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Caribbean Allspice Salad with Pumpkin and Black Beans

An exciting Caribbean allspice salad laced with pumpkin, black beans, lime and rice. This healthy lunch recipe has a lively kick from the Scotch bonnet chilli.

Whenever I use allspice it always reminds me of fragrant West Indian food such as pepper pot soup, curried goat or the classic jerk seasoning. In fact, allspice is sometimes described as Jamaica pepper. The wonderful thing about allspice/ pimento is that it has a flavour reminiscent of a number of other spices including juniper, black peppercorns, nutmeg and cinnamon, so by adding a touch of it to your food you end up adding lots of wonderful aromatic layers. This salad is packed with heaps of flavour and is high in fibre, antioxidants and vitamins, making it a good low-fat lunch that’s sure to keep hunger under control!


350g pumpkin, seeded (skin left on), chopped into 2cm cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
½ scotch bonnet chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 x 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
300g cold cooked brown or white rice
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into cubes
1 tbsp freshly snipped chives
1-2 spring onions, chopped
For the dressing:
Leaves from 10 sprigs of thyme
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground allspice
Salt, to taste


Add the pumpkin to a pan of boiling water and cook for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside to cool.

Heat the oil in a large, flameproof casserole over a medium heat, add the red onion, scotch bonnet and cooked pumpkin and sauté until the pumpkinstarts to brown and caramelise.

Remove from the heat and transfer to a large serving platter. Mix in the beans, rice, red pepper, chives and spring onions.

In a jug, mix together all the ingredients for the dressing until emulsified, then pour over the salad and serve.

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