Tuesday, October 6, 2015

For the Love of Pumpkins

I love pumpkins. 

They take me back to my American roots with...

Pumpkin carvings...


Vala's Pumpkin Patch with my sister in Omaha, Nebraska... 

Virginia's Fall foliage with beautiful swatches of vibrant yellows, reds and oranges...

And I love pumpkin in dishes this time of year: 

Pumpkin chili
Pumpkin-Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Risotto with pumpkin & rosemary
Pumpkin spice lattes
Pumpkin bread
Pumpkin french toast
Pumpkin pies
Pumpkin brownies
Pumpkin cobbler with ice cream
And so it goes 

Family Flavours this month includes some of Chef Sally Jane Hurst's pumpkin recipes 
(scroll down for full recipes): 

Creamy Pumpkin Soup
Za’tar Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Autumn Pumpkin & Kale Salad with Date Gremolata

Chef Sally at Al Salleh Farms Market
Chef Sally says, "Roasting the pumpkins is the best way to develop the inherent sweetness in the flesh, but I also sprinkled on some Middle Eastern spices before baking to add layers of flavour. And don’t forget the pumpkin seeds inside! They serve as a wonderful garnish, as I’ve done here, and also make the perfect healthy snack. If you’re feeling ambitious, serving the soup inside the hollowed out shell of a pumpkin is a festive and beautiful way to wow your guests and encourage even the pickiest kid to eat their vegetables!"
Nice to have a variety of different pumpkins to cook and decorate with. Chef Sally introduces us to kabocha, blue lokota, casper, butternut, pattypan and sugar
Creamy Pumpkin Soup

This soup is so warm and nourishing. You can up the amount of cumin you use for a more Middle Eastern twist on the dish.

800 g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 L vegetable or chicken stock
Labaneh and spiced pumpkin seeds to garnish 

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and place the cut pumpkin on a baking tray
2. Sprinkle with the cumin, salt, pepper and half the olive oil and give it a good massage, coating the cubes well
3. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes until tender and set aside
4. In a large saucepan, heat the other half of the olive oil and add the onions
5. Cook until soft, about ten minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant
6. Place the cooked pumpkin in the pan and stir well to combine
7. Stir in the stock and allow it to come to a simmer for about 20 minutes
8. Carefully transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth
9. Place in serving bowls, top with the labaneh and pumpkin seeds and serve 

Za’tar Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Try different spices or even sugar to change the flavour of your seeds. Your imagination is the only limit on these yummy snacks!

1 cup fresh pumpkin seeds
1 egg white
3 tsp za’tar spice mix
1 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C
2. After you’ve removed the seeds from your pumpkin, place them in a fine sieve and run under water to remove any extra stringy flesh still on them 
3. Place them in a saucepan with two cups of water and half a teaspoon of salt and boil for ten minutes
4. Drain the seeds, allow to cool slightly and place them in a large bowl with the egg white, za’tar and additional half teaspoon of salt
5. Transfer them to a baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool

Autumn Pumpkin & Kale Salad with Date Gremolata

People sometimes complain that kale is bitter, but when paired with sweet pumpkin and dates, it becomes a deliciously hearty, healthy salad that’s an entire meal on a plate!

1 kabocha pumpkin (butternut squash works well too), peeled and cut into wedges
1 tsp sumac
1 tsp fresh sage, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
250 g kale, stems removed and cut into strips
4 dates, pitted and finely chopped
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 tbsp za’tar spiced pumpkin seeds, finely chopped

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and place your pumpkin wedges on a baking tray
2. Rub the pumpkin with the sumac, sage, salt, pepper and olive oil
3. Place in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until tender and golden 
4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, salt, pepper and remaining one tablespoon of olive oil
5. Toss together half of it with your ribbons of kale and allow to sit for about 10 minutes before you plan on eating
6. In another small bowl, mix together the dates, lemon zest and pumpkin seeds
7. To assemble, place the dressed kale on a plate, arrange the roasted pumpkin wedges on top and garnish with the date gremolata
8. Spoon over a little bit more of the dressing to your taste and serve

1 comment:

Sonia Salfity said...

Great recipes!!

Love the great memories we made at Vala's pumpkin patch Shareef wants to go there when he comes home for fall breakπŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