Thursday, August 21, 2008

Honey and Thyme Roasted Pumpkin

title

It’s been raining a lot over here. Threats of typhoons, gloomy weekdays filled with the incessant patter of raindrops, grey skies, wonky dsl...the usual ways the rainy season makes its presence felt. Today’s different though...the sun is out (for now) where I live and I’m once again in a skirt and tank top, trying to keep cool.

Crazy weather. Determined to drive me mad. Lulling me into cozy thoughts of soup and stews, and then driving me headlong into the arms of fresh fruit and salad. Eating seasonally means a different thing every day over here, a challenge that is just a bit too much for me right now.

I seek refuge in the embrace of a very autumnal dish. Autumn is a season absent from our calendar and I find every opportunity to flout nature and enjoy it on my table, if not in my weather.

Crazy, perplexing, faithless weather. You deserve my rebellion.

The weather aside, I am loving the local farmers who have started growing butternut squash. I find it at the markets more often now, and I make sure to buy some when I see it...no matter what the weather is like. In my favourite herb stall, at my Saturday market a while back, I found some gorgeous specimens. After much dithering about the size (I only have two mouths to feed after all) I finally succumbed to a 3-kilo beauty upon the urging of my friend M, who assured me that I could just cook and puree what I couldn’t use then freeze it for later consumption. Which is exactly what I did after enjoying the squash as a centrepiece on our dining room table (whole pumpkin is such a joy...you can keep it as decoration for the longest time while you ponder how you want to prepare it...not to mention the possibilities if you happen to have a fairy godmother!).

I divided the squash in half: Half I roasted and pureed, and stashed in my freezer for emergency butternut squash soup. This is what happened to the other half.

Honey and Thyme Roasted Pumpkin
(adapted from Maple and Thyme Roasted Pumpkin, Donna Hay Magazine, issue 38, page 100)

  • 4 wedges of butternut squash, about 700 grams total weight
  • a scant 1/4 cup honey
  • 70 grams butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pili nuts, blanched and peeled
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

- Place the honey, butter, thyme, and nuts in a bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste – it should have a sweet-salty flavour balance.
- Arrange squash wedges in a roasting pan, or any sort of pan where they’d fit. I used a pyrex pie dish and that worked fine.
- Pour the honey-nut mixture over the squash, dividing evenly between their little hollows.
- Roast in a 200C oven for 30-40 minutes or until tender.
- Serves 4 as a side dish.

The original recipe used golden nugget pumpkins (instead of butternut squash), maple syrup (instead of honey), and almonds and pecans (instead of walnuts and pili).

If there is someone out there who can resist a golden, caramelized wedge of butternut squash, softly roasted and topped with sweet sticky nuts...well, you are a stronger person than I. This dish was so divine that the weather made no hee-haw to me whichever way its inconstant winds wanted to blow. Rain or shine, wet or dry, sometimes you just need to close your window and do what you want.

49 comments:

Manggy said...

Nope, I am definitely not stronger than you, Joey... This would be perfect for all those chilly nights we've been experiencing!
Oi, fairy godmother? You are hoping for a coach to take you somewhere? Now all you'll get is frozen coach puree, ha ha ha! :)

Marketman said...

Joey, I can tell I have to get to the market earlier than you if I am to score some butternut squash from Gil...heehee. Demand drives up production, right? Your photo, as usual, is stunning... Ever think about commerical food photography? In case you knew someone thinking about doing a book? :)

Lori said...

WOW, that photo is simply amazing. It could even convert squash haters! I like squash, but I think I would love this dish.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Here also, it rains quite a lot lately and the air is getting quite chilly...

That dish looks scrumptious and ever so comforting!

Cheers,

Rosa

Pille said...

That photo is so amazing!!! Absolutely mouth-watering!

Barbara said...

Wonderful Joey. I like the addition of the nuts.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Manggy! Frozen coach puree...don’t burst my bubble boy! It’s always handy to have an enchanted coach on standby ;)

Hi MM! Haha! I left some of the squash behind! Heehee :) But yes, demand drives up production and I never stop badgering purveyors when I want to see more of the product :) Thank you for the wonderful compliment! Commercial food photography? For someone who might be thinking about doing a book? Do I get to eat the food after? ;)

Thanks Lori!!! That’s me, on the forefront of the squash conversion of the world! :)

Hi Rosa! It hardly ever gets chilly here...even when it rains! Except for in the mountains...maybe I should consider a mountain vacation :)

Hi Pille! Thanks! :)

Thanks Barbara! I love the nuts too! These are two of my favourites :)

Marvin said...

