I worship at the food altar of Yotam Ottolenghi, and this recipe for roasted pumpkin (squash) with chilli yoghurt and coriander sauce is the first recipe I’m trying from his new cook book Plenty More. It’s a masterpiece and a treasure, and quite frankly, along with Plenty, which is definitely one of my all-time favourite cookbooks, is a must-have in any self-respecting cooks collection. Especially if you love cooking vegetables or vegetarian food. The recipe over delivered for me, but then it’s not like I had any doubts that it would. So simple and packed with so much flavour.
I tweaked it ever so slightly in that I used pumpkin instead of squash – but they are all in the same family anyway. I love Crown Prince pumpkins. The ones that have a silvery, blue grey on the outside and have the most delicious flavour. They are far sweeter and better than butternut in my opinion. I bought two large chunks as they are very big to buy whole and this was more than enough. I used a little more than the recipe so I added a dash more cinnamon, olive oil, salt and pepper. I also cut the pieces a little bigger so adjusted the cooking time from 40 minutes to an hour. I love to almost over-cook pumpkin until the edges go a a darker brown and turn crispy. I like to cook them until they are just before the mushy stage.
I also made less coriander sauce as I only had 20g in my fridge, but it’s definitely worth making a bigger batch as this is a delicious sauce to use on fish or meat. I also added more olive oil to the sauce which made it easier to blend. I used my Breville Control Grip Blender with the chopper attachment which I love when making small batch sauces like this. I find a food processor too big and cumbersome when whipping up a quick dressing and sauce.
As for sriracha, well I’m now an addict. Please forgive me if you live in the USA or anywhere in the world where you have known this and had it around for years. We in South Africa only cottoned onto its awesomeness last year when it became commercially available here. I guess better late than never. I saw that Woolies now stocks the Flying Goose brand which is delicious. It’s very hot, so I add only a little as I am a chilli wimp. I love it to be present but I never want it to take over the party. I also know that it’s a slippery slope with chilli, the more you add the more used to it you become and you need more. I don’t want to be that person that sits at dinner sweating from my forehead or not being able to appreciate flavours without blasting my top off with the hottest chilli. I know too many people like this. So I’m ultra cautious about how much I add, and I’m quite happy with this. Hot for me is probably mild for a chilli head, but adjust the quantities to taste.
Full-fat Greek style yoghurt has also become a staple in my house. I have NO idea why this didn’t happen sooner, probably because I was programmed to steer clear of any full-fat dairy apart from cream and cheese, but now it’s a permanent fixture in my fridge. I use it all the time. I add it to dressings like Jamie Oliver’s quick Caesars salad dressing or spooned over just about anything. It’s a fantastic base to add flavour to whether you go sweet or savoury. I love baking with it and made a batch of these pomegranate scones using it too. The sriracha stirred through the yoghurt adds heat, while the yoghurt provides creaminess and is simply delicious spooned over the roast pumpkin.
Roasted pumpkin seeds are stunning so I roasted a whole lot extra to keep for future use. They are wonderful in hot oats or sprinkled over salads. Don’t be alarmed if after roasting you hear them pop and spit for a while. This carries on for a bit even if you place them on a tray to cool down. Make sure you don’t over roast them, as they carry over cooking for a few minutes and I found 6-8 minutes at 180C perfect.
Recipe – adapted slightly from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More
- 1.5 – 1.7kg pumpkin, cut into wedges and then cut in half (skin on, seeds removed)
- 2t cinnamon
- 90 – 100ml olive oil (more or less)
- 50g coriander leaves and stalks (extra to garnish optional)
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- 20g pumpkin seeds, roasted
- 200 – 250g full-fat Greek style yoghurt
- 11/2t sriracha (or 2 t is you like it a little hotter) – or other chilli sauce you like
- salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C fan or 220C conventional.
Cut the pumpkin into wedges and then small pieces and place in a large bowl. Drizzle over about 50ml olive oil and sprinkle the cinnamon. Toss to coat. Spread the pieces out onto 1 very large or 2 smaller lined baking trays, drizzle over a little extra oil if necessary and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 – 60 minutes until soft and turning golden brown. I found larger pieces needed 60 minutes at 200C in a fan assisted oven.
To make the coriander sauce, add the coriander, garlic and about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil to a small processor and blend. I used less coriander and more olive oil. Season with a little salt to taste.
Roast the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray at 180C for 6 – 8 minutes. You can do this after the pumpkin has roasted and you have turned the temperature down. Set aside on a large tray to facilitate cooling.
Stir the sriracha through the yoghurt adding a little more if you like heat.
When you are ready to serve, and this is lovely served at room temperature, spread the pumpkin out on a large serving platter or plate, drizzle over the chilli yoghurt and the coriander sauce. Scatter the roasted pumpkin seeds and serve.
This makes a wonderful salad to serve alongside any kind or roasted or grilled meat or along with a few other salads.
I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.