Oooh Halloween’s a wonderful night, I’ve just walked through the village on my way back from buying trick or treat sweets and all the windows are aglow with pumpkins and various squashes. I have done my little window display and filled the jam pan with sweets because it looks pretty cauldron-esque! I had aspirations of cobwebs and ghosts and spiders but I didn’t get organised in time and so, that will have to do.
I felt a bit sad defacing my pumpkin as this is the year where I’ve really begun to love pumpkin flesh, I like pumpkin pie and I know I listed a recipe for this last year but I was yet to be really wowed by a pumpkin until I fell accidentally into this recipe with some cinderella squashes and pumpkin the other day.
I really love tagine, there’s that wonderful combination of fruit and savoury and warm heat from the spices. We have a tagine dish somewhere in the cupboard but a large saucepan will do and I wanted to add dried prunes and apricots and butterbeans or chickpeas but there weren’t any in the cupboard. I’d definitely add these if I made this again. It really was so delicious, I served it with creme fraiche and fresh mint and couscous. But you could use other pulses or perhaps a flatbread to soak up the juices, because the juices are seriously good.
I used a Cinderella pumpkin, the orange but shallow, curvy variety, they’re usually a deeper, darker orange than the pumpkins in the supermarket. The flesh is really, really sweet and they look brilliant when carved, really atmospheric.
serves about 6
- a small pumpkin or medium sized squash (peeled and cubed, fairly large cubes)
- a parsnip (peeled and cubed)
- two sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
- a large onion (peeled and cubed)
- olive oil
- 2 tbsp turmeric
- 2tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tbsp ground coriander
- a stick of cinnamon
- 1 tbsp crushed chillies
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- 1 pt vegetable stock
- 1 glass of apple juice (amount depending on wetness of tagine)
- 1 red/1 yellow pepper (cubed)
- 1 courgette (cubed)
- 2 tbsp apple sauce or apricot jam or something sweet and jammish (but probably not strawberry!
- a lemon
- yoghurt or creme fraiche and mint to serve
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil on a medium heat and add the onion, pumpkin, parsnip and sweet potato. Fry these in the oil for 10 minutes so that they are slightly browned and softened around the edges.
- Add the two halves of the lemon and stir. After about 5 minutes, add the spices and chillies and stir through.
- Fry for another 10 minutes and then add the vegetable stock.
- Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes (during this time, the sweet potato and pumpkin will thicken the liquid).
- Add the bay leaves and coriander and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Add the apple juice, depending on how thick the liquid is. If it has reduced a lot, more apple juice, if still quite wet, less apple juice and stir in the apple sauce.
- Preheat the oven to 170 C and place the cubed courgettes and peppers on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and put in the oven for 20 minutes until slightly browned.
- Add the peppers and courgettes to the tagine and cook through for 5 minutes, ensuring the sauce is lovely and thick and reduced. Serve.
And crammed with your five a day!