Ever since I was a kid, roasted pumpkin has been one of my favorite foods. I come from a family of six siblings, so when my mum made a roast dinner, there never seemed to be enough roast pumpkin to satisfy me. Along with the other roasted veggies, we were allocated only one piece of pumpkin per child and that piece was, from memory, rather small and measly, so it was never enough.
As an adult without the multitude of mouths to feed with the single oven roast dinner, I’ve baked myself up a tonne of pumpkin over the years and have gorged myself to satisfaction. I’ve served roasted pumpkin as a side to just about anything: roasted cubes to put in different salads (rocket, pinenuts and pumpkin is a classic) but this combination of roasted pumpkin with pomegranate seeds and nigella seeds takes the humble pumpkin roast to a new, rather glamorous level.
This recipe comes from Mike McEnearney’s book Kitchen By Mike, from which I got the pumpkin bread recipe I posted a few weeks back. He is obviously a man who knows the awesome power of pumpkin and this pumpkin roast is a never-off-the-menu favorite at the Kitchen By Mike’s canteen in Rosebery. This recipe makes a large amount, so if I’m making it for a smaller family dinner, I don’t salt the pumpkin when I roast it, just lightly brush it with oil and puree the excess pumpkin to freeze and make pumpkin bread later. This is for the passionate pumpkin eaters – I know you’re out there.
Roast pumpkin, with pomegranate and nigella seeds
Adapted from Mike McEnearney’s Kitchen by Mike
- ½ jap pumpkin (about 2 kilos)
- canola oil spray or light olive oil for brushing
- salt flakes
- dried chilli flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds
- 1 tablespoon of nigella seeds
- Flat parsley leaves for garnishing.
Pomegranate molasses dressing
- 150 mls of olive oil
- 75 mls of pomegranate molasses
- 25 mls of lime juice (about one lime’s worth)
- salt and and black pepper for seasoning
- Pre-heat oven to 220°C (about 200°C fan forced). Cut pumpkin into wedges, leaving the skin on. Place on a large baking tray with skin side down on the tray, spray or brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and chilli flakes (if using).
- Roast pumpkin for about 30–45 minutes until tips of wedges are slightly burnt looking.
- To make dressing whisk together olive oil, pomegranate molasses and lime juice, then season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Arrange wedges of pumpkin on a platter, sprinkle nigella seeds over the top, pour dressing over the pumpkin wedges. Scatter pomegranate seeds and parsley over pumpkin and serve warm or at room temperature.