Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chilli Pumpkin Cranberry Rissotto


3 lb sugar pumpkin,
2 tablespoons olive oil
1red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger finely chopped
4 hot red chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
5 cups vegetable broth, kept warm on the stove top
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoonfreshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon agave

For the pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon salt

To prepare the pumpkin and seeds: Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and the stringy bits with a tablespoon. Reserve the seeds and place them in a colander to clean.Lightly oil a baking sheet and place the pumpkin face down on sheet.Bake for about 35 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork, but not completely mushy. Once cooled, peel off the skin and chop pumpkin into bite sized pieces.

In the meantime, wash the pumpkin seeds and dry completely with a kitchen towel. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with a little olive oil, toss to coat. You can toast them in the oven whilethe pumpkin bakes, it usually takes about 15 minutes. Toss once or twice. Remove from oven and place in a bowl to cool. Once cooled,sprinkle with the spices to coat.
For the Risotto

Preheat a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, ginger and chilies in the oil for about 7 minutes, stirring often so you don't burn it. Add the risotto and stir to coat with oil. Add wine to deglaze the pot, then add first cup of vegetable broth.Use a wooden spoon to stir until most of the water is absorbed.

Continue adding veggie broth then stirring a few more times, until only a cup of broth is left. When you're at the last cup, add thepumpkin and cranberries and repeat stirring. When most of the liquidhas absorbed, add salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and lime juice. Stir incoconut milk. Cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.Taste and adjust salt. At this point you can also add a teaspoon of agave to bring out the sweetness of the cranberries and pumpkin.

Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving, to let the flavors"marry." Scoop into bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pumpkin, Red Lentil and Medjool Date Soup

pumpkin soup
Originally uploaded by denkschema

This is a delightful warming sweet thick soup to enjoy on a chilly day. The dates give it a nice subtle sweetness and the pomegranite garnish enhance the soup.


100 grams red lentils
500 grams pumpkin, de-seeded and cubed
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
A handul of fresh thyme A handful of fresh tarragon leaves
1 large red onion, chopped

1 litre water
1 vegetable stock cube
Large pinch of chilli flakespinch of cayenne pepper
10 medjool dates chopped
splash lemon juice

To garnish Pomegranite seeds, chilli oil and fresh coriander


Saute the chopped onions in the olove oil until they are translucent, add the thyme and tarragon, the pumpkin and the red lentils. Add the stock, chilli flakes and water and simmer gently until all the vegetables are cooked. Add the tomatoes and the dates and puree the mixture until smooth.
Add a splash of lemon juice and season to taste with a pinch of salt and cayenne.
Garnish with coriander leaves, chilli oil and pomegranite seeds.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Roast Pumpkin Salad

Since moving to london from Spain (in the worst winter for twemnty odd years) I have been living on roast vegetables. I am virtually a vegetarian and tend not to eat much meat. However I miss my salads as well, so this roast pumpkin salad ticked all the boxes. A perfect lunch when served with wholemeal bread.
Large chunk of pumpkin peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large red onion quartered2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
10 Ounces of cooked french beans
1/3 cup walnuts
1 cup plain Greek yoghurt ( I used a nouhgt percent fat yoghurt)
2 tablespoons red balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, very very finely chopped
2 samll heads of baby gem, torn into bite-size pieces
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
On a large baking sheet, toss together the pumpkin, onion, and oil, and then season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes until the pumpkin is tender but not mushy. Add green beans and walnuts and toss well. Roast for three minutes To make the dressing whisk together yoghurt, vinegar, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Top the lettuce with roasted vegetable mixture and drizzle the dressing over the top.