin spinach and goats cheese salad.
I never used to like salad but what I realised was, in my mind, salad was basically the crummy version you got on the side at some average restaurants.
How I got through so much of my life without ever discovering fancy, veggie-packed salads I’ll never know but I’m doing my best to make up for it now.
This salad is so so delicious.
As I was throwing it together I was batting Will away after he pinched a bit from the bowl and was hooked.
Everyone, even the husbands at the party loved it and asked for the recipe.
I added a festive touch with the pomegranate (totally took a risk there!) which was like the magic key to bringing it all together, even though it was already delicious.
You could skip the toasting the seeds bit but I love a bit of extra crunch.
It’s the perfect festive salad!
If you wanted it warm you could mix up the pumpkin and couscous when it’s warm and then toss in the rest of the goodness just before serving.
If not though, you can make it a day or two in advance but leave the feta until the last minute.
A few questions about this simple delicious salad:
Can you make it gluten-free?
Absolutely. To make a gluten free version of the salad, swap out the pearl couscous for quinoa or brown rice.
Can it be made in advance?
If you’re happy to serve it cold (I did) then it’s find to make this up to two days in advance. I’d probably leave the leaves to add at the last minute though.
Can it be dairy-free?
It sure can. To make a dairy-free version swap out the goats cheese for either a dairy-free cheese or something like cashew cheese.
Can I change up the vegetables/leaves?
Definitely. If you’re not keen on beans or baby spinach then you could add some massaged kale or rocket and instead of beans use snow peas, baby broccoli or even asparagus.
You might also like my pesto pasta salad.
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- 2 cups dry pearl couscous
- 500g pumpkin, cut in 2cm cubes
- 1 sprig rosemary
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 200g green beans
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 200g baby spinach
- Juice of one lemon
- 100g goat's cheese, crumbled
- Handful of pomegranate seeds (optional)
- Cook the couscous according to the instructions on the packet.
- Once cooked, transfer to an extra large tupperware container and stir through some olive oil to stop the grains sticking (give it a stir every now-and-then as it cools).
- Spread the cubed pumpkin on a lined oven tray and drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with the leaves of the rosemary sprig.
- Cook for 40 minutes or until golden at 180C fan-forced.
- Leave to cool.
- Rinse and trim the beans then pop them in a bowl and cover with freshly-boiled water.
- Leave for 1 minute then tip out the water and cover the beans with ice.
- Leave to cool.
- In a small saucepan, cook the pumpkin seeds with a splash of olive oil until golden then remove to a plate to cool.
- Once everything has cooled, combine the couscous, pumpkin, beans, spinach and lemon in the large tupperware container then transfer to a salad bowl.
- Top with goat's cheese, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate then drizzle with lemon juice.