Pumpkins and other squash are important crops in Indigenous cooking. The flesh is filling and full of carbohydrates. The seeds are chock full of protein and rich in micronutrients and minerals. This recipe was created on the fly in the kitchen one day when a pumpkin from Jennifer’s mom, Barb Cockrall, arrived as a gift. Warm pumpkin salad is now a go-to fall vegetable dish.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 180°C


  • Place the pumpkin (whole) on a baking sheet and cook in the preheated oven until soft and slightly caramelized, 45 minutes to 1 hour (the pumpkin should start to sag on top and the flesh under the rind will feel soft to the touch). Remove the pan from the heat and set aside until the pumpkin is cool enough to handle. Using your hands, peel the rind away from the flesh. Discard the strings from the centre but reserve the seeds. Cut the flesh into 3/4-inch/2-cm cubes (you should end up with about 4 cups/1 L).


  • Rinse the seeds in a colander under cool running water, using your fingers to separate them from the strings. Discard the strings and any lingering pumpkin flesh, and spread the seeds out on a paper towel to dry completely.


  • In a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds until they turn golden, 3 to 5 minutes (they’ll pop slightly when fully toasted). Transfer the toasted seeds to a plate immediately. In the same dry skillet, cook the cucumber slices until golden brown around the edges and in the middle, about 5 minutes per side. Set aside.


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, garlic, shallot, honey, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the warm pumpkin cubes and toss until well-coated.


  • Serve on a large plate or family-style platter. Sprinkle with about 1⁄2 cup/125 mL of the toasted pumpkin seeds and the chopped parsley, and top with the warm cucumber slices.


  • 1 medium pumpkin (about 8 lbs/3.5 kg)
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into 1⁄4-inch /0.5-cm rounds
  • 21⁄2 tbsp /37 mL cold-pressed canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, or pumpkin seed oil
  • 1 tsp /5 mL finely minced garlic 1 tsp /5 mL finely minced shallot 6 tbsp /90 mL good-quality organic honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1⁄2 tsp /2.5 mL salt 
  • 1⁄2 tsp /2.5 mL freshly ground black  pepper
  • 1⁄2 bunch fresh curly parsley, roughly chopped

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