For the most part, ex-pats in Gulu (myself included) are a pretty predictable bunch. But every so often someone comes along, like a random celebrity learning more about their cause or a Jehovah’s witness, that really stands out and seems so out of place you have no clue how exactly they landed there.
The same can be said for the vegetable supply. It’s mainly the expected bunch of standards with little variation but occasionally something comes along and makes you wonder, wtf are you doing here? That’s what happened to me at the market the other day, when I was cruising pass a stand with what at first I thought was a few potatoes, but upon further inspection, I realized it was three lone beets that I immediately bought up.
What I thought were potatoes were really beets.
And what looked like limes were actually oranges.
Could this in some way be symbolic? Like things are different than they appear and maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Jehovah’s witnesses? Nah. I’m probably spot on with that decision. But what it does mean is that I’ve got some great ingredients for a salad.
Roasted Beet and Pumpkin Salad with Orange Dijon Vinaigrette
1 Small Pumpkin (about 3-4 lbs)
7 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Orange Juice
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
7 ounces soft cheese (goat cheese would be excellent if available, Gulu is currently in a cheese drought so I am using Laughing Cow)
1/4 Cup Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 Tablespoon Sugar
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 450. Scrub beets and place them inside aluminum foil along with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a bit of salt and pepper. Bake for about an hour or until tender.
Remove seeds from pumpkin and set aside. Peel pumpkin and cut into 1 inch cubes. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and bake until soft, about 1/2 hour.
Mix pepitas with salt and sugar, and bake for about 5 minutes.
When beets are cool enough to handle, peel of skins and quarter the beets.
In a bowl, mix together remaining olive oil, orange juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Add roasted beets, pumpkin and serve salad sprinkled with pepitas and cheese.