Please tell me I’m not too late with the pumpkin recipes?! I know pumpkins are sooo two weeks ago but honestly now that we're done with decorating them, this might be just the recipe you need to help pumpkins do what they do best. And that most definitely involves eating them. But seriously, pumpkins are for a lot longer than the few weeks around Halloween. Use them all year long for curries, stews, soups and roasted. But not for pumpkin pie. One thing I know for sure is that I just can't get behind pumpkin desserts!
Now this recipe has all the hallmarks of a Thanksgiving recipe post. And I promise that has nothing to do with the influence of Instagram or the long weekend I just spent in New York. Rather this post has everything to do with me finding a beautiful Crown Prince Pumpkin at the local market here in Kilkenny a few weeks back. It’s a blue-green colour and stunning to look at. And by the way it makes for a much more beautiful decoration than the plastic ones, with the obvious bonus that you can eat it afterwards. It was relatively expensive as far as vegetables go, so cue some serious thought about what to do with it. I wanted to properly pay homage to this incredible vegetable. How often do we hear people talking about respecting ingredients and usually it’s about cuts of meat or fish. Well in the Honest Project world it’s about beautiful vegetables.
Beware, that it's an absolute pain to cut through the skin of this kind of pumpkin but it's worth it. Its orange coloured flesh tastes divine and is perfect for roasting. I roasted it in a combination of maple syrup and oil and it makes for an incredibly sweet finish. So make sure to add plenty of feta cheese to cut through that sweetness. And if you are already thinking ahead to festive menus, this might be one to add to your list of Christmas sides.
Maple & Thyme Roasted Pumpkin with Feta Cheese
(serves 4 -6 as a side)
1 medium sized pumpkin (approx 1.5kg)
2 red onions
5 sprigs of thyme
3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin
75g feta cheese, crumbled
Sprinkling of chilii flakes
Black pepper and sea salt
Preheat the oven to Gas 5 / 180C. Peel and deseed the pumpkin. Cut into wedges, about a centimetre and a half thick. Peel and cut the red onions into quarters.
In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, olive oil and cumin. Remove the leaves from the thyme and add to the maple mixture.
Place the pumpkin wedges and onion slices into a large bowl. Add two thirds of the maple and oil mixture and stir to ensure the pumpkin and onion is coated. Tip onto a baking tray leaving enough room between the pumpkin wedges to allow them to roast. Add the stems of the thyme sprigs. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and tender and browning in colour.
Remove from the oven and tip onto a serving dish, removing the thyme sprigs. Top with the crumbled feta and a sprinkling of chilli flakes. Drizzle the remaining maple and oil mixture over the feta. Serve straight away.