Wow. I never realised how little i'd be cooking or blogging once uni returned. Life has gotten hectic! Now my cooking revolves around what is in the fridge, can be eaten as lunch the next day or is quick to prepare (and preferably all of the above.) I can't actually remember the last time i followed a recipe - i've been winging it most nights.
Tonight i did wing it again, but i can recall it well enough to type it out and i'm pleased with the result. Initially i was planning on making roast pumpkin, spinach and semi-sundried tomato risotto but that got scrapped in favour of this salad. I love salads because you can add whatever you have on hand. I was going to use couscous until i realised we had none, so used the last bit of some israeli couscous (why does it always go so gluggy?) and some pearl barley that had been in the pantry for who knows how long. I really should use that more - i loved the chewy texture!
The idea for a pesto sauce came from the sheer amount of basil taking over the backyard at the moment. If you don't have an overabundance like me you can always buy some ;)
Roast Pumpkin, Semi Sundried Tomato, Chickpea & Pesto Salad
Makes 4 serves.
1/4 japanese pumpkin, chopped into 5cm cubes
Approx 12 semi-sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
400g tin chickpeas, drained
100g baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup uncooked israeli couscous
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/2 cup basil pesto, see recipe below
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place pumpkin on a baking tray and roast for 30-40 minutes or until slightly browned.
Meanwhile cook the couscous and pearl barley according to instructions and set aside (if you place the hot grains on the spinach it will wilt it slightly and therefore be easier to manage.)
Once the pumpkin is cooked, place everything in a large bowl and stir gently to combine, making sure there are no lumps of pesto.
Enjoy! (and have drool-worthy leftovers for lunch tomorrow!)
Sarah's Basil Pesto (using the random things i could find - i love pesto, no matter what you do it it always tastes good!)
About the equivalent of 1 bunch basil
1/3 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped almonds (or whatever nut you have... we love protein!)
1/2-1 tbsp white vinegar (i swear this is the secret to good pesto)
Chuck everything in a blender, food processor, Thermomix, whatever - use a mortar and pestle if you're muscly! Just try and make it as smooth as possible. Because mine was a bit thick and i needed to incorporate it into the salad i added a bit of water - not traditional i know but i didn't want to add more oil!