I don’t know why I call this dish a salad. It’s more like a vegetarian main. The mushrooms are marinated in a zesty dressing sweetened with maple syrup and then mixed with sweet roasted pumpkin, fresh, vibrant rocket leaves, a ton of crunchy nuts and my favourite, bulgur wheat. I absolutely love it in salads as it has the quality to absorb all the flavours and the goodness of this dish. It is a bit more time consuming than your average salad, but you could prepare the mushrooms, pumpkin and bulgur the day before and keep it in the fridge. Serve it as a light lunch or a vegetarian main. It’s a real crowd pleaser.
For marinating the mushrooms
- 500 grams white, cap mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- The leaves from 10 thyme sprigs
- 2 cloves garlic, bruised but left whole
- 3 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 Tbs lemon zest
- 1 Tbs white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbs maple syrup
For the pumpkin
- 1 kg pumpkin, cut in 2 cm cubes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
For the bulgur wheat
- 1 cup “Mitsides” bulgur wheat (blue pack)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
To assemble the salad
- 2 cups rocket leaves
- ¼ cup mint leaves
- 100 grams feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 Tbs sunflower seeds
- 2 Tbs pumpkin seeds
- 1 Tbs goji berries
Put the sliced mushrooms in a Tupperware. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and pour over the mushrooms. Cover the Tupperware bowl with its lid and shake briefly to distribute the marinade. Leave in the fridge to marinate over night.
Preheat oven to 190 C. Put pumpkin pieces on a baking tray. Drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix briefly with your hands. Roast pumpkin for 20-25 minutes until soft but not mushy. Set aside to cool.
In a small pot bring the 2 cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Add the bulgur wheat and season with salt. Lower heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Spread bulgur wheat on a tray to cool and stop the cooking process.
Assemble the salad: Drain the mushrooms but keep their marinade. Discard the garlic cloves. In a large bowl mix together the pumpkin, bulgur wheat and mushrooms. Add the rocket, mint and remaining ingredients. Drizzle with the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Serve at once garnished with more goji berries if you like.