Warm Winter Salad of Pumpkin, Chorizo, Fennel and Blue Cheese

, from Issue #37. August, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Warm Winter Salad of Pumpkin, Chorizo, Fennel and Blue Cheese

Serves: 6


600 grams butternut pumpkin
1½ cups panko crumbs
finely grated zest 1 lemon
2 tablespoons each finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and thyme
½ cup chickpea flour, sifted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
olive oil and butter for cooking

1 cured chorizo sausage
1 medium fennel bulb
1/3 cup walnuts, roasted
100 grams soft blue cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed


Dressing: Place the ingredients in a bowl, season and whisk together.

Pumpkin: Put the panko crumbs, lemon zest and herbs in a food processor and process until well combined. Tip into a shallow dish and season. Put the chickpea flour and the eggs in separate dishes and season.

Peel the pumpkin, cut in half and remove the seeds, then cut into 1 cm thick slices. Coat the pumpkin first in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip in the egg and then the breadcrumbs, pressing them on so they are well coated.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and a small knob of butter in a sauté pan over a medium heat and cook the pumpkin for 3-4 minutes each side until tender. Drain on kitchen towels. Add the chorizo to the same pan, cook for 2 minutes then drain on kitchen towels.

To assemble: Thinly slice the chorizo on the diagonal and shave the fennel, reserving any fronds. Toss the fennel and walnuts with enough dressing to lightly coat. Spoon half the fennel and walnut mix onto a serving platter. Arrange the warm pumpkin on top and spoon over the remaining fennel salad. Scatter with slices of chorizo, pieces of blue cheese and the reserved fennel fronds and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Grind over some pepper and serve immediately. 

Panko crumbs: Flakey Japanese dried bread crumbs that create a crunchy crust. Available from Asian stores and good supermarkets.