Total time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Note: Dark green pumpkin seed oil and aleppo pepper, a sweet-hot chile powder, are available at restaurant supply stores, specialty cooking stores and well-stocked markets. You may substitute walnut oil or peanut oil, and any other chile powder.
1/4cup pecan halves
3 cups peeled and seeded pumpkin, cut into 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil, divided
1/4teaspoon aleppo pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, peeled and minced
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 small bunches arugula, trimmed, washed and dried well
1/4 pound (1 cup crumbled) good blue cheese
1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread the pecans in a shallow baking dish and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool, then chop coarsely. Raise the heat to 375 degrees.
2. Roll the pumpkin cubes in 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin seed oil in a large bowl and season with the aleppo pepper and salt. Spread on a large baking sheet and roast until they are soft and caramelized but still holding their shape, about 20 to 25 minutes, turning with a spatula every 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
3. Whisk together the Sherry vinegar, mustard and minced shallot in a small bowl with salt and black pepper to taste. Whisk in the remaining oil until emulsified. Place the arugula in a salad bowl and drizzle the dressing over it to taste; you may not need it all. Toss until the greens are lightly coated.
4. Divide the greens among the serving plates and arrange the pumpkin cubes on top of each. Sprinkle with the blue cheese and toasted pecans and serve at once.
Each serving: 334 calories; 9 grams protein; 10 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 31 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 21 mg. cholesterol; 729 mg. sodium.