Pumpkin Pumpkin Squash

It has been 50 days since I clicked ‘Get Started’ on word press to start this blog. Honestly I am happily surprised that people have found at looked at the Yoghurt Pot! I thought I would simply float amongst the endless mass of the internet… I started my blog because I wished to feed me passion for food, and frankly because I needed something to occupy myself as a project.  Now I see Now I see it as a great way to spread by take on food to beyond my friends and family, because I am sure they have had more than enough of my being able to ramble endlessly about recipes and ingredients, now here is where I can do that. Hopefully without some one telling me to stop being obsessed…

IMG_0022

I have this lovely pumpkin in the above picture because of Halloween. It is just the very end of pumpkin season down here although up north, peoples gardens will hopefully be overflowing with them. I was going to carve my first face into this pumpkin for a little halloween party I was having, but ended up using a smaller one instead (much less carving and hollowing!) It worked well and the party was really lovely, I was super impressed with one of my friends costumes! She was WALL.E and did a really good job! After the party the next day, my sister, Kate and I drove out to Makara beach and had a relaxing picnic in a sheltered lagoon, skipping stones and eating lychees!

hoowe hallow

So then I was happily left with this wonderful pumpkin,to make many scrumptious pumpkin dishes out of. Pumpkins are not just a lovely colour, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and tastiness too! The wonderful selection of pumpkins you can buy or grow are wonderful, all different sizes and colours, some smooth and some bumpy, the choice is endless. A few people I know aren’t very fond of squash because they think It tastes bland. Sometimes, that is the case. Pumpkins all vary in strength of flavour, when you have a good one, I think it is impossible not to love the soft,  nutty, almost melon like flavour. At my house when we eat pumpkin, we always save the seeds. If the pumpkin is especially tasty, then we will keep the seeds to plant in the veggie garden, raising the chances of getting some extra tasty crop of pumpkin. A pumpkin grows wonderfully if you place the seeds in your compost bin! They suck up all the nutrients and goodness and thrive, producing good pumpkins that will surely feed your pumpkin need! Pumpkins are sometimes small and easy to use all at once for a meal, but then you get the big ones that would feed a crowd. What do you do with those? Well what we often do is slice it up, and roast it, leaving you with pumpkin that can be used in many different recipes. Instead of buying halve or quarter of a pumpkin from the market, buy a whole one, and try out these following recipes!

roasted_pumpkin

Roasting the pumpkin

  • One medium sized pumpkin
  • olive or avocado oil
  • a bulb of garlic
  • Salt & pepper
  • juice of one lemon
  • A small handful of woody herbs,

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds from both halves. Be carful when cutting the pumpkin, keep your hand away from the sharp blade as many kitchen accident happen when slicing pumpkin! Slice into even wedges, 2 inches in width for each. For this recipe I keep the skin on because it produces a lovely caramelised flavour. Lay out on a large baking tray, drizzle with oil and rub to coat the wedges all over. Squash the whole garlic bulb and scatter the cloves all around the pumpkin, leaving the skin on. Season generously with salt and pepper and a handful of woody herbs such as rosemary, marjoram, thyme, oregano, etc. Toss again. Place in the oven on fan bake at leave to cook for 45-50 minutes. I find it easiest to do this a long time before cooking the meal I am using the pumpkin for. Some things to do with your roasted pumpkin!:

  • Toss with toasted nuts and seeds, a squeeze of lemon, and some herbs. Eat with some green salad leaves such as baby spinach, rocket, or cress
  • Roughly mash with some of the roasted garlic, salt and pepper. Pop on a nice slice of mixed seed rye bread toasted with a drizzle of olive oil and so crispy sage leaves
  • Add some stock and blend to make a pumpkin soup. Top with some toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh herbs
  • Simply spread it as one of the components in a sandwich with some roasted or pickled onion, goats cheese and cress, just a squeeze of lemon juice and some good artisan bread
  • Make a pumpkin risotto! Like this one below…..

sage_pumpkin_risotto topping_buckwheat buckwheat_risotto

Pumpkin Buckwheat “Risotto”

This risotto is a healthy take on a classic, buckwheat is gluten-free, nutritious and delicious! You can make this recipe vegan if  you simply use oil not butter and not grate cheese on top! Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 cups of buckwheat
  • avocado oil, or olive oil, or even butter if you want
  • One Shallot finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely  chopped
  • a large splash of nice white wine, optional
  • 4 cups Homemade vegetable stock (Its easy, quick and much tastier) or good quality organic stock
  • 6 wedges of the roasted pumpkin + extra for topping
  • a bunch of fresh parsley
  • a bunch of chives, or 2-3 spring onions
  • salt and pepper
  • One lemon
  • Some of the roasted garlic from the pumpkin
  • a big handful of fresh sage leaves
  • Hard good quality cheese, such as parmesan

Toast the buckwheat in a large dry deep pan till golden brown. Pour in to another container and add the oil or butter to the warm pan, followed by the diced shallot and garlic. Sauté until soft and then add the buckwheat, coat in the remaining oil and then add the wine, if using. Let the buckwheat absorb the wine and then add all the pumpkin, scooping to the flesh from the skin.Give it a good stir until the pumpkin is all incorporated and add the stock, water and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a soft boil, then turn down the heat to low, and simmer, while stirring occasionally for 25-30 minutes or until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Zest half the lemon, chop the parley and the chives finely with it and add to the Risotto with the juice of the lemon. In a small frypan over a medium heat add some extra roast pumpkin, sliced,the sage and  the roasted garlic with some oil. Fry until the sage is crispy and the pumpkin is spotted with brown. Spoon the risotto into plates and top with some of the sage mix, as well as a good gating of parmesan! Gobble with delight and pumpkiney goodness.

inggedients cracker_hummus squash hummus

Sick of good old plain hummus? Well I don’t really understand you, but here is a neat recipe for a pumpkin hummus filled with zing and texture.

Chunky Squash hummus

  • heaped tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • one clove of garlic
  • 1 deseeded red clilli
  • a good bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1x400g tin of chickpeas
  • juice of a lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • avocado or olive oil

Toast the sesame seeds in a hot dry pan until golden.Peel garlic and finely chop with the red chilli and the bunch of coriander. Add pumpkin on to the board and pour over the sesame seeds. Pour chickpeas in to a pot and bring to boil, drain and then add to board.Now start to squash everything together! With your knife chop, mix and smear off of those ingredients along with lemon juice, avocado oil and salt and pepper to taste, until you desired chunky or smoothness. Eat with with toast, or anything really! I like it with my seed crisp bread like in the photo above.

Enjoy a pumpkin feast and remember that pumpkins seeds are amazing. On everything.

Laura xx

 

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