The Essential Dukkah + Roast Pumpkin Salad you Need in your Repertoire.

A tasty meat-free idea dinner that’s quick and easy too!

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Hi Foodies, hope you’ve had wonderful Easter and ANZAC celebrations this year! It’s been just a busy as ever at Smiling Chef HQ. I’ve spent the last few months working on some exciting photography projects including a seasonal produce series with DEXUS Property Group for Plumpton Marketplace. Over the Easter Season we launched a number of tasty recipes including Roast Lamb with Crispy Potatoes, Side of Salmon with Green Beans (both coming soon to Smiling Chef), and my colourful Kid-Friendly Chocolate Truffle Easter Eggs (see recipe here) which could really be made and gifted at any time of the year. Check out more photos from my Instagram below.

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One more day to go until EASTER – Need a last minute Easter Sunday Lunch idea? Get the quick and tasty recipe for my Roast Side of Salmon with Green Beans from my exciting collaboration with @plumpton.marketplace (link in bio) and get ready to cook up a storm! In other news, I cannot lie, I'm a little bit buggered after all the walking last night but I had an incredible time at the @catholicyouthparra Good Friday Night Walk from Blacktown to Parramatta. Check out my adventures via my #instagramstories. Back at home today I'm preparing a roast lamb and have set aside some fruit for soaking which I'll use to make some buttery, spicy hot cross buns tomorrow. What are your Easter plans? #jernejkitchen

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As the weather starts to cool down I’ve been spending more time writing and working on my business so I’ve been trying to develop a repertoire of simple, fuss-free recipes that are both tasty and healthy. One of my favourite things to do is to pair butternut pumpkin wedges with store-bought dukkah which is a fantastic seasoning and forms it’s own crust on the pumpkin when roasted. I can already picture the sweet caramelised smell wafting through my kitchen. Paired with a delicious garden salad and zingy dressing it makes for the perfect light autumnal dinner in no time!


Dukkah Roast Butternut Pumpkin Salad with Italian Herb Vinaigrette
Prep Time 5 mins | Cooking Time 20 mins | Serves 2
  • 500g butternut pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus 2 tbsp extra for the dressing
  • 2 tbsp dukkah (see Brendon’s Tips below)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 2 handfuls mixed salad leaves
  • 4 Roma tomatoes

Roast the Pumpkin. Line a baking tray with baking paper and pre-heat your oven to 180ºC/ 350ºF/ Gas Mark 4. Slice the pumpkin into 2cm wedges (See Brendon’s Tips) and transfer to a large bowl with 1tbsp olive oil, the dukkah and honey. Season with pepper and a pinch of salt if needed. Spread across the baking tray in a single layer and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway through the cooking time, until golden and tender.

Make the dressing. While the pumpkin roasts you can quickly make the dressing by placing the extra 2 tbsp olive oil, mustard, balsamic vinegar and herbs into a small screw top jar. Cover and shake until emulsified.

Assemble the Salad. Scatter the mixed salad leaves on a serving platter. Quarter the tomatoes and scatter over the leaves, then top with the pumpkin and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Serve.


Brendon’s Tips

  • Dukkah is a middle-eastern spice and nut blend that is often used as a dip with bread and olive oil. Find it in all good supermarkets and specialty food stores. Suggest a favourite brand etc.
  • I often keep leave the skin on my pumpkin and other root vegetables prior to roasting. It contains all the essential vitamins and becomes wonderfully caramelised when roasted.
  • No pumpkin? Simply switch for your favourite root vegetables such as carrots, beetroot, sweet potato or even parsnips. As a general rule the sturdier the vegetable, the longer it will take to cook.
  • Sprinkle the salad with roasted cashews for an added protein kick and extra crunch.



Happy Cooking and Keep Smiling,


While you’re here why not ‘like’ my Facebook or follow me on Instagram and keep up-to-date with all my foodie adventures like this one below:

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🐔🍔🐔🍔🐔🍔🐔They're onto a winner. Check out the incredible new burger from @originalsburgerco crafted by Chef Josh himself! Winner Winner Chicken Dinner – Picture OG's famous buttermilk chicken, potato scallop, roast pumpkin, roast onion, peas, gravy, OG's sauce and BBQ sauce and crowned with crispy chicken crackling. Who could ask for more? Available throughout may at OBC. Thanks so much for the fabulous lunch Josh and crew and special shoutout to @spooningaust and @omptymedia for this incredible opportunity. Great to dine with @getfatwithnat and @randomdindins and thanks for hand-modelling Nat. Head to my Facebook page to check out more of my photos (link in bio) 🐔🍔🐔🍔🐔🍔🐔

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