It's pumpkin season and last week a friend gave us a 1/4 of a very large Queensland Blue pumpkin and I decided to make a warm salad with it.
I used panchetta but bacon would also work and for a vegetarian option it could also be left out or replaced by home made garlic croutons.
I get my panchetta sliced for me when I buy it so that it is not too thin. It needs to be about half the thickness of a slice of bacon. Because it packs a lot of punch you do not need very much of it which makes it quite a frugal option. I purchased 8 slices and use 4 slices in this and 4 slices were left to be added to pasta and it cost me just over $2.
Pumpkin Chickpea and Pancheta Salad
1 kg Pumpkin cut into 1.5 cm cubes
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic
4 Slices of Panchetta
1/2 Cup dried Chickpeas that have been cooked or 1 x 400 gm tin of Chickpeas
1 Cup of loosely packed Coriander
Salt and Pepper
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Clove of Garlic
Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees then combine the pumpkin, first measure of olive oil and garlic in a large bowl and spread in a roasting tray and cook for 30 - 45 minutes or until cooked. Cool until the pumpkin is just warm the start preparing the other elements.
Heat a fry pan up to a medium heat and fry your 4 slices of panchetta till browned then drain on a paper towel so they crisp up then when they are cool crumble the slices into small pieces Remove the pan you fried off the panchetta in from the heat and add the chickpeas moving them around in the so that they warm slightly and pick up some of the panchetta flavour from the fat that has cooked out.
Whisk together your dressing and you are ready to assemble.
Reserve 1/2 the panchetta to sprinkle on at the end, Combine all of the other ingredients gently in a bowl before adding the dressing and serving with the extra panchetta.