I like, many at this time of year bought a pumpkin. My little granddaughters had pumpkins and I helped to carve them. But mine sat there and looked glum. The neighbourhood kids were not coming round this year ( too much building work going on) and big grandkids, had been swanning around with their mother in Louisiana. And so my pumpkin just sat, reminding me every morning that I needed to do something with it and not just let it rot!
My original thought was pumpkin and ginger soup. However flicking through my multitude of cookbooks and magazines a brainwave came to me. Near us is a restaurant which goes by the name of WULF AND LAMB. We have only been there once, when #1 daughter offered to take us and her kids out to lunch for my birthday. The sun shone and we sat outside and watched the world go by. There were two issues, one was that the restaurant was vegetarian and the other was that daughter forgot her credit card ! Ah well, the vegetarian meal was really very good, and the company of daughter and grandkids, made up for Himself having to pay !
Therefore my new thought, for my needy pumpkin was a casserole. I stole the idea, but altered it substantially, using the ingredients I had to hand.
- To make a casserole for 6-8
- A medium sized pumpkin
- Some oil to sauté
- Several cloves of garlic smushed
- 2-3 onions peeled and sliced lengthwise
- 200 grms soft apricots
- 100 grams mixed pitted olives
- 1tabsp capers
- 100 grms mixed candied fruit ( I used papaya, and pineapple)
- 50 mls of red wine vinegar or I used Vinaigre d’Orléans whihc is red wine vinegar made in a traditional method.
- 100 mls of white port or sherry, ( if not use extra vinegar)
- 1 tabsp dark brown sugar
- 200 grms crumbled feta cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and slice the pumpkin and cut into wedges.
- Heat some oil in a pan and sauté the pumpkin so that it gets a caramel colour, remove from the pan
- Stir fry the onion and when soft add all the other ingredients except the cheese.
- Put in the pumpkin and stir to mix. Taste, season.
- Put into a casserole dish
- Pringle with the feta cheese and bake at 175C for about 45 mins, until pumpkin is soft and cheese melted.
Obviously this can be made ahead and left to one side until needed. Can be made a day ahead, but then refrigerate. Can be eaten just as a vegetarian dinner, along with crusty bread or served as a side.