Tag Archives: Pumpkin

Thanksgiving Mezze Part 1: Butternut Hummus

22 Nov

This is one of the dishes I will be serving as part of my Thanksgiving mezze. I am English and live in Spain but this year I have decided to “adopt” the Thanksgiving concept and cook a fabulous dinner for some people I would really like to thank for their support over the last year.  The positivity I feel and gratitude I need to express is something I would never have imagined possible at this time last year. I feel more healthy, happy and alive than ever and for that I am truly grateful…  Thank you!

Anyway back to the mezze, as Thanksgiving is a time for sharing, I thought that a mezze would be the perfect thing. A delicious vegetarian feast in the middle of the table for everyone to pick at and enjoy. I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Hummus on this amazing blog www.tasteofbeirut.com  There are so many delicious recipes that I want to try on this blog but the Pumpkin Hummus was just perfect for Thanksgiving. I have adapted it slightly by using butternut squash instead of pumpkin which I roasted.

Roasted Butternut Hummus Recipe

Adapted from a Taste of Beirut recipe

Serves 4 Vegan

  • 1/2 butternut squash 750 gr plus
  • olive oil
  • salt & black pepper
  • a pinch dried chilli flakes
  • the juice of 1 & 1/2 lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic minced with a pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp tahini

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Scrape out the seeds from the squash and spread them out on a sheet of foil, picking off any stringy bits of squash then set aside. Cut the squash into small pieces (about 1 inch triangles) and put them on a lined baking sheet/tin. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt & black pepper and sprinkle with good pinch of chilli flakes then toss everything together with your hands so evenly coated. Roast the squash on the middle shelf of the oven for 35 – 40 minutes until  tender. Put the squash seeds on the bottom shelf of the oven (on the foil) and toast for about 10 – 15 minutes until slightly browned. Sprinkle with salt and leave to cool.

When the squash is tender, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before pulling off the skin. Blitz the squash with a stick blender or pulse in a food processor until smooth-ish.

Mix the minced garlic with the lemon juice then add the tahini and stir to combine well. Add the tahini mixture to the squash and blitz again to combine. Taste for seasoning, add more salt if necessary.

Place in a serving dish sprinkled with the toasted squash seeds and serve with leek & cumin seed flatbreads (see my recipe) or with some lavash or pita triangles.

This is the ultimate dip for me – all the flavour of hummus with the added sweetness and colour of butternut squash. I’d make double if I was you, it disappears really quickly….

Thai Pumpkin and Chilli Noodle Soup

1 Nov

This was my ideal Halloween dinner last night. Pumpkin based (of course), spicy, delicious & warming. Plus it was really easy to make which was important as I had to watch Strictly & The X Factor so I didn’t want to cook anything which meant I had to leave the sofa for long…

Thai Pumpkin & Chilli Noodle Soup

Serves 3 or 4 Vegetarian

  • 1/2 medium pumpkin about 500 gr cut into 1 or 2 inch chunks (you can peel it if you can be bothered, I didn’t)
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 or 2 tbsp thai yellow curry paste (you can use red if it is what you have)
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  •  1 tsp lemongrass paste (or a lemongrass stalk bruised)
  • 2 or 3 lime leaves thinly sliced (or lime zest from 1/2 lime)
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 litre veg stock
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  •  a handful of fresh coriander chopped (plus leaves for garnish)
  • lime wedges to squeeze over
  • salt or fish sauce
  • 150 gr noodles cooked according to packet instructions (rice noodles or whatever you have)

Fry the onion in a large pan over a medium high heat for a few minutes until translucent then add the garlic, chilli and the rest of the spices & pastes up to and including turmeric. Stir to combine for a minute then add the veg stock, soy sauce, tumble in the pumpkin chunks and bring to he boil. Season with salt (or fish sauce) put the lid on, turn the heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes(or maybe longer) until the pumpkin is really tender.

