Spiced roasted pumpkin and falafel salad

Spiced roasted pumpkin and falafel salad

Mr Wilkinson's Simply Dressed Salads
Jacqui Melville

Another lovely take on a day-time special at Pope Joan. I have to admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of falafel, until I tasted this dish.


Quantity Ingredient
300g falafel mix
1 small onion, finely diced
1 small handful curly parsley, washed and roughly chopped
1 small handful mint, washed and chopped
1kg jap or kent pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 2.5 cm cubes
2 teaspoons baharat spice blend or ras el hanout, (see glossary)
1 teaspoon salt flakes
300ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 small handful rocket leaves
1/2 ball shanklish, (see glossary)

Green olive dressing

Quantity Ingredient
100g green kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 large handful mixed mint, parsley and dill, washed and chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
120ml olive oil


  1. Place the falafel mix, onion and herbs in a food processor. Add a good pinch of salt flakes and 180 ml water. Blend for 3 minutes, until everything is combined. Scoop into a bowl, let rest in the fridge for 15 minutes, then roll into balls the size of walnuts. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  3. In a mixing bowl, toss together the pumpkin, baharat and salt. Drizzle with a little olive oil and scatter over a baking tray. Bake for 12–16 minutes, or until tender, then take out of the oven and let cool a little.
  4. To make the dressing, use a mortar and pestle to smash the olives, garlic, herbs, lemon zest and lemon juice to a paste. Fold in the olive oil with a spoon.
  5. In a large deep frying pan, heat the 300 ml olive oil over a medium heat. Make sure the oil is hot, then shallow-fry the falafels in batches for 3–4 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and fully cooked through.
  6. Dress your serving plate with the green olive dressing. Arrange the falafels on the plate. Mix the roasted pumpkin and rocket together, then scatter all over the plate, adding a little more dressing if needed. Tear the shanklish over and serve.


  • For other fabulous uses for the green olive dressing, see the chapter introduction.
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