Tag: hokkaido pumpkin

Oven Roast Pumpkin with Pistachio Cumin Feta

Oven Roast Pumpkin with Pistachio Feat Cheese

Oven roasted pumpkin has always been on the top of my list of winter favourites but I recently found out about a combination which makes this dish even more tempting: pumpkin, pistachios and feta cheese!

The woman who introduced my taste buds to these culinary highs wrote a wonderful cook book called Persiana which I happily found under our Christmas tree. Sabrina Ghayour managed to come up with an amazing collection of beautiful recipes from the Middle East and beyond that caught my attention from the first page. Her family’s Iranian background combined with the fact that she grew up in England, let the self-taught chef create magical and manageable recipes praising her big culinary love, the Persian cuisine, by using ingredients that can easily be found at every supermarket. I find great relaxation and inspiration in this little gem, in the way she talks about food in general and about single aromas in particular.

Although I didn’t have the time to cook many of her creations yet, I already read through the book three or four times. Her butternut squash with pistachio pesto, feta and pomegranate struck me every time I passed the page.

I rarely follow cook books to the letter, I love to work with them and develop my own ideas, that’s what happened with Sabrina’s butternut dish. I roasted Hokkaido wedges the way I always do and added a little cumin to the olive oil which is very nice with the squash’s sweetness. Her pesto didn’t make it into our dinner, but I whipped salty feta cheese with lots of pistachios, olive oil and cumin to a thick dip that I served on top of the warm squash. The combination of nutty, sweet and salty aromas is simply brilliant!

Oven Roast Pumpkin with Pistachio Feat Cheese

 

Oven Roast Pumpkin with Pistachio Feat Cheese

 Oven Roast Pumpkin with Pistachio Feta Cheese

For 4 people you need

Hokkaido pumpkin or butternut squash, cut in half, the seeds and fibre scraped out, 1kg / 2 1/4 pounds
feta cheese 180g / 6 1/2 ounces
pistachios (in their shells) 200g / 7 ounces
olive oil 50ml / 1 3/4 ounces plus 3 tablespoons for the feta
ground cumin
coarse sea salt and pepper

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F.

Cut the pumpkin into large wedges, don’t peel it. Whisk 50ml (1 3/4 ounces) of olive oil with pepper and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Spread the pumpkin in a baking dish and coat with the spice oil. Sprinkle the wedges with salt and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the wedges and cook for another 7 minutes (Hokkaido) or 15 minutes (butternut) or until golden brown and soft.

Grind 60g / 2 ounces of the peeled pistachios in a food processor and purée with the feta cheese, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of cumin until smooth and well combined. Season to taste.

Arrange the warm pumpkin and the pistachio feta on plates. Peel and chop the remaining pistachios and sprinkle them over the cheese. If you like, add a little more cumin (to taste).

If you choose Hokkaido, you can eat the skin, but if you went for butternut squash, you have to scrape it out of the skin (you can do that on your plate).

Oven Roast Pumpkin with Pistachio Feat Cheese

 

Oven Roast Pumpkin with Pistachio Feat Cheese

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup with Chèvre

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup with Chèvre

My pumpkin phase has to take a little break, it’s going overboard. I had one last idea for soup in mind before leaving the pretty squash at the market instead of carrying one after the other into our kitchen. What I came up with is pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot cooked and puréed to a velvety soup topped with mild chèvre and pumpkin seed oil to melt into the sweet flavours.

This is the perfect end to an annual obsession I always fall for as soon as the leaves turn golden. The first bowl of my warm treat put me at ease, I felt ready to jump into a new phase! The composition combined all I could ask for, it was smooth and thick. This soup isn’t light and liquid, it’s more like a purée, a potage that is rich enough to satisfy your hunger after a busy day. I really like these kind of soups that can replace a whole meal instead of just being a starter to tickle the appetite. All you need are some slices of juicy ciabatta sprinkled with olive oil on the side to enjoy the entire comfort of this dish.

