Give me a grain, a bean, and plenty of veggies, and I’ve got a delicious dinner. Pumpkin and butternut squash are very abundant at this time of year, and they’re so versatile, lending themselves well to roasting, putting in stews, and blitzing into soups. I love big wedges of pumpkin roasted with plenty of fresh herbs – they can be left in the oven whilst you get on with other things, and then served with a quick assortment of whatever you’ve got in your cupboards.
Make sure you don’t throw away the seeds – they make an fantastic topping to salads, once washed, dried, and roasted in a little salt and oil.
To serve two, you’ll need:
- half of one small pumpkin
- one small head of broccoli, or a tin of beans
- one small white onion
- tin of chopped tomatoes
- tomato puree
- handful plum tomatoes
- two cloves of garlic
- handful sprigs fresh rosemary
- quinoa / couscous
- vegetable stock
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- dried herbs: thyme, oregano
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Carefully slice the pumpkin in half, using a large and sturdy knife. Cut one half into six wedges and and rub with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Lay on a roasting tray, and place in the oven for around an hour.
Peel and finely chop the onion, and gently cook until softened. Add finely chopped garlic and cook for two minutes before mixing with a squirt of tomato puree. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer, adding a 2 tsp of dried herbs, and a generous splash of red wine vinegar. After fifteen minutes, add either broccoli florets or beans, and simmer until the broccoli is tender.
In the meantime, put the quinoa on to cook, or pour boiling water over couscous and cover. Do add seasoning to the quinoa as it simmers – a pinch of vegetable stock will do the trick.
When the pumpkin skin is crisped and the flesh soft, serve everything in a bowl, and sprinkle with nutritional yeast. Eat with cosy socks on in front of the TV.