We had a neighborhood pot luck recently to celebrate fall. We were asked to bring either a dessert or a side, with a pumpkin theme. Well, I knew there would be plenty of desserts, so I decided a salad would be the thing. I’ve always loved the ramen noodle salad that has made the rounds over the years. So I decided to roast some pumpkin and add that. Turns out, it was quite delicious. Here we go….This is a dump-everything-in-a-bowl recipe. I love those kinds of recipes, don’t you? I’ve always thought this salad was charmingly delicious. It’s charming, in so much as it includes uncooked, but sautéed, ramen noodles. What clever person would think to do that? And it’s delicious because…well, it is! This goes together quite easily, not as quickly as when you don’t use the pumpkin, but it’s still very manageable. I cube up the pumpkin (or butternut squash works even better), toss it with some good olive oil, then roast it in a 400°F oven for about 8 minutes. Give it a stir and kick the broiler on and broil until it picks up some nice color and is just barely tender. It will cook a bit more as it cools. The other thing to mention, is brown the raw, crushed up ramen in some oil or butter (and I use only one flavor packet). I think they hold up better and they taste better, too. Also, I used dried orange slices which I purchase from Trader Joe’s®. I just diced them up and tossed them in. In the future, I will be using those instead of the mandarin oranges, or maybe I will use both. It’s pretty straight forward…you dice and chop and toss and dress and you’re done!
I like to let it stand for about 30 minutes, after I add the dressing, which by the way, is pretty decent as a vinaigrette on its own. That toasted pumpkin seed oil is to die for and the vinaigrette is really good on roasted Brussels sprouts…but I digress.
Harvest Ramen Salad
The pumpkin can be roasted earlier in the day, and you may use either pumpkin or butternut squash. Allow an hour or two before serving so the flavors can mingle and meld.
- 2 cups cubed pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1/2-inch cubes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 packages Ramen noodles, and 1 flavor packet
- 1 cup chopped green onions, about 6
- 1 small head of savoy cabbage, thinly shredded (about 4-5 cups)
- 1 can Mandarin oranges, drained (see NOTE)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup shelled toasted pumpkin seeds (I used toasted marcona almonds)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seed oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar (or more to taste)
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup apricot jam, melted (you may use honey or maple syrup)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the pumpkin cubes with the oil and salt. Roast until just tender, about 10-12 minutes. Dump into a large bowl.
Crush ramen noodles and brown in butter; about 2 minutes. Add the green onions, stir well. Sprinkle the seasoning packet over; stir to combine. Pour over the roasted pumpkin cubes. Add the cabbage, oranges, cranberries and pumpkin seeds.
In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad; toss mixture together. You may serve immediately, but I think this is much better if it sits for a couple of hours.
NOTE: I used diced dried orange slices that I purchase at Trader Joe’s®. I used about 8 slices. I add about 1/2 cup thinly sliced, then chopped red cabbage.
Harvest Ramen Salad Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019. All rights reserved.
I am making this salad for Thanksgiving. I think it will be a great addition to our table. This is best eaten the day it’s made, but I must admit, it was pretty tasty for breakfast the next day! Hey, it has fruit and nuts in it, right?