Roast Pumpkin, Fetta and Pine Nut Salad with Lambic Dressing

Caroline: It’s getting warmer out! Too warm for duck or turkey? Not to worry! Beer is great in salad. YES! SALAD!

To start I roasted some chopped up pumpkin and cherry tomatoes in some olive oil with salt and pepper in a 180C oven for 45 min.

Half way through take them out and give them a shake to unstick them from the pan and roll them around…So, here was my mistake…I put the pumpkin and tomatoes in together and as a result, the tomatoes were a little over cooked . They still tasted great, they just lost their shape a bit…Next time, I would put the pumpkin in and cook for 25 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook for another 20.

Ok Beer time! I used a lambic because the sourness of this kind of beer is a great substitute for the acid you would typically put in a dressing (like lemon or vinegar).

Geuze Salad Dressing

80 ml olive oil

80ml lambic (belgian sour ale)

1 Tbs good quality honey

1 Tbs seeded mustard

1 small clove garlic (minced)

Shake well (a clean jar with a lid works) so all ingredients smoosh together

Caroline: SALAD! (See my sad deflated tomatoes?)
So, in this salad I put some danish fetta (really creamy yum), pan roasted pine nuts (til brown), the roasted pumpkin and tomatoes, Red Coral Lettuce and the Lambic salad dressing. It was delicious! Crunchy pine nuts and creamy cheese! And I recommend serving while the pumpkin and tomato are still warm, I love the contrast in temperatures as well!

Kris: I do enjoy salad when the weather is warm. It’s also good to balance out your diet too. I decided to match this dish with 4 Pines Pale Ale from Manly, NSW. It’s 5.1% and brewed withPale, Munich,Wheat and Crystal malt and derives it’s subtle but balanced hop character from the addition of Cascade, Amarillo and Citra hops. The sweetness of the malt compliments the sweetness in the pumpkin and the tomatoes and balances the acidity in the dressing. The citrus hop character also compliments the dressing and the subtle, hop bitterness doesn’t over power the salad. Another great combination!

Caroline: There you have it, BEER IN SALAD. Who was skeptical? (I was) Yum!
Also, this recipe for dressing is enough for a couple of salads. It’s handy to make the dressing in a jar because after shaking and using you can just pop it in the fridge as is.

 Delicious and healthy, who would have thought?



Thanksgiving Part II: Everything else!

Kris:Thanksgiving would be incomplete without lots of side dishes. Scotty and Caroline (the 2 Americans) find cranberry sauce especially essential.

Scotty and Kates’s Hefeweizen Cranberry Sauce

500g of dried cranberries

330ml hefeweizen


Soak the cranberries in the hefeweizen for 1 1/2 hours

Simmer in a saucepan for 15 minutes before serving

Kris : It was amazing that the cranberries started fermenting in the beer for the first half an hour. The main thing is that the recipe worked. The fruity/estery taste of the Hefe and the sweet/tart flavour of the cranberries tasted great with the turkey.

Caroline’s Sweet Potato Casserole

200g softened butter (salted or unsalted, but salted adds a nice contrast to sugar in my opinion)
2 large sweet potatoes peeled, boiled and mashed
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1/3 cup brown sugar (to taste)
Crumbly Top
100g softened butter
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raw sugar
crushed pecans


Preheat oven to 350F  or 170C

Mix casserole ingredients and pour into casserole dish.

Mix crumble ingredients and pour on top of sweet potato mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes.

My Pumpkin Pie

2 sheets of good quality short crust pastry (or if you have time make your own)

700g cooked pumpkin (cooled)

3 Tbs honey or golden syrup

2 large free range eggs

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup cream

1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

butter for greasing the cake pan


Preheat oven to 180C

Grease a cake pan with butter

Place the pastry in the pan and trim the edges

Line the pastry with baking paper

Fill with dried beans or rice

Blind bake for 15-20 minutes

While this is baking, cream the eggs, brown sugar, honey and spices with electric mixer

Add the pumpkin and beat for a couple more minutes

Fold through the cream

Remove the pastry from the oven and take out the baking paper

Allow it to cool and then spoon in the pumpkin mixture

Bake at 180 C for 1 hour

Allow to cool before serving

Kris: I am a sucker for Barley Wines, and pumpkin pie and Barley Wine is a match to die for. I would go for an English style Barley Wine that is more focussed on the malt sweetness, as opposed to a dry hopped American style which is more hop driven. Anytime is a good time for Barley Wine. We drank a flying Dog Horn Dog Barley Wine from Frederick, Maryland and Widmer Brothers’ Reserve Galaxy Hopped Barley Wine from Portland, Oregon.

Caroline: I must admit I was very skeptical about this dish, back home you can pretty much buy pumpkin pie in a can. I wasn’t sure about making it from scratch with actual pumpkin…

Kris converted me! This pie was AWESOME. and even better with the barley wine (which I am not usually a fan of) but the spices in the pie totally mellowed it out..delicious match!
Caroline: LOOK! You know who else loves Thanksgiving? GEORGE! Well, maybe it wasn’t so much Thanksgiving as it was all the beer boxes we had around the house for him to make forts with…patriotic nonetheless George, well done.

Kris:The two Barley Wines were amazing! I think that the Flying Dog, being more an English style, was the better match with pumpkin pie, but I did love the citrus/fruit hop character of the Widmer Brosthers reserve, and it’s toffee/caramel malt backbone.

Caroline: Can you tell we are all in a turkey and beer induced coma? It lasted about 2 days, totally worth it though…yum yum yum