Me and B have the same problem when it comes to too much food and only two mouths to feed. We hate wasting food, but we also have a terrible habit of forgetting what's leftover in our freezer and fridge.

Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks great. My husband is starting to become more open to the idea of eating squash, and this dish looks like the kind of thing that he would devour with gusto.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

The roasted squash looks amazing!

I find it one of the amusing twists of life that butternut squash is "new-ish" there and so old here. I mean, all we see over here in terms of squash is butternut, butternut, butternut. I wish they grew more varieties here. But I guess butternut's where it's at, since it is one of the most delicious squashes around.

veron said...

I think butternut squash is the only squash I love. I've never tried it roasted , only in soup but this looks delicious with all the nuts.

mtan said...

Phew, glad to know my (bad) influence wasn't wasted! What a lovely combination of nut and gourd. Imagine if you used sweet potatoes or ube with that candied nut and herb combination... the orange of the pumpkin, the purple yam, the caramelized nuts... gah, it's too early in the morning to be drooling.

Anh said...

Hi Joey! The pumpkin loos really nice!!!

And thanks so much for the beautiful wedding gift! Q gave them to me the other day and I was so happy :)

Peabody said...

That looks truly delish. I love pumpkin and am counting the days until it is Fall.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Marvin! I hear you! Sometimes you really have to push creativity to the limits...

Hi Fearless Kitchen! I hope he likes it! :)

Hi JS! It wasn’t grown here really so it’s quite worth the excitement now that it keeps popping up :) Plus, as you mentioned, it really is so delicious!

Hi Veron! It is really good roasted this way...or just plain with butter and brown sugar :) Or as a gratin with cream and cheese and something green...yum!

Hi M! Haha! You are only ever a good influence :) I love root crops! Sweet potato this way sound heavenly...I’ve never cooked with ube before though (the shame!)...must do soon!

Hi Anh! You’re very welcome!!! I’m glad you like it :) Thanks to you and Q for all the help with Hanoi :)

Hi Peabody! I wish I had a Fall! :)

Dhanggit said...

Too bad I need to wait for winter season to enjoy this, pumpkin and butternut still wont be in season till that time :-) lovely photos as usual

Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, you are such a dear, Joey - a fairy godmother wouldn't hurt, right? :)
That pumpkin looks and sounds delicious... So golden and I keep imagining the smell... YUM!

Didona said...

Hello again!
Thank you for visiting my blog.

Amanda said...

another squash you should try is spaghetti squash. it's sweet and crunchy and nothing like the usual squash we know in the philippines.

Tartelette said...

I am so ready for fall with this...if only temperatures contributed to my feeling it'd already be fall!

Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

That picture really got me hungry...
Great shot.

dagul

Eileen said...

This looks absolutely delicious!

Eileen (passions to pastry)
www.livingtastefully.com

Valentina said...

I love the nutty element here. The creamines of the pumpkine with the nut flavour probably made out for a great combination of flavours.

Ruy said...

Hi Joey! That squash is just beautiful.
Man I missed this place...=)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Dhanggit! At least you are assured a supply...we just have to keep crossing our fingers that they keep growing it!

Hi Patricia! A fairy godmother is always welcome! :) This smelled great...maybe next time I’ll add a touch of nutmeg...

Hi Didona! Thanks for stopping by :)

Hi Amanda! I’ve heard of it...will keep an eye out!

Hi Helene! Who can predict the weather...siiigh...

Hi Dagul! Thank you! :)

Hi Eileen! Thanks :) It was :)

Hi Valentina! It really is a great combination...and since I love nuts, one that works a charm for me! :)

Hi Ruy! This squash was really gorgeous even from the start, when I found it sitting prettily in the market :) So no surprise that it makes a lovely cooked dish as well :)

Anonymous said...

