by Daphne Lambert
Pumpkins are easy to grow; delicious to eat and packed full of good nutrition. They are an excellent source of beta carotene as well as other vitamins and minerals including vitamin C and potassium. They are also a very good source of dietary fibre. If you grow pumpkins make sure you save the seeds for drying. Pumpkin seeds are a wonderful source of zinc and essential fatty acids.
There are many different varieties of pumpkin, some are tiny and nestle in the palm of your hand, others too big to move single handed. Thick slices hacked from large pumpkins are for sale in small stores and markets throughout the world.
These recipes celebrate the diversity of the pumpkin and the cultures that use them.
Pumpkin and lentil stew
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 onions finely diced
½ tsp turmeric
1 chilli finely diced
1 tsp cumin seed
450g chopped pumpkin
250g dried green lentils
1 litre vegetable stock
fresh coriander – roughly chopped
In a medium sized pan cook the mustard seed in the oil for 30 seconds then add the onions, cook for a few minutes to soften then add the turmeric, cumin & chilli. Mix well then stir in the pumpkin and lentils, tip on the stock and cook until tender. Divide between 4 bowls top with coriander.
2 large floury potatoes
1 kilo of pumpkin or butternut squash
450-500g of brown rice flour
1 teaspoon of salt
good twist black pepper
6 sage leaves finely shredded
Oven 200°C/gas mark 5.
Bake the potatoes for an hour or so in the preheated oven until soft
Cut the pumpkin or butternut into halves or quarters depending on size and scoop out the seeds
Brush over with olive oil and place cut side down on a baking sheet and cook in the preheated oven for 40 minutes
Scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin and mash or blitz in a processor until very smooth
Scoop out the flesh of the potatoes and mash well with a fork
Combine all the ingredients together adding enough flour to ensure the mixture
can be rolled into a ball.
Place a tablespoon of the mixture at a time onto a floured surface and roll into a 2cm sausage
Lay the sausages side by side, and cut them into 1cm-wide segments. Dust these with flour, and roll each over a fork to leave ridges, pressing your thumb into the back, so you have an indentation on one side and grooves on the other. Put the finished gnocchi on a flour-dusted tray.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then turn down to a simmer, and tip in half the gnocchi. Stir, then wait for them to rise to the surface.
Cook for 20 seconds then remove with a slotted spoon.
Serve with your favourite sauce.
Pumpkin, sage, olive feta frittata
350g pumpkin diced
1 onion, chopped
olive oil & butter
6 sage leaves, finely shredded
Salt & pepper
12 black olives, chopped
110g feta cheese in small dice
oven 190 C gas mark no 5
Roast the pumpkin with the onion in olive oil in a hot oven for 10 minutes. Remove and stir in the shredded sage leaves and season well. Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the pumpkin, olives and feta cheese. Take a large fry pan and swirl round a little olive oil and butter over a high heat. Pour in the egg mixture and cook until it begins to set at the edge. Transfer to a medium hot oven 190°C and bake for 15 minutes until golden and firm. Serve cut in wedges with a salad and some fresh bread. Leftovers make excellent lunch box food.
Thai pumpkin soup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
4 large shallots chopped
2 red chilli peppers chopped
1 stick lemon grass bruised and cut into 1” pieces
1 litre vegetable stock
500g peeled diced pumpkin
350 ml coconut milk
Juice and zest of 1 lime
salt & pepper
few torn basil leaves
In a medium saucepan cook the garlic, shallots and chilli in the coconut oil until soft about 5 minutes. Add the diced pumpkin, stock, kefir lime leaves, lemon grass and bring to the boil. Simmer until the pumpkin is tender and beginning to break up. Stir in the coconut milk, bring back to the boil, remove from the heat and add lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Serve scattered with basil leaves.
800g pumpkin cubes
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1kg strong baking flour
2 teaspoons salt
Oven 200°C gas mark 6
Cook pumpkin in just enough water to barely cover the cubed pumpkin, strain, reserve cooking liquid and sieve. Dissolve yeast in 75ml of the cooking liquid and leave for 10 minutes until frothy. Mix flour, salt, yeast, sieved pumpkin, pumpkin seeds and enough of the cooking liquid together until you have a soft malleable dough. Knead for 5 minutes, turn into oiled bowl and leave for about an hour or until double in size. Shape into rolls and place on an oiled baking tray and leave to double in size again before baking 20-25 minutes in the pre-heated oven.