A LITTLE WHILE AGO I INTRODUCED MY FLAVOR IDEAS SERIES, AND TODAY I HAVE SOME GORGEOUS IDEAS FOR BUTTERNUT PUMPKIN.
In case you missed the post, my Flavor Ideas series is all about flavor inspiration.
Because lets face it - most of us girls know how to cook, but it can get so boring making the same old thing every week.
So this series is all about easy ways to change up the things we cook all the time - and they're perfect for mid-week meals.
In this post I'm featuring one of my favorite veges: butternut pumpkin.
Pumpkin is so versatile, and lends itself to heaps of delicious flavor variations - I try to work it into as many meals as I can get away with!
Before I get to the recipes though, a quick note: I haven't used any quantities - seriously, these are all 'to taste' - so taste away and adapt them to suit your family.
And feel free to play around with them - substitute ingredients with what you have on hand, vary the flavors, be creative and make them your own!
So here we go!
1. CHEESY PUMPKIN MASH
TO MAKE: Trim and cut some butternut pumpkin into cubes and steam until very tender. Mash until smooth, season with salt and pepper, and add a very liberal amount of powdered parmesan cheese. Stir well, and serve sprinkled with fresh herbs.
This is seriously luscious! Mashed pumpkin can tend to be watery, which is why I steam mine rather than simmer it.
I also use that powdered Parmesan you find next to the dry pasta and sauces in the supermarket (yep, the cheap fake-ish one) - it tends to hold things together really well, and makes this dish delightfully creamy and rich.
Serve with... this is gorgeous with roasted lamb shanks :)
2. PUMPKIN WITH KALAMATAS AND FETA
TO MAKE: Cut pumpkin into small cubes, toss in olive oil and grill until tender and golden. Place on a serving dish and scatter with Kalamata olives and feta cheese. Serve immediately.
This not only looks striking, it tastes beautiful too.
If you can find them, sun-dried Kalamata's are amazing in this dish. I also like to use a soft Bulgarian or Danish Feta, but it tastes great with any variety.
Serve with... a nice barbequed steak!
3. PUMPKIN COUS-COUS
TO MAKE: Steam pumpkin until just tender. Cook cous-cous according to the packet instructions. Allow both to cool slightly, then gently combine, along with a knob of butter, some fresh shredded mint, and a little ground cumin. Serve topped with a dollop of thick greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of cumin seeds.
One of our family's favorites, this is a great dish to take to a party or barbeque - it's at it's best when served warm.
Be careful you don't overcook the pumpkin though, or it'll be too soft to toss through the cous-cous!
Serve with... simple pan fried chicken, lamb or beef (the cous-cous does a mean job of absorbing any juices!).
4. SWEET SLOW ROASTED PUMPKIN WEDGES
TO MAKE: Cut pumpkin into wedges, toss in olive oil and sprinkle with brown sugar, cracked black pepper and salt. Roast in a moderate/slow oven until tender and the sugar has caramelized.
My sister and I have been making this since we were kids - and now our kids love it!
Roasted nice and slowly, you get a lovely rich pumpkin flavor, and the sticky caramelization is just gorgeous :)
Serve with... anything.
5. THREE CHEESE PUMPKIN GALETTE
TO MAKE: Combine some ricotta, feta and parmesan cheeses, stir well and season with pepper. Spread mixture over a sheet of bought puff pastry. Top with cooled cubes of steamed pumpkin, and sprinkle with fresh thyme sprigs. Fold pastry edges over, and bake in a moderate to hot oven until pastry is cooked and golden.
This looks way more complex than it actually is - and the results are fantastic. The combination of cheeses are really something, and the thyme just sets it off.
The quantities of cheese are up to you - mix it up to taste as strong as you would like - and if you mix up too much, I guarantee no one will complain if you make two!
Serve with... great as a side dish for chicken or salmon, but also lovely as a light lunch on it's own.
I hope you've now got a few ideas to get creative with this week!
If you make any of these, or make your own variation up, I'd love to hear about it in the comments or see a few photos!
All the best,