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup with Chèvre

 

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup with Chèvre

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup with Chèvre 

For 4 people you need

pumpkin, without the fibres and seeds, cut into cubes, 700g / 1.5 pounds
(Hokkaido with skin or peeled butternut or Musquée de Provence pumpkin)
sweet potato, scrubbed and rinsed, cut into cubes, 500g / 1 pound
large carrot, peeled or scrubbed, cut into cubes, 1
medium sized onion, finely chopped, 1
garlic, crushed, 1 clove
bay leaf 1
water 1 l / 2 pints
olive oil
a pinch of mace or nutmeg
salt and pepper
soft chèvre, crumbled, 100g / 3.5 ounces , for the topping
pumpkin seed oil, for the topping

In  a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil and cook the onions on medium heat for a few minutes until soft and golden. Add a little more oil and the pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot and garlic. Stir and cook for  2-3 minutes. Add the water and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Season with salt, pepper and mace and cook for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft (simmering). Take out the bay leaf and purée the soup with a stick mixer or in a blender. Season to taste and serve sprinkled with pumpkin seed oil and a few crumbles of the chèvre.

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup with Chèvre

 

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup with Chèvre

 

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup with Chèvre

 

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup with Chèvre

Golden Hokkaido Pumpkin Spaghetti

Hokkaido Pumpkin Spaghetti

The glowing Hokkaido pumpkin is back in my kitchen! Although I’ve spotted the bright orange fruit at the markets for quite a while, I wanted to wait a little before it became a permanent part of my weekly purchases again. I know that as soon as it’s on my kitchen tops, nothing can stop me and I use it for everything, quite excessively, soups, risottos, pasta and breads, spreads, salads, cakes, the whole range from sweet to savory. One of my favourite pumpkin meals is oven roasted wedges coated in spiced olive oil and herbs. I could eat that every week!

For now, I will start with a pasta dish and for this recipe I use all a pumpkin offers, the flesh and skin, its seeds and fragrant oil. I mix my shiny spaghetti with a little bit of the water I used to cook the pasta in before I stir in very thin pumpkin slices pan roasted for just a few minutes to soften them and sweeten their taste. I sprinkle the pasta on each plate with a bit more than a tablespoon of pumpkin seed oil and a teaspoon of the fruit’s crunchy roasted seeds. This dish is an ode to the most delicate of all pumpkins, a true Hokkaido feast! It makes the pasta so smooth, almost velvety in texture and sweet and nutty in taste. Each plate looks like the late afternoon sunlight that lights up my kitchen between late summer and early autumn, golden and warm!

This recipe has been featured on Food52 Halfway To Dinner!

Hokkaido Pumpkin Spaghetti

 

Hokkaido Pumpkin Spaghetti

Hokkaido Pumpkin Spaghetti

For 3-4 people you need

spaghetti 300-400g / 10.5 – 14 ounces
Hokkaido pumpkin, with skin but without the fibres and seeds, about 200g / 7 ounces
(you can also use peeled butternut or Musquée de Provence pumpkin)
butter 1 tablespoon
olive oil
sugar 1/2 teaspoon
salt and pepper
pumpkin seed oil, 4 1/2 – 6 tablespoons plus more to taste, for the topping
roast pumpkin seeds, for the topping

Keep the plates for the pasta in a warm place for a few minutes (80°C / 175°F in the oven) before serving.

Cook the pasta in lots of salted water al dente. Keep some of the water used to cook the pasta. Drain the spaghetti and mix with a splash of the water they cooked in.

Cut the pumpkin with a cheese or vegetable slicer into very thin slices. In a large heavy pan, heat the butter and a splash of olive oil, add the sugar and pumpkin and roast for a few minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the slices are golden brown on both sides and soft enough to break with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the pasta and pumpkin slices between the plates, sprinkle each plate with 1 1/2 tablespoons of pumpkin seed oil, a teaspoon of pumpkin seeds and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Hokkaido Pumpkin Spaghetti

 

Hokkaido Pumpkin Spaghetti