Cooking Our Favorite Restaurant Dishes at Home

Welcome Back, Spotted Pig. Sort of.

Gothamist was determined to grab a table for the restaurant’s reopening last weekend. The upstairs renovation, the cause of the two month closing, is still not happening. The downstairs is exactly the same, maybe with one less table in the back of the space. Looks exactly like the old SP.

Unfortunately, they were only making small plates of potential new menu items for their opening week. Yes, that meant we could not order the gnudi. Or the burger. (Apparently available with a full menu this week). But Gothamist felt satisfied with the clams steamed in a robust, garlicky broth, a nice roasted radish dish and a creamy bacon, endive salad.

Yet Gothamist will vote for Spotted Pig to put their roasted pumpkin, arugula, toasted pine nut and parmigiano reggiano salad on the menu as a Fall seasonal dish. It was very simple but perfectly done - sweet roasted pumpkin, peppery arugla, salty parm cheese. That's a home meal in the making.

Gothamist Recipe

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Pumpkin Salad
arugula pesto, parmigiano reggiano

The Spotted Pig version of this dish doesn't have the arugula pesto. Gothamist decided to add this in order to amp up the intense, peppery freshness of arugula in the dish. You can plate this as we do, or just cubing the pumpkin will do the trick. Play with it.

Ingredient Shopping List
Recipe serves two people. You’ll have extra pumpkin. Puree it while it’s warm and you have a nice base for a soup.

1 small pumpkin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch arugula
1 lemon
1 small wedge parmigiano reggiano
1 tblspoon butter
1 bag pine nuts

Estimated cost of ingredients: about $12 at fairway

Roast the Pumpkin

Set the oven for 350.

Slice the pumpkin in half, then quarters. Scrape away the fibers from the insides and tops with a spoon and discard. Place them onto a sheet tray covered with foil. Rub the outside flesh with butter, then season each piece with salt and pepper. Cover the pumpkins with another piece of foil. Roll up the sides of the foil together so the pumpkin is covered in a foil package.

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Place the pumpkin in the oven to roast for about 1 hour. Check the pumpkin by sticking with a sharp knife. If it goes through clean and the center is soft, take it out and let it rest until room temp.

Make the Arugula Pesto

Roughly chop the arugula, about 1 cup. Take out 1 handful of pine nuts. Grate until you have one large handful of grated parmigiano reggiano.

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Add all of the above to a food processor or blender. Add a 2 sec pour of olive oil and one squeeze of lemon juice to bowl and process. Drizzle in a thin stream of olive oil until you see the pesto coming together into a smooth sauce. Scrap it into a small container. Cover it with plastic wrap, pushing the plastic wrap down to touch the pesto and wrap tightly. This prevents oxidization, or discoloring of the green pesto.

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Finish the Dish

Once the pumpkin is roasted and cooled, peel away the skin with your hands. Should come away relatively easy, but be gently in order to keep the full pumpkin piece together. Trim the edges of the pumpkin that tend to dry out. You should have a rectangular chunk to work with.

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Slice the chunk lengthwise into about three or four long, chunky rectangular strips on your cutting board. Slice these long chunky strips in half. Do this for about 4-5 of the pumpkin pieces. The rest you should puree in the food processor for use in a soup or reserve for leftovers. Place a row of two rectangular chunks in a staright row on your serving plate and make a few rows of pumpkin beneath them, continuing to add rows of two down the plate. As if you were building a log cabin, stack more strips going vertically on the horizontally plated pumpkin strips. .Drizzle the pumpkin on your plate with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. If you want your salad warm, place your oven proof plates in a warm oven at this point to just warm through. Shave a few thin slices of parmigiano cheese with a vegetable peeler while you wait.

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To finish, spoon about two tablespoons of pesto over the pumpkin. Add the slices of shaved cheese. Add a few pieces of fresh arugula on top and serve right away.

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