Watch Now: Grilled Pineapple and Roasted Squash Salad with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

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October 23, 2014


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Now that fall is upon us, what will you do with all those carved-up jack-o-lanterns and decorative gourds? You’ve invested time and muscle shelling and sticking your hand in the pumpkin to remove its sometimes sticky and slimy innards, since the kids refuse to stick their little hands in there, and now you have more pumpkins than you would like attracting South Florida yard critters to your front door. While “composting” your pumpkin on your front porch is always an option, its delicious insides make for a tasty seasonal treat.

Here’s a colorful and nutritious fall-inspired salad that’s great for a football tailgate and even something to brighten the table for Thanksgiving.

Grilled Pineapple and Roasted Squash with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Pumpkin Seed Pesto
1 1/2 cups packed fresh parsley
1/2 cup unsalted pumpkin seed kernels, toasted
1 small clove garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

Pesto Preparation:
1. Combine all the ingredients – except the oil – in a food processor.
2. Slowly pulse the ingredients while drizzling the oil into the food processor. Blend until it has a course texture.

Squash Salad
4 cups peeled, cubed, roasted butternut squash (about 1 pound)
4 cups peeled, cubed, roasted pumpkin* (about 1 pound)
2 cups peeled, grilled, cubed pineapple (about 1 half pineapple)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 medium shallot, large dice
4 cups baby arugula
3 tablespoons unsalted pumpkin seed kernels, toasted

Salad Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400°.

1. Arrange squash in a single layer on non-stick sheet pan. Coat squash with cooking spray then sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until squash is tender and lightly browned, stirring after 12 minutes.
2. Add shallots and continue cooking. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. Once cooled, combine with pineapple.
4. Place baby arugula in a large bowl. Drizzle pesto mixture over greens, and toss gently to coat.
5. Arrange about 2/3 cup squash and pineapple mixture on plate. Top each serving with 1 cup of arugula. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy.

*Note: Once a pumpkin has been carved and has sat out, it is unsafe to eat.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 263; Fat: 3.6g; Saturated fat: 0.9g; Monounsaturated fat: 1.9g; Polyunsaturated fat: 2.2g; Protein: 4.8g; Carbohydrate: 23.8g; Fiber: 5.5g; Cholesterol: 12mg; Sodium: 375mg

ABOUT CHEF RICHARD

Chef-Richard-headshot-REVISED-2014-300x241.jpgChef Richard Plasencia, executive chef at South Miami Hospital, joined Baptist Health South Florida in 2011 for the opening of West Kendall Baptist Hospital. He is an award-winning chef who is passionate about creating and sharing fresh local and seasonal recipes seasoned with flavor and good health. In addition to an interest in nutrition, Chef Richard has an extensive history in the hospitality industry. He served as Chef at Town Kitchen & Bar, Jake’s, the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, the Shore Club, Por Fin, and the Conrad Hotel. He also was part of several teams that received the Mobile 4 and 5 star awards, as well as Cioppino being named to America’s Top 50 restaurants by Esquire Magazine 2005, during his time at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. Chef Richard Plasencia graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor of Science in culinary arts.

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