Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Baby Greens and Watercress, Topped with Chile-Glazed Shrimp and Apple Mole

Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Baby Greens and Watercress, Topped with Chile-Glazed Shrimp and Apple Mole

From Michael Higgins


        • 3 cups (1/2-inch diced) cooking pumpkin or butternut squash
        • 1/4 cup olive oil
        • 2 tablespoons chile spice blend
        • Salt and pepper
        • Salad greens with apple cider vinaigrette:
        • 4 cups baby greens
        • 2 bunches watercress, cleaned and stemmed
        • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
        • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
        • 6 tablespoons grape seed oil or any light tasting oil


        • 30 peeled and cleaned shrimp (jumbo 16/20 size)
        • 1/4 cup olive oil
        • 1/4 cup chile blend
        • Salt and pepper

Rub pumpkin with oil and chile spice blend and roast in the oven until pumpkin is just done, not too soft. Let cool to room temperature. Clean greens and watercress. Dry and mix. Store covered in refrigerator until needed. Rub shrimp with the olive oil, spice blend and salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 350 degrees until shrimp is just done. Put shrimp in a bowl with all the oil and juices from the roasting pan and cool shrimp to room temperature.

To assemble: Divide pumpkin onto 6 plates, keeping pumpkin centered on plates. Top pumpkin with salad that has been tossed with vinaigrette. Make sure the pumpkin is showing under the greens. Top greens with shrimp, drizzling any juices left over from cooking the shrimp. Drizzle the plate with apple mole (see note) and top shrimp with very thin shaved tart apple.

Per serving: 340 calories, 6 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate, 30 g fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 300 mg sodium.

Note from Chef Higgins: For the mole, use equal amounts of lightly roasted ancho, mulatto and pasilla chiles (or any three dried chiles of your choice). Powder the chiles in a coffee grinder and add ground cumin, coriander, ground cinnamon stick and Mexican oregano or just find a good Mexican chili blend already made. I did not say this would be easy, but some of the fun of cooking is getting out and finding things in or out of town. Cooking is an adventure so go exploring and have fun.

If you want my mole sauce recipe, send me a stamped, self-addressed envelope (Michael Higgins, Maldaner”s Restaurant, 222 S. Sixth, St., Springfield, IL 62701) and I”ll send you a copy. Warning: this is not easy to make and you have to go looking for the ingredients. So the mole can be an option for this dish, but it is so good when you make it. Serves 6


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