Caveman style Pumpkin Salad

Caveman style Pumpkin Salad

Autumn is starts to show off the beauty of nature. The trees proudly try to burn themselves into our memory before the dark days will finally chase their colors away! These days are inviting to go for a walk. And what could be better than ending the day with delicious (low and slow) outdoor cooking. Up till now I didn’t dare to prepare meat while being away from home. Netflix series “Chefs table” about Francis Mallmann however inspired me to try using vegetables for long projects. For meat lovers: “Don’t start worrying I added some meat!”. To the vegetarians: “You can ignore the meat and still enjoy the meal (a little bit less)”.

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In a glimpse of the episode Francis prepares a pumpkin salad by burying the pumpkin in a wet muslin placed on coals for a few hours. Since I don’t want to mess up my garden I used my Kamado to create a similar effect. If it was for a piggy I would consider digging it in, but ruining my garden for vegetables is a no go for now. I fired up the coals and dropped in the butternut squash. This technique is called: caveman style. Hence the title “Caveman style pumpkin salad”. I Closed the lid and set the temperature for +- 100°C (210°F).

Now you have some time to go for a walk. The fire will slowly cook the pumpkin and doesn’t need any attention. Don’t worry about the pumpkin peel getting black, it’s protecting the flesh from burning. While the coals did their work, we went for a walk in a nearby conservancy area called “Bergelen Put“. A nice place to walk and a beautiful playground for the children. The following picture was made in the morning at sunrise. It’s one of the pictures I made for a landscape assignment in the photography course.

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Caveman style Pumpkin Salad Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut Squash or pumpkinCaveman Pumpkin Salad-5989
  • Rucola
  • Shiitake
  • Feta Cheese
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Dried ham
  • Baked Pines
  • Sage
  • Parsley

 

Preparation:

As written above the first step consists of slowcooking the butternut squash or pumpkin in between the coals for a couple of hours. You need the Squash cooked through. You will know when it’s ready when you puncture the squash with a fork with ease. Then trouble begins… I could be lyrical about this recipe (and I am partially) but I really underestimated the mess the burnt squash would make in my kitchen… I might be a good thing to scrape the ashes of before removing it from your pit.

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After you’ve made a walk or relaxed a while you can prepare the rest of the condiments. There’s not much work to do. I started by baking the pines. Afterwards I baked the shiitake in the same pan with some garlic, salt, pepper and parsley.

Caveman Pumpkin Salad-6018In theory you should be able to remove the seeds and serve the salad in the squash itself. Given the mess I did opt to keep the rest of my house clean and spooned out the pumpkin flesh to serve the salad in a bowl. From now on you just combine the ingredients into a tasteful Caveman style Pumpkin salad:

Caveman Pumpkin Salad-6028

The combination of flavours in this salad worked out well! Though cheese is not my favorite food, I’m starting to like Feta and even believe it’s necesarry in this recipe to balance the flavours. Vegetarians might not like to hear me saying the salty meat gives a punch too. But I’m sure you’ll be creative enough by now to replace it! Feel free to share if you did!

Caveman style Pumpkin Salad
Ingredients
  • 1 Butternut Squash or pumpkin
  • Rucola
  • Shiitake
  • Feta Cheese
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Dried ham
  • Baked Pines
  • Sage
  • Parsley
Instructions
  1. Light up some coals to prepare a low heat open fire. You can do this in a closed BBQ, but open fire would work too if you turn the squash a few times. Aim for 100°C (210°F)
  2. Put the Squash between the coals and let it cook for a few hours.
  3. While the squash is slow cooking in it's own juices you start by roasting the Pines.
  4. After you've roasted the pines pour some oil in a hot pan and bake the Shiitake. Toss in some garlic, pepper, salt and parsley to add flavour.
  5. After a couple of hours the squash should be ready. You can know when it's ready if you're able to puncture the squash easily with a fork. The outside should be totally burnt by now.
  6. Scrape the ashes of before removing the squash from your pit. Your kitchen will be glad!
  7. In theory you should be able to remove the seeds and serve the salad in the squash itself. If you're messy like me you can opt to spoon out the pumpkin flesh and serve the salad in a bowl.
  8. From now on you just combine the ingredients into a tasteful Caveman style Pumpkin salad:

Thanks for reading! Hope you liked this recipe. I’ll be glad to hear your opinion or see similar recipes you’ve made! If you think you know someone who might like this salad, he or she might like it when you share. At least I would like it 😉

 



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