Pumpkin, chickpeas, rosemary by Nigel Slater
Not sure what to make with your pumpkin this Halloween? We have sourced some seasonal inspiration for you.
Pumpkin, skin on (1kg)
Garlic (4 cloves)
Rosemary (10 sprigs)
Thyme (8 bushy sprigs)
A little olive oil
For the hummus:
Chickpeas (2 x 400g cans)
Juice of a small lemon
Olive oil (150ml)
Parsley leaves (10g)
Pink peppercorns (2 teaspoons)
Set the oven at 200C/Gas 6. Remove the seeds and fibres from the pumpkin (and save them to use later), then cut the flesh into eight wedges. Lightly oil a baking tin (Nigel suggest covering it with kitchen foil for easier cleaning) and lay the wedges down in a single layer. Tuck in the unpeeled garlic cloves. Season with salt, black pepper and the sprigs of herbs, then moisten with olive oil. Dot the butter in small lumps over the pumpkin and roast for forty-five minutes, until the squash is golden brown in colour and the texture is soft and fudgy.
Drain the chickpeas and bring them to the boil in deep water. Turn the heat down a little and let them simmer for eight to ten minutes till thoroughly hot. Squeeze the roast garlic cloves out of their skins. Drain the chickpeas again, then tip them into the bowl of a food processor. Add the lemon juice and garlic and process, pouring in enough of the oil to produce a soft, spreadable cream.
Chop the parsley and peppercorns together, then moisten with a tablespoon of olive oil. Spoon the hummus on to a serving dish, place the roasted pumpkin pieces on top, then scatter over the parsley and peppercorns and serve.
If you don’t have pink peppercorns (they are hardly a kitchen essential), then Nigel recommends those dark green bottled peppercorns instead. They have both warmth and piquancy and are useful as a seasoning for anything containing beans or cheese. The brine they come in is handy, too. Just a few drops will perk up a salad dressing or a vegetable or bean purée.