Phyo’s Cooking Adventure
Pumpkin salads are among the most popular dishes at Australian BBQ meals — people just love the sweetness of caramelised, roasted pumpkin and the texture of the crunchy nuts in fresh green salad leaves. In Myanmar, we use pumpkin (shwe pha yone thee) in curries as a main dish as well as side dishes.
From this you can see that pumpkin is a versatile vegetable, and exploring new ways of preparing it is very enjoyable. There are many varieties of pumpkin and squash, and my personal favourites are Japanese pumpkin (with green and yellow patches) and golden pumpkin. As many people, I love pumpkin salads with nuts and green leaves, so here are a couple of my favourites.
Grilled pumpkin and rocket salad
700g of pumpkin (Asian)
2 tablespoons of roasted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons of roasted pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons of wholegrain mustard
2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cups of rocket leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste
Grill the onion directly on the gas stove flame without peeling the skins, until the whole onion is soft. Cool and set aside.
Cut the pumpkin into pieces 2cm thick and 5-6cm long without peeling the skin. Brush olive oil (1 tablespoon) on both sides of the pumpkin pieces and grill them by lying them on a rack above the gas flame. Turn to cook evenly. When they are soft and cooked through, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
For the dressing, mix the wholegrain mustard, balsamic vinegar and olive oil (1 tablespoon) in a jar and shake well. If you don’t want to make your own dressing, you can use 1½ tablespoons of balsamic vinagrete instead.
Peel the skin off the grilled onions and cut them into wedges. Place the grilled onion, grilled pumpkin, roasted seeds and rocket leaves in a large bowl and toss them with the dressing. Salt and black pepper to taste.