By Melanie Leyshon
Now that Halloween trick and treaters have carved their pumpkins, healthy cooks can tuck into the leftovers. Make soup, pasta dishes, roasted wedges, or try this simple and satisfying pumpkin hummus. I tasted it at Central Market, a restaurant in Petaluma, California, where it’s served as a starter with a beetroot dip. Or you could serve it as a mash, topped with grilled chicken and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, as they also do at Central Market.
For my first attempt, I roasted the pumpkin, then whizzed it with the classic hummus ingredients - cumin, lemon juice and tahini. It was light and tasty, but lacked oomph. By adding a tin of chickpeas you get a richer texture and flavour. Don’t worry that this defeats the object – you won’t need to add tahini paste and you’ll get double the quantity and more nutrients, as the pumpkin adds a decent hit of vitamin A and antioxidants.
500g pumpkin, deseeded and cut into wedges
Cooking oil spray
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp ground cumin
Garnish of your choice, such as roasted pumpkin or sesame seeds, or chilli powder
1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C/gas 6. Put your prepared pumpkin wedges on a baking sheet, spray with cooking oil and cook in the oven for about 30-40 min until tender.
2 Leave to cool, then cut the flesh from the skin. Discard the skin and pop the flesh into a food processor or blender. Add the drained chickpeas, the garlic, lemon juice and cumin. Blend until smooth, adding the reserved chickpea liquid to get the texture you like. Spoon into serving bowls and garnish with whatever you fancy.
The verdictScarily good colour, tasty and nutritious and a good way to use up the seasonal surplus!