This roast beetroot, pumpkin and haloumi salad with pistachio pesto dressing is loosely based on one of my favourite things to have for lunch at The Parkview Hotel in Orange. This is, in my opinion, the best place to eat lunch in Orange. I should know – I’ve been eating lunch there at least once a week for seven years and it has always been spot on.
I won’t lie and say this is the quickest salad to put together, but it is worth it. The salty haloumi and pistachio pesto dressing work beautifully with the sweetness of the beetroot and pumpkin. It is a substantial meal, enough for a winter lunch or summer supper. You will also have enough of the pesto to use for other things, and it comes in handy. I will post another recipe using it in a pasta dish soon.
First, pistachio pesto.
You will need:
1 clove garlic
Juice and rind of one small lemon
1/3 cup salted, shelled pistachios
1 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley
30 grams parmiagano reggiano cheese
Extra virgin olive oil, as desired
Place the garlic and lemon rind in a food processor and whiz until very finely chopped.
Add everything else except the olive oil and process until combined.
Stir through about a tablespoon of olive oil then put the pesto in a jar or container in the fridge.
For the salad:
2 tennis ball sized beetroots
1 and 1/2 cups of pumpkin, chopped into 2cm cubes
2 cups mixed salad leaves
200g haloumi cheese, sliced into 1 cm slices
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
Wash the beetroots. Place in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool slightly.
Toss the pumpkin pieces in olive oil and sea salt, place on a tray lined with baking paper and bake for 25 minutes or until tender.
Wearing gloves to avoid hot pink hands, rub off the beetroot skins and dice into 2cm cubes. Place in a dish with the pumpkin and salad leaves.
Heat some olive oil in a non-stick frypan and fry haloumi slices for about a minute on each side or until golden. Dice into cubes and toss with the rest of the salad.
Remove about two teaspoons of the pesto and mix with more olive oil until it is a dressing type of consistency, then toss through the salad.
Sprinkle with a few extra pistachio nuts if desired and serve while the cheese and baked vegetables are still warm.