Pumpkin & Brassica Pasta Salad w Minted raisins, Spiced Yogurt & Chickpeas

HUGE Thanks to the teams at Connings and Mediterranean Foods Nelson for donating the delicious kai that made Kōkohu Kai possible! For more info on these local legends check out our supporters and sponsors page!

We are in the spring season which is in between of the summer and winter seasons. However, for farmers this means that we are in the hungry gap where some winter crops are about to come on an end but the early summer crops are yet to come. To work within these limit without flying ingredients all around the world or growing them in artificial conditions we want to cook with ingredients which grow locally and get creative. This will also help us to avoid paying heaps of money just to get imported goods. 

This recipe is super tasty because its packed full of vegetables that give different flavors and textures. Adding almonds gives you a bit of crunch and a nutty flavor. And you get the acidity of the vinaigrette balanced by the sweetness of caramelized onions.

This recipe is very sustainable because we are using vegetables that are available in the hungry gap. Making sure that we are working with our local veggie stores and avoiding spending money on importing vegetables that are not season. 

This recipe has good vege vibes because you get a mix of varying types of vegetables. We have root vegetables such and carrot and onions plus brassicas such as broccoli and cauliflower. All of these vegetables will give you a wide range of vitamins and nutrients.

  • 300g Pasta (any shape)
  • ½ Cup Rasins
  • ½ Cup Sliced Almond
  • 150g dried Chickpeas or 2 x 440g tins
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 250g spinach
  • 2 large carrots
  • Vinegarette – see video all you need is oil, something sour/acidic & something sweet.
  • Mint tea bag  
  • 400g Pumpkin or Beetroot
  • Sprig of rosemary
  • 1 x Onion
  • 1 sprig of mint
  • 125g plain or Greek yogurt
  • 1 sprig of parsley
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Lettuce Leaves
  • Caramelized Onion – Included 🙂


  1. Firstly, soak the chickpeas in water, the longer they soak the less you’ll have to cook them. (If you’re not sure how to soak/cook dried chickpeas checkout the video below). A rough guide is an hour soaking and an hr cooking so they will take longest of all ingredients so get them going asap.
  2. While the chickpeas are soaking you can start to color the broccoli and cauliflower in a pan. When cutting the broccoli and cauliflower you want nice flat edges so they can sit flat in the pan. Once colored if it’s still not cooked thoroughly then chuck them in the oven until cooked. If in a rush you can put them straight in the oven. The smaller your broccoli and cauliflower is cut the faster they’ll cook. 
  3. Then get the pumpkin, onion and carrots. Cut pumpkin into 4 slices, carrots in half length ways and then in half width ways. For the onion dice it into pieces about a 1cm x 1cm. Toss all 3 vege in oil and the spice mix labeled ‘Vege” or you could use, coriander, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes or a combo! Then add some rosemary sprigs and pop them in the oven on 180.C until soft and cooked through. Top tip – leave the skin on to save time and to get all the amazing nutrients!
  4. While the pumpkin, onion, and carrots are roasting start making the cup of mint tea. After letting the tea bag soak for a couple of minutes take it out and add raisins into the hot water. Once they have soaked for a 5-10min and are nice and puffed up, drain them and set them aside.
  5. Next boil your pasta. Once cooked, drain it off and coat it in a little bit of oil to prevent it sticking to together.
  6. Then you roast your almonds. Either in a pan or in the oven at 160.C. Since they are thin slices they don’t take long to roast.
  7. For the vinaigrette check out the video below – it easier than you think!
  8. Next you chop you mint into thin slices and add to yogurt with the spice bag labelled ‘yogurt’.
  9. Once your chick peas are cooked drain them and toss in lemon juice and zest with a splash of olive oil, chopped parsley, and salt and pepper – you can adjust all these ingredients/flavours to your personal taste.
  10. Wash and spin/dry your spinach and lettuce (if you’re not sure how check out the beginning of the Jamie Oliver video) and then softly wilt your spinach in a pan – don’t over do it though or all the water will come out and water down the other flavors.
  11. Lastly you toss together the pasta, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and minted raisin and dress it all with your vinaigrette letting the vinaigrette soak in for a couple of minutes. In another bowl add your pumpkin, roast AND caramelized onion, and carrot – then dress it with our yogurt dressing. In your third bowl you will have your lemony chickpeas. Top it all off with toasted almonds, serve your roast vege on a bed of lettuce leaves and you are good to go!