Fire Roasted Pumpkin, Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad


Ember roasted pumpkin_Francis Mallmann  Roasting pumpkins in hot coals is a fun way to cook veggies- I imagine this is the way our ancestors did it before they had ovens!

Most people think of pumpkin pie when they think of this iconic fall squash. But in this recipe it makes for a wonderful salad, roasted in coals and served warm with arugula and goat cheese. This recipe is one of those that really suprises people because it is an unconventional way to cook a pumpkin, though when you think about it, mankind has been using fire this way for thousands of years. What is old is new again!

Pulling the pumpkin out of the coals, and then splitting it for a awe inspiring salad presentation may just win a place at your holiday table this year, I know it will be on mine!

I can’t take credit for the idea behind this recipe, it came from my all time Grilling Hero, Francis Mallmann, a French Trained Argentinian Chef who has all kinds of creative recipes in his cookbook 7 Fires.


Serves 4 (half pumpkin each)

Adapted from Francis Mallmann’s book, 7 Fires – Grilling the Argentine Way

  • 2 small pumpkins (called Pie pumpkins at the store- the ones for cooking with, not carving for jack-o-lanterns)
  • 8 oz goat chese
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 tbsp balsamic glaze
  • 1/2 cup pecans (optional)
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries (optional)


Create a fire in your grill for medium direct heat. Make sure you use enough coals and they are evenly lit- you will be roasting the pumpkins in the coals.

Roast the pumpkins in the coals for 30-45 minutes, making sure that the pumpkins are uniformly surrounded by charcoal so they cook evenly. Pumpkins are ready to be removed once you can easily remove with a form.

Remove the pumpkins (using tongs or heat proof gloves) and let cool. Split open and remove seeds. Add arugula and goat cheese. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic glaze; add salt and pepper to taste. Wonderful with the addition of pecans and dried cherries. What is neat is the half pumpkin makes for a cool serving vehicle for the rest of the ingredients- like a salad bowl. Other winter squshes can be used for this technique- I’ve done this with acorn squash and it was excellent! This recipe is perfect for a Holiday gathering! Do you have a cool way to serve pumpkin? Please share!

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My focus is on healthy, simple and creative recipes on the grill. I encourage women to learn to grill as it is a great way to create healthy, flavorful dishes without all the fuss and clean up in the kitchen.

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