Skip to main content

Great Pumpkins

Sep 29, 2023 ● By Veronica Hinke
Roasted pumpkin salad with honeycrisp apples and candied pecans.

Photo credit Veronica Hinke

There is so much more to make with pumpkins than pie. “Pie pumpkins” that are used for baking pies and other sweet treats can double as a terrific savory ingredient for lunch or dinner this time of year. Pumpkin provides vitamins A and C; fiber and potassium. Apples are full of vitamins C and B6; iron, magnesium and calcium.

This Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Honeycrisp Apples and Candied Pecans is full of bright, light textures and flavors, and it is also full of some of the healthiest ingredients of autumn. Make this on a Sunday afternoon for salad for most of the coming week or treat friends to a special fall foods meal gathering. The lightly spiced pecans in this recipe can also be used to top ice cream and other fall treats.


Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Honeycrisp Apples and
Candied Pecans

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 small pie pumpkin

2 large heads oak leaf lettuce

2 cups chopped pecans

1 bunch frisee lettuce

3 Tbsp butter

1 large head romaine lettuce

¼ cup light brown sugar

1 large head butter lettuce

½ tsp cinnamon

1 small head iceberg lettuce

½ tsp cardamom

1 small head raddichio

4 large honeycrisp apples


Specialty tools: V-slicer (mandolin)

Preheat oven to 375° F. Clean the pumpkin and set it in the oven in a small roasting pan until it is cooked all of the way through, about one hour. Be careful not to over-roast the pumpkin so that it continues to hold its shape even after being roasted. Make sure that the pumpkin is soft enough so that a knife will sink easily into the pumpkin all the way through but still firm enough to hold its shape. Remove the pumpkin and set it aside on the countertop until it is cool enough to cut.

When the pumpkin is cool enough to cut, use a knife to cut it into 2-by-2-inch pieces.

In a small roasting pan, gently toss together the pecans, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Place the pecans in the oven until they are lightly browned and toasted, about 15 minutes. Stir the pecans after the first 7 minutes. Remove the pecans from the oven, and set them aside on the countertop.

Use a V-slicer (a mandolin) to slice the apples, starting on one side and continuing to the other side until the whole apple is cut into thin slices. Discard the stem and core. Use a large cutting knife to cut the apple slices lengthwise to make apple “matchsticks”.

Clean and thinly chop the lettuces into thin, bite-size pieces. In a large salad bowl, toss the lettuces together well.

Place the pumpkin, apple matchsticks and pecans on top of the lettuces.

Pour the Honey-Orange Salad Dressing over the salad, and use salad tongs to toss the dressing into the salad.


Honey-Orange Salad Dressing

1 Tbsp honey

4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of one fresh orange

1 shallot, thinly sliced

¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground peppercorns

Combine all of the ingredients in salad dressing shaker and shake until thoroughly combined.

Veronica Hinke is an author, speaker, journalist, coach and expert on early 20th-century drinking, dining and style. She is the author of The Last Night on the Titanic and Titanic: The Official Cookbook. Learn more at