In some parts of the world, you'll properly know it as Butternut Squash. It has a distinctive pear-like shape, its flesh is sweeter in flavour and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
The dish I've made comes via Ottolenghi's latest book, Plenty. I was recently flicking through its pages at the bookstore when I stopped on the most delicious photo of herb crusted pumpkin slices. A scan of the recipe showed the topping was made from fresh breadcrumbs, herbs and parmesan - placed on slices of pumpkin it was baked until golden and the pumpkin cooked.
A simple recipe that proved to be utterly brilliant.
butternut pumpkin, cut into slices
50 grams day old bread (I used sourdough)
20 grams fresh parsley leaves
6 sage leaves
1 garlic shoot
freshly grated parmesan
Prepare the pumpkin:
Cut the pumpkin in half lengthways. Cut it into ½cm slices.
Make the topping:
The quantities are only a guide - feel free to add whatever herbs you like. This should make enough to cover about 14 slices.
Cut the bread into small cubes - place in a processor and process until roughly chopped. Remove the bread and set aside.
Place the parsley, sage, grated parmesan and onion shoot into the processor - pulse briefly until roughly chopped. Return the bread to the bowl and process until mixed through.
Assemble the dish:
Place a sheet of baking paper on an oven tray - brush lightly with olive oil. Arrange the pumpkin slices on the sheet, brush each slice with oil. Generously mould the topping over each slice, pressing the topping gently onto the slice. Drizzle a little extra olive oil over each slice.
Bake in a preheated 160°C oven until golden - about 30 minutes.
This is such a brilliant combination - there's the base of beautifully sweet roasted pumpkin with a bonus of a crisp herb and garlic flavoured crust. It's almost too good to share.