Roast Pumpkin with Savoury Sage & Pumpkin Seed Granola
Those of you who are sceptical about vegan food should try this delicious recipe from Mildreds Vegan Cookbook by Daniel Acevedo and Sarah Wasserman. Yes, it's vegan but omnivores would enjoy it too and the pumpkin seed granola is wonderfully versatile.
Daniel and Sarah write: Since cooking with pumpkin and squash looms large in the USA’s national cuisine, Americans are well acquainted with the strange hinterland in which the pumpkin and squash reside, somewhere between sweet and savoury. Europeans, meanwhile, used to baulk at pumpkin pie one minute and pumpkin risotto the next, but we are adjusting. Although we draw the line at serving squash or sweet potato with marshmallows, we think you’ll enjoy the combination of sweet and savoury in this winter side dish, perfect for serving with a vegan roast or for a holiday meal. Alternatively, this could easily be bumped up into a salad dish in its own right by adding some peppery leaves. Use gluten-free oats for a gluten-free option.
Serves 6–8, depending on the size of the pumpkin/squash
FOR THE GRANOLA
50g (1¾oz) jumbo oats
25g (1oz) pumpkin seeds
½ tablespoon sea salt flakes
4 sage leaves, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon roughly chopped thyme leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon Smoked Chilli Jam (see below) or 1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly and a large pinch of smoked paprika and chilli flakes
FOR THE PUMPKIN
I small pumpkin or butternut squash, de-seeded and cut into wedges 2cm (¾ inch) wide
50ml (2fl oz) light olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
6 sage leaves
1 To make the granola, preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F),Gas Mark 3½. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
2 Mix the oats, pumpkin seeds, sea salt and herbs together in a bowl. Measure out the oil, maple syrup and chilli jam into a jug and whisk with a fork to combine. Add to the oat mixture and mix together well.
3 Turn the granola mixture out on to the lined baking sheet and bake for 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
4 To roast the pumpkin, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F),Gas Mark 6. Line a roasting tray with baking parchment.
5 Toss the pumpkin or squash wedges with the oil, sea salt and sage in a bowl. Turn out on to the lined roasting tray and roast for 45 minutes–1 hour until cooked through but still holding their shape.
6 Crumble the granola over the warm pumpkin or squash and serve.
Smoked chilli jam
We use this sweet smoky condiment both as an ingredient and as a dressing. It adds a real depth of flavour to our Savoury Sage and Pumpkin Seed Granola and glazes, and can be thinned with a little water or orange juice and used to marinate tofu or tempeh before cooking. It pairs wonderfully with any chargrilled vegetables but especially peppers and leeks). If you cook up a big batch and jar it up nicely, it makes a great gift too.
MAKES 10–15 SERVINGS
1 red pepper
light oil (such as sunflower,groundnut or light olive oil)
1 chipotle chilli in adobo sauce
500ml (18fl oz) water
350g (12oz) demerara sugar
grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
2½ tablespoons agar agar flakes
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
¼ teaspoon liquid smoke (see below)
½ teaspoon salt
1 Start by roasting or charring your red pepper, either in a hot oven, on the hob over a gas flame or on the barbecue.
2 If using the oven method, preheat to 240°C (475°F), Gas Mark 9. Rub the red pepper lightly with oil, sit on a baking tray and roast for about 15–20 minutes, turning frequently, until the skin is blistered on all sides.
3 Alternatively, place the pepper directly on a gas burner of the hob turned to high, turning frequently with tongs, until the skin blisters, or do the same over a hot barbecue.
4 Transfer the red pepper to a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to cool, then peel off the skin and remove the stem, core and seeds.
5 Blend the red pepper and chipotle chilli with the measured water in small blender, or in a measuring jug with a stick blender, to a purée. Add the purée to a saucepan with all the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer, giving the mixture a whisk with a balloon whisk every so often to make sure the agar agar dissolves into the liquid.
6 Simmer the jam for 15–20 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. It should thicken up while cooling until it resembles a firm jelly. Once cool, spoon into clean airtight jars or bottles and store in the refrigerator for 2–3 weeks.
*Liquid Smoke Is simply water that has been filtered through wood charcoal. Try the Living Nutritionals brand (not the kind with additives), which is available from some supermarkets and online.
What to drink: A rich chardonnay or oak-aged chenin blanc would work well with this.
Extracted from Mildreds Vegan Cookbook by Daniel Acevedo and Sarah Wasserman, published by Mitchell Beazley at £25. Photograph © Matt Russell. Mildreds has 4 vegetarian and vegan restaurants in London. For locations see their website
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