Thursday 20 October 2011

Pumpkin cranberry salad

October is disappearing in a whirlwind!  Not only am I doing Vegan MoFo (ie. posting lots of vegan posts this month), but I have also had a busy time of it with a big week of meetings at work last week, family birthdays and an addictive DVD boxset series (The Killing).  And I have been making this salad!

I know that salad is usually simply a matter of chopping some veg and tossing them with some dressing.  This salad started with making vegan goats cheeze.  Yes, I made my own cheese!  Then I cooked grains, roasted pumpkin, soaked cranberries, chopped vegies, toasted walnuts, and put a bit of this and that in the dressing.  You may also spot Sylvia's contribution of a chunk of tofu in the top photo.

It was lovely but not perfect.  I didn't feel very brave about my cheeze.  Next time I would be generous with it.  Our dinner guests K and Toby enjoyed it too.  I'll tell you more about the meal another time.  For now I will just tell you about the salad.  It was sweet, tart, sharp, soft, crunchy and delicious.  Excellent with burgers.  The leftovers were great with bangers and mash tonight.

I am sending this salad to Jacqueline (and Lisa) who have chosen squash as the month's theme for No Croutons Required.  It also goes to Ricki and Kim whose theme for this month's Sweet or Savoury (SOS) event is cranberries.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe
This time last year: SOS Tahini Muesli Bars or Mama Mia!
This time two years ago: Vegan feta crackers for sleepless nights
This time three years ago: Tom Phat: Funky fusion

Pumpkin cranberry walnut and goats cheeze salad
inspired by this salad
serves 4-6
  • 1kg pumpkin, peeled, trimmed and diced
  • olive oil
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice*
  • 1 cup cooked brown quinoa*
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 green capsicum (or celery), diced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • handful of chopped goats cheese
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp rapsberry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 garlic clove, crushed (about 1/4 tsp)
  • shake of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp seeded mustard
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
* NB I cooked 1/2 cup of brown rice cooked for 30 minutes and used some leftover quinoa from the fridge - that I had cooked for 20 minutes.

Roast pumpkin with some olive oil and a pinch of salt in a 230 C oven for about 70 minutes or until soft inside and slightly charred on the outside.  It will make about 2 cups of roasted pumpkin chunks.  Set aside to cool.

Make dressing by mixing all ingredients in a bowl with a small whisk.  Soak cranberries in boiling water for 5 minutes and drain.  Lightly toast walnuts in a dry frypan.

Place roast pumpkin, cranberries, grains, spring onions and capsicums in a large salad bowl.  Add dressing - it seems like a lot but the grains will soak it up.  Top salad with walnuts and goats cheese.  Serve at room temperature.  It is best eaten on the day of making it but keeps well overnight in the fridge.

On the stereo:
You can't do that on stage any more [sampler]: Frank Zappa

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food October 2011.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more Vegan MoFo posts.


  1. Sounds amazing. And you know you've got me all curious about that goat cheese!!

  2. Mmmmmmmm, sounds tasty Johanna, especially with the cranberry and goats cheese combo. Thanks for submitting it for NCR :)

  3. I thought it was perfect, both the salad and the cheese. Seriously loved it, thanks again!

  4. ummm that cheese looks totally amazing! I want it!

  5. I love salads like this - that have a little bit of everything :)

  6. That salad looks amazing and I must admit to being a bit jealous about your cheese, it looks perfect! I attempted it earlier this month and it ended up in the bin (which is such a rare thing for me to do). I'm looking forward to your post about the cheese and am interested to hear about how it tasted. :)

  7. That chunk of tofu made me chuckle :) I am also so impressed you made your own goats cheese - and this combination of ingredients looks delightful.

  8. So glad you tried the cheese! The goat cheese is probably my favorite one. The salad sounds delectable!

  9. Thanks Vegangela - your cheese is on my list so I will definitely be sharing mine as well over the next few days

    Thanks Jacqueline - was very tasty

    Thanks K - glad you enjoyed it

    Thanks Lazy Smurf - just finished the cheese today and now I want it too :-)

    Thanks Lisa - a bit of everything gives salads lots of substance - I love that too

    Thanks Mel - I was very nervous about the cheese but pleased in the end - will post more about it soon

    Thanks Kari - I didn't see the tofu until I downloaded the photos - I was impressed that I made any cheese - quite a feat for me

    Thanks Ricki - you have been inspiring me to make cheese for far too long - glad I am finally there

  10. Sounds delicious - a lovely combination of textures and flavours.

    I love the way Sylvia managed to sneak a piece of her favourite tofu onto your salad! Looking forward to hearing more about your cheeze...

  11. Oh how fabulous! Your own cheese and a blogger meet-up for dinner :) I can't wait to see the cheeze recipe. You've probably already posted it, actually, but I'm terribly behind...

  12. This salad looks so delicious! I love pumpkin and cranberries together, so I am definitely bookmarking this recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  13. This is a great salad creation! I want to know more about that cheeze.


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