Where can you find Pili nuts? I never heard of Pili nuts until a friend brought some back from the Philippines. They are so good and suppose to be very nutritious.

Jude said...

Wow so many good textures on this recipe. I love pili nuts... Used to eat it candied out of hand in the Philippines. There aren't a lot of other nuts with the same texture.

LyB said...

Ooooooh, I love butternut squash! That looks like the perfect way to serve it, roasted and sweet. :)

katrina said...

Joey, that photo is almost obscene in its ability to turn me on! ;-) I can almost feel the syrup coating my lips, and the nuts sticking to my teeth. Lurve sweet root crops, and with butter and nuts, it could hardly get any better. (It just ocurred to me that you could also call this Butter & Nut Butternut Squash...though that would mean forgetting about two key ingredients...okay, never mind.)

What did you serve with it?

Kevin said...

That looks like a great way to enjoy some pumpkin!

Gattina said...

Jo, I start loving butternut sqash. Your is beautifully cameralized, who can resist?

Gourmet Traveller said...

Great photo as usual and looks extremely easy to do too. I'll try it one of these days.

Posted a breakfast recipe -

http://travelswithagourmet.blogspot.com/2008/08/saturday-morning-corned-beef-hash.html

on my blog inspired by 80 breakfasts - check it out!

Matin said...

I love roasted pumpkins and your recipe looks great:-)
X M

Caviar and Codfish said...

Ahhh... a horde of frozen squash for an emergency soup... BRILLANT!

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

This looks incredible! I will definitely be trying it come Fall. :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Pumpkin and squash will be coming into season soon, and not soon enough after seeing this recipe. It looks truly fabulous, Joey.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anonymous! They are very nutritious! I bought mine in Bicol :)

Hi Jude! I love pili nuts too...when those candied ones around I can’t stop!

Hi Lyb! I love butternut squash too although we don’t get it here as often...I’m all for roasted and sweet! :)

Hi Katrina! Sweet root crops...you said it! I had them with sausage :) Butter & Nut Butternut...now say that 5X fast!

Hi Kevin! It was...wickedly easy too :)

Hi Gattina! Isn’t it yummy? :)

Hi GT! Thank you! Oooh! I’m going to be checking out that breakfast recipe now...sounds delicious :)

Thanks Matin!

Hi Robin! I know! I love knowing that I’ve got that stashed away :)

Hi Ari! Hope you like it! :)

Hi Susan! Thanks :) Right now I can’t find them anymore...all though there still is other squash in the market. Oh well...your turn to enjoy them soon! :)

Aran said...

this is my kind of pumpkin!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Aran! Me too!

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

OMG that looks gorgeous

christine said...

Oohhhh it's this photo again!! Serving as a reminder to find me some butternut squash soon so I can replicate this! Droool~~~~

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Kitchen Goddess!

Hi Nens! I know this is your type of dish! Maybe when you get that butternut squash we can make it together in your place? :) Wow...that was a totally obvious invite-wrangle!

Jude said...

It's not the best weather over here right now either. A bowl of that is probably just what I need.

ChichaJo said...

Hey Jude! It's started storming here tonight and guess what...we had the other part of the squash that I pureed and froze as soup...perfect for nasty weather!

Lori said...

Oh Joey! I hope I'm as lucky as you and find a butternut squash one day. I just roasted a Japanese squash today and I loved it. This dish that you made is definitely something I'd like to try.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Lori! Next time I see some I will text you or just buy one for you already! :) I know you like squash...I remember that squash lasagna dish you posted before...yum!

ravisingh said...

Very interesting and well written- organized, straight forward and clear.

Cecilia said...

Hello, Chichajo! I am quite a new fan of yours. Found your site through Marketman's. Love his site as well. Showed yours and Marketman's site to my husband, and he loves your writing as well.
I've been reading through your site the last coupleof weeks. Haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but will definitely soon.

Marketman is right. You really should consider photography. Your pictures are often really stunning!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Cecilia! Thank you for stopping by a leaving such a nice comment :) So glad to hear you are enjoying this little site :) I have much to learn about photography still and a lot of the credit goes to my “models” who are pretty well behaved and are never too demanding! ;) Hope you like the recipes and if you have questions feel free to email me! :)