the last time i ate pumpkin i was at the zoo in australia, missing my chance to cuddle a koala because i'm a space cadet. all i wanted was to be in tip top shape when i met my new koala friend so rather than going straight to the cuddling station when i got to the zoo, i stopped for a little snack to have the energy to wait on line without getting cranky. and that snack was a pumpkin wrap. and that line closed while i was enjoying my pumpkin wrap. and it was my last day in australia. 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭
me: sneakers, a backpack, parsley in my teeth, pumpkin in my belly.
you: a cuddly plop of koala at the taronga zoo. you went to bed at 3pm.
so i have this kind of sad feeling about pumpkin.
but i also have all of these happy feelings about pumpkin because before my koala incident, i had spent the weekend at sophie and luisa's workshop in the blue mountains outside of sydney where we ate some really delicious pumpkin in a way that i'd not ever had before. it was winter there (july), so rather than beginning my days with my typical summer breakfast of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers over yogurt, sophie suggested a big bowl of roasted pumpkin over yogurt and it was so perfect and good. i drizzled it with some of her homemade olive oil and dukkah, and scooped it all up with fresh sourdough. it made me look at pumpkin in a whole new savory delicious way than just as a pie filling and cake ingredient, and it made me even more excited for sara and aimee's virtual pumpkin party.
this is more of a non-recipe that's inspired by my australian breakfast bowls and it's fall's equivalent to summer's breakfast salads. it's the type of thing that you can sleepily spoon into a bowl using last night's leftover roasted pumpkin (or roasted sweet potatoes or squash, any orange starchy thing really) and yesterday's bread (since frying in a bit of olive oil will revive any old bread). you can get as complicated with the other stuff as you want: i love adding lemony sautéed kale for some greens and a handful of nuts and seeds for crunch. and if you don't have chiles, hot sauce will do the trick!
roasted pumpkin with dukkah, yogurt, and fried bread
Pie pumpkin, seeded and peeled and chopped into 3/4” cubes
Plain full-fat greek yogurt
Red chiles, seeded and sliced
Dukkah (I like using a blend of pine nuts, pepitas, sesame seeds, and coriander)
Optional: kale sauteed with olive oil, salt, lemon
preheat oven to 425ºf and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss pumpkin with a drizzle of olive oil, a few pinches of salt and pepper, and a dusting of ground cumin. spread pumpkin on baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, until browned and caramelized. (you can do this step the night before. to reheat, toss the pumpkin in a hot skillet for a few moments.)
meanwhile, slice bread and heat a thin layer of olive oil in a skillet. brown bread slices on both sides in the oil, sprinkle with salt, and set aside.
when pumpkin has finished roasting, remove from oven and let cool slightly. dollop yogurt in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Top with pumpkin, chiles, a sprinkle of dukkah, and kale, if using. Serve with bread.
...and be sure to check out all of the other recipes in today's virtual pumpkin party! happy pumpkin season, everybody in the northern hemisphere!