Roasted pumpkin is one of those simple autumn foods you can use in a wide variety of ways. Think roasted pumpkin sourdough bruschetta with pumpkin spread and balsamic glaze. It's all you need for a cosy autumn snack or lunch with a roasted pumpkin salad, goat's cheese and pecan nuts.
I first came across this recipe when I worked in London. We couldn't make enough roasted pumpkin when autumn came round. Through the other seasons, this recipe stayed a winner. We used the all-so-evergreen butternut squash year-round.
Maple roasted pumpkin is a pretty well-known combo but, we added garlic and rosemary alongside great extra virgin olive oil.
The level of flavour just went through the roof.
The true beauty of this roasted pumpkin recipe lies in its ability to be used in a wide variety of dishes.
Hot or cold.
For cocktail receptions and autumn-themed parties, we would top some parmesan biscuits with pumpkin cream cheese spread and add small bite-sized pieces of roasted pumpkin on top alongside a bit of fried sage.
Best pumpkin for roasting
Picking the proper pumpkin for roasting is very important. No ingredient or cooking method can save a terrible base ingredient.
My favourite pumpkin is the Crown Prince Green pumpkin.
The skin is blue/green and when young it's tender enough to roast skin-on. It has a lovely nutty sweet flavour distinguishable from all other pumpkin varieties. Its flesh is firm and it has a deep bright yellow/orange colour.
The other pumpkin variety I recommend for roasting is the Hokkaido or Red Kuri squash.
It's got an orange softish skin with deep orange flesh. The flavour is milder than the Crown Prince but, still extremely intensely pumpkin and slightly sweet.
- Pumpkin - Use the best you can find. Make sure it's not damaged and ask your green grocer to assist you in choosing the best pumpkin for roasting.
- Maple syrup - I like using organic maple syrup. Use whatever you have though or see the variations below for substitutes.
- Rosemary - Fresh and not flowering.
- Garlic - Soft local garlic is best. Stay away from garlic that looks too dry.
- Olive oil - Try using extra virgin olive oil with green grassy notes. Alternatives down in the variations section for other types of oils.
- Seasoning - Salt and pepper.
How to make it
- Line a baking sheet or roasting tray with parchment paper.
- Turn the oven to 220C.
- Wash the pumpkin well and cut it into wedges.
- Make the "dressing" by mixing roughly chopped garlic, rosemary sprigs you bruised a bit between your fingers and the olive oil and seasoning.
- Mix this with the pumpkin making sure you get it into every nook and cranny.
- Put the dressed pumpkin onto the baking sheet or tray and cover with aluminium foil.
- Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is just cooked.
- You will have lovely juices in the bottom of the roasting tray. Remove the rosemary stalks and put the juices into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Use this to dress the pumpkin before serving or, as a dressing for pumpkin salad.
Marinade the pumpkin overnight.
Just before roasting, remove it from the marinade and caramelise it in a hot skillet taking care not to burn it.
Reserve the marinade as we will still use it to roast the pumpkin in.
Proceed by roasting as normal and don't forget to add the marinade while roasting.
Once done, remove the pumpkin and set it aside.
Make the dressing from the pan juices as instructed.
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You can modify the marinade by changing or adding the following ingredients:
- Spice - Chilli and smoked paprika work well. As do cumin and garam masala if you want to go down the Indian route.
- Herbs - Change the rosemary for thyme, sage, bay leaf or fenugreek leaves. You can even do a combination of these.
- Oil - You can change the olive oil for pumpkin oil, avocado oil, aromatic sunflower oil or extra virgin rapeseed oil. All of these are delicious and add their own uniqueness to the dish.
- Sugar - Instead of maple syrup you can use honey, agave or palm sugar.
You can have this as is or serve alongside other dishes like:
- With meats - Perfect with dishes like lamb koftas, Thai beef koftas or grilled steak.
- With Fish - With crispy fried salmon fillet or whole roasted fish on the bbq.
- In salad - Chopped up in couscous or added to a Caesar salad to change it to something completely new.
- As a side dish - Dressed with salsa verde or chimichurri sauce.
Frequently asked questions
No, The texture will be destroyed as the water crystals that form during freezing will damage the structure of the cooked pumpkin.
Once roasted and chilled down you can keep it sealed airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Pumpkin is naturally gluten-free and this recipe uses no gluten-containing ingredients.
If you use spices then make sure they are gluten-free. Some spices are mixed with a small amount of flour.
Useful equipment for this recipe
Wooden Chopping Board
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