Chilli-Roasted Pumpkin

Paired with bulgur, soft cheese and hazelnuts, this pumpkin dish is spicy, crunchy, sweet, creamy – and totally delicious.

“The pumpkin purée adds sweetness and moisture, but you can leave it out if you’re looking to save time or effort,” says Josh Katz. “Mizithra cheese is a soft Greek whey cheese that can be difficult to source. Alternatively, use a soft, crumbly goat’s cheese or ricotta.”

Read: Spicy Green Beans with Chilli and Garlic

Serves: 4-6

For the pumpkin purée:

  • ¼ small pumpkin (approx. 300g), peeled and cut into pieces
  • 75g brown sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • flaked sea salt and ground black pepper

For the lemon dressing:

  • 1 garlic clove, minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 90ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • flaked sea salt and ground black pepper

For the chilli-roasted pumpkin bulgar:

  • ¾ small pumpkin (approx. 900g), cut into 1cm slices
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 30g light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Aleppo chilli flakes (pul biber)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon thyme leaves
  • 120g bulgur
  • handful of dill and flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 40g hazelnuts, toasted
  • 40g capers, drained and rinsed
  • 100g Mizithra or soft, fresh whey cheese
Chilli-roasted pumpkin
Chilli-roasted pumpkin. (James Murphy/PA)

For the pumpkin purée: set the pumpkin in a steamer over boiling water and steam for 12–15 minutes, until completely tender. Transfer to a food processor, add the sugar and lemon juice and blend until smooth.

Read: Really Easy Roasted Broccoli

Transfer the purée to a saucepan and cook over low heat for 10–15 minutes, until thickened and concentrated in flavour. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool until needed.

For the lemon dressing: Combine the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar and oils in a small bowl, season generously with salt and black pepper and whisk to combine.

For the chilli-roasted pumpkin bulgar: preheat the oven to 220°C (400°F)/200°C Fan/Gas Mark 7.

Roll the pumpkin in the olive oil, sprinkle with the sugar and chilli flakes and season generously with salt and black pepper. Transfer the pumpkin to a parchment-lined baking tray, scatter the lemon thyme over the top, and roast for 20-25 minutes until tender and slightly charred.

In the meantime, prepare the bulgur by covering it with boiling water in a small bowl and allowing it to soak for roughly five minutes. Drain, lightly run a fork through the grain to fluff it, so that it doesn’t become clumpy, and set to one side to cool.

Combine the bulgur with the chopped herbs, hazelnuts and capers and stir through 60ml of the lemon dressing. The tabbouleh should be light and sharp, not drenched and heavy. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Read: Crispy Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Place the pumpkin purée on the bottom of a plate, layer the pumpkin and bulgur mixture on top, scatter the cheese over and serve.

Berber&Q: On Vegetables by Josh Katz
(Kyle Books/PA)

Berber&Q: On Vegetables by Josh Katz is published by Kyle Books, photography by James Murphy. Available now.

– With PA

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YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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