Meanwhile cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, drain, rinse under cold water and cover with a lid. When the pumpkin is really soft turn off the heat and put your stick blender in the saucepan and carefully blend until smooth- ish. (you don’t want to get hot orange soup all over your kitchen!). Stir in the chopped coriander and taste for seasoning. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls then place a pile of the cooked warm noodles in the centre garnish with coriander leaves & lime wedges to squeeze over.

We also had it for lunch today(above) without the noodles just with some crusty bread and it was just what we needed after a long walk in the mountains. I might have to go for a lie down now…. Siesta calling!

We found an old ruin so The Washer Up decided to collect some wood for the fire….

Caribbean Squash & Plantain Curry with Roti Bread

22 Oct

Walking the dog today we saw all the squash & pumpkins growing, a sure sign its Autumn, and we still have a huge amount of our own Scotch Bonnet chillis in the freezer so I decided to make a Caribbean dish (Scotch Bonnets are used in the Caribbean) which uses these ingredients. Luckily my local Mercadona sells plantain which is really surprising so I was all set..

Squash Growing

Our Scotch Bonnet Chilli Plant

First make the Roti dough. For some reason I don’t like to eat rice with curries so I have tried lots of different bread recipes from Indian Puris to Middle Eastern flatbreads. This was the first time I had tried to make rotis and they turned out surprisingly well (no dramas). They are my favourite bread so far, really delicious with this curry and easy to make..

Roti Bread Recipe

Makes 8 Rotis Vegetarian

  • 5oo gr plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 165 gr butter diced
  • about 160 ml water
  • veg oil for frying

Sieve together the flour, baking powder & salt in to a large bowl. Add the diced butter and rub it into the flour mixture with you fingertips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs (you can do this in a food processor on slow). Slowly add the water bit by bit and mix together with you hands to form a ball of dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 2 or 3 minutes then put it in a bowl covered with a clean tea towel and leave it for about 30 minutes.

Roti Dough

Meanwhile make the curry don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients if you don’t have everything it’s still going to be gorgeous. The flavour combinations that make it uniquely Caribbean are the fresh thyme, oregano, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice (if you have it I don’t).

Caribbean Squash & Plantain Curry Recipe

Serves 4 Vegetarian

  •  3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1kg squash or pumpkin peeled, deseeded & chopped into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 plantain peeled & sliced into diagonal 1cm coins
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red pepper deseeded & chopped into rough squares
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet chilli chopped (You can use any fresh chilli)
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste or fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp curry paste (whatever you have)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • the zest of 1/2 lime
  • 300 ml veg stock (you may want to use more)
  • 1/2 tin coconut milk about 2oo ml ( You can use more if you like)
  • lime juice to taste 1/2 to 1 whole lime
  • a handful of fresh coriander chopped plus extra for garnish
  • salt & black pepper

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan add the onion and saute for 2 minutes over a medium heat until softened then add the garlic, ginger & chilli. Add the sliced plantain and fry for a minute. Add the curry paste, tomato paste and the rest of the herbs & spices, apart from the lime juice & fresh coriander, stirring constantly. Then add the squash, red pepper & fresh tomato and pour over the stock & coconut milk, Turn up the heat & bring to the boil seasoning generously with salt & black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover with a lid and simmer for about 30 minutes until the pumpkin is soft, stirring occasionally. 

While the curry is cooking, go back to you roti dough, knead it again & cut it into quarters, then into eighths and roll them into balls. Flour the work surface and the rolling pin and start rolling out your rotis as thinly as possible (really thin). They don’t have to be a perfect circle that’s part of the charm. Make a pile of rotis flouring well in between each one so they don’t stick together.

Brush a large frying pan with oil, heat it up until hot and cook the rotis for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side. They should bubble up & brown slightly. Brush the pan with oil in between each one. Cover the cooked rotis with a tea towel while you cook the rest.

 Stand back & admire your rotis don’t they look lovely…

By now your curry should be ready, the squash cooked and the plantain kind of melted into the sauce. Add the lime juice & fresh coriander and taste for seasoning. You may need more salt or you might want to add more veg stock if you like it more liquidy. Serve the curry garnished with fresh coriander, lime wedges and the warm, folded rotis on the side. Who cares if it’s raining outside…..

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