I’ll be honest here, this recipe should have come out in early Autumn, when French beans were still available at the market. But somehow it slipped under my radar, and now it’s the middle of January. So before pumpkins disappear from the market too until next August, I thought I better get this recipe published. Of course the pesto would work really well with other winter hardy veggies such as carrots, white cabbage, savoy cabbage and potatoes. If you want to make more of a meal of it, serve with whole grain rice or pasta.
This serves 2 – 3 as a main, or 3 – 4 as a side.
For the pesto:
70 g Pumpkin Seeds
10 g Dill, removing any woody stems
50 g Coriander, removing any woody stems
120 ml Sunflower or Rapeseed Oil
1 small Garlic Clove, peeled
1 small Red Chilli, deseeