Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Autumn is the season of squash.


This is an early post I found on a mining the past exercise last week.

I cooked it again and the recipe didn’t disappoint–in fact we finished the lot as we’d done way back in February 2011.

Butternut squashes dress modestly in light fawn leaving their showier cousins in orange and red to hog the limelight around this time of year–Halloween and Toussaint.

Under the skin though they show their true colors.


A wonderful autumn glow emerges, mustardy yellow–warming heart and body–as in the soup below (recipe here).


“What’s on the menu today?”
“Gratin of one of us”
“Scary–after you, ClaudeI”

This is delicious–I’ll stick my neck out.

We had it with some seasoned quinoa (sautéed onion, garlic, a small chili and a little steamed broccoli) last night for dinner and finished the lot.

The recipe is adapted from one in The New York Times*, which in turn was adapted from a recipe in a cookbook by a legendary American food writer**, who most likely adapted it from something he ate in a restaurant in Provence***, which was probably invented by the grandmother of the restaurant owner****–who had passed it on to her daughter*****.

In other words it’s a version of a traditional seasonal gratin dish.

It can be eaten as a vegetarian main course as we did last night or as an accompaniment to a roast chicken or lamb chops–for instance.

for 4

1kilo/2 lbs of butternut squash–peeled, deseeded and cut into small chunks

4 cloves of garlic–peeled and chopped small

1 generous tablespoon of wholewheat breadcrumbs

1 generous tablespoon of parsley--chopped

1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons of olive oil

set the oven to 190C/375F

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and turn them over and over mixing them thoroughly together and remembering to season well with the salt and pepper.

Tip into a roasting tray or better still an earthenware ovenproof dish.

Roast in the middle of the oven, for about an hour and a half–(the time depends on the size of the chunks)–so it comes out nicely charred on top.

Martha Rose Shulman

** Richard Olney–author of Simple French Food

***, ****, ***** All three names lost in the mists of time!

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Hard to resist this photo!

It was hard to resist the thing itself!

I bought this beauty in Castres market on Saturday morning from a young woman’s stall that was covered in pumpkins of all sizes.

I liked shape of the 2e too!

She told me not to peel it–just scoop out the seeds and cut it into chunks.

The skin and flesh contain vitamin A, flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as leutin, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance; in other words health giving properties–good things!

This idea is an aside in the Riverford Farm Cookbook (a treasure trove).

for two

1 smallish pumpkin–about 1 kilo/2lbs–quartered, seeded and cut into chunks

1 tsp cumin powder

salt and pepper

1 red chili–chopped

1 garlic clove–chopped

2 tblsps olive oil

roasted pumpkin seeds

heat the oven to 200C/400F

  • Put the pumpkin pieces in a bowl and spoon in the olive oil.
  • Turn them over thoroughly in the oil.
  • Sprinkle over the cumin powder and season with salt and pepper–mix again.
  • Empty the contents of the bowl onto a shallow oven tray.

  • Bake this for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin pieces are tender.
  • Then take the tray out of the oven and sprinkle the garlic and chili over and cook for another five minutes.

  • Serve with dollops of humous and some roasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled over.

Meredith tells me most pumpkins sold in America are carved up for jack o’lanterns–not supper!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

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