So, you may (or may not) know how I feel about the pumpkin spicing of everything that happens in the fall. (HINT: I don’t like it one bit.) That being said, I have no hard feelings toward actual pumpkins. They’re not my favorite flavor but I’m not mad them. What I do love about pumpkins is their seeds.
Pumpkin Seeds or Pepitas
Pumpkin seeds, pepitas – whatever you call them I’m all about them sprinkled on my soups, mixed in my granola or trail mix, and especially tossed in my salads. They’re crunchy and creamy and nutty all at the same time and I want to put them on everything or just eat them, freshly toasted by the handful without guilt because they’re a pretty healthy snack. They’re high in protein, fiber, magnesium, and potassium. They also boost your immunity and are full of free radical-fighting antioxidants.
You can buy pumpkin seeds in their off-white, oval shells or already hulled (pictured above). Toasting them deepens their flavor, making them the perfect addition to this Arugula Salad with Blueberries, Pumpkin Seeds & Feta. (Isn’t she lovely, by the way?)
Toast your hulled pumpkin seeds in a sauté pan over medium high heat. No need to add oil or anything. Just seeds in a hot pan until they begin to brown. They have a built in signaling system to let you know when they’re hot and toasty and ready for action. The seeds will literally start to pop out of the pan, like a flatter, greener popcorn. On the stove and in this salad, pumpkin seeds are literally on and poppin’! Get some!
PS: About those sliced red onions in the vinaigrette. They serve two purposes. First, their onion-y goodness adds flavor to the dressing and the vinegars soften the onion’s flavor and texture so they’re not so harsh in your salad. Sort of a quick pickle. They’re tart with just a little crunch and a lot of yum.
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 4 cups arugula (about 4 ounces), rinsed and dried
- 1/2 cup blueberries, rinsed and dried
- 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup thinly-sliced red onion
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Pinch each salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Heat a small sauté pan over medium high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and toast until golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Place pumpkin seeds on a plate or baking sheet to cool.
- Whisk vinegars, onions, honey, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil in a slow steady stream until vinaigrette is emulsified.
- Place arugula in a large bowl or on a serving platter. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons vinaigrette - be sure to get some of the red onion slices in there - and toss until leaves are evenly coated. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, blueberries and cheese.
- Sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper and serve.