I am always so pleased when I walk away from a day in the Barossa. In addition to the beautiful fresh butternut pumpkin, purple sprouting broccoli, beetroot, five varieties of lettuce and a bag full of zucchini, I traded half a bag of oranges for half a box of peacharines and half a tub of strawberries for three avocadoes. That's the beauty of these markets, it's often cheaper to buy a box full of fruit or veg. But knowing that one family alone wouldn't be able to consume it all, we split and trade until everyone is happy. From mum's own little farm I collected a carton of eggs and bunches of spring onion, mint, parsley and basil - so fresh.
Shopping at the Farmers Markets also means you only buy what's in season. So once I'd carted all my produce back home, I sat down to make a meal plan for the following week, with the aim to use up all the fresh groceries before they have the opportunity to go bad. I've let veggies compost themselves in the bottom of my fridge in the past so this year I'm determined to buy fresh, and eat fresh. The weekly menu is looking rather full of beetroot, so much so that it's turning certain bodily fluids a gorgeous crimson colour - a sacrifice I'm only too glad to make if it means eating crisp fresh bulbs of the purpley staining stuff every day!
Roast pumpkin and beetroot salad with black lentils and haloumi croutons
Serves 2 -4
- 1/2 butternut pumpkin
- 2 large or 3 small beetroots
- 1/2 tablespoon virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cooked black beluga lentils
- 3 slices of haloumi cheese (about 5 mm thick)
- Fresh parsley and lemon juice to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
- Scoop out the seeds from the pumpkin and rinse in a colander. Chop the pumpkin and beetroot into even sized cubes and place in an oven proof dish. Drizzle with the olive oil and place in the oven to roast for 25 minutes (or to your liking).
- Dry off the pumpkin seeds with paper towel and spread evenly onto a baking tray. Place the seeds in the bottom tray of the oven and allow to roast for about 10 minutes or until they are lightly golden, but not burnt.
- Heat a fry pan over medium heat and fry the haloumi for one minute each side until slightly golden. Slice the cheese into crouton squares
- Once the pumpkin and beetroot are cooked, pile onto a plate and top with lentils, haloumi, pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of parsley. Squeeze over some fresh lemon juice and serve.