A rockin’ good roast pumpkin salad

21st January 2021 | Eativity editors

Who said vegetables had to be boring? Whether you’re doing Veganuary or not, you totally need to try this roast pumpkin salad from the legends at Bondi’s Rocker restaurant and bar.

If you’ve been giving Veganuary a go, you’ve probably been exploring the many delicious ways you can incorporate vegies into your daily meals. The possibilities are endless. From cauliflower schnitzels to mushroom burgers, from vegie risottos to jackfruit enchiladas, you can dig into some truly tasty grub without needing even a scrap of meat. But while all these meals are awesome, when it comes to veg 101, you can’t really go past the humble salad.

While the word “salad” might conjure up images of a few soggy leaves of iceberg lettuce and a stray tomato and cucumber slice or two, a salad can actually be hearty and nutritious enough to stand as a meal in its own right. Case in point: Three Blue Ducks chef Darren Robertson’s restaurant Rocker gives you this al fresco recipe for roast pumpkin salad. It’s perfect for the summer and for Veganuary. Whip it up next time you have guests. Then, when they rave about it, say casually, “What, this old thing? Oh, I just threw it together.”

For more details on Rocker, head to rockerbondi.com.au or follow them on Instagram. For more Veganuary recipe inspiration, check out these breakfast and lunch ideas.

Roast pumpkin salad

Roast pumpkin, almond cream, apple and fennel salad

Serves 6

You’ll need:

1 medium Japanese pumpkin

For the salad/garnish

Bunch parsley
Bunch coriander
Fennel bulb
Bunch mint
Green apple
20g dukkah

For the salad dressing

100ml good olive oil
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp fermented chilli

For the fermented almond cream

200g almond meal
200ml almond milk
Fermented chilli liquid or hot sauce

For the pumpkin marinade

100ml harissa
2 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp coriander seed

Kitchen staples

Olive oil
Wholegrain mustard
Salt and pepper


1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Split the pumpkin in half, then half again. You should have 4 large quarters. Scoop out seeds and place pumpkin to the side.

2. Mix pumpkin marinade in a large bowl, add a splash of olive oil and honey to taste. It should be sweet and spicy.

3. Line a large baking tray with paper. If marinade bowl is big enough, place each pumpkin piece inside. Coat with marinade, placing each one on baking tray once coated. Pour leftover marinade over pumpkin once on the tray.

4. Bake at 180°C for 50 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft in the middle.

5. Meanwhile, make almond cream. Place almond meal and milk in a small pan. Place over low heat, gently stirring until it comes together.

6. Place almond mix into a blender with 1-2 tablespoons of fermented chilli liquid or hot sauce, a glug of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Blend until smooth and season with salt. Put in a container and into the fridge to cool.

7. For the salad, pick and wash a handful of each herb, giving them a good dry or spin. Julienne green apple. For fennel bulb, take core out and slice as thinly as possible – roughly 1 handful of shaved fennel. Place salad ingredients in a bowl.

8. Mix dressing ingredients in a bowl, season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon.

9. Once pumpkin is cooked, take out of the oven. Let it cool slightly. Grab a large plate, place a dollop of almond cream on the plate, followed by pumpkin. Add dressing to salad. Place salad on top of pumpkin. Finish with a good dukkah and a drizzle of olive oil.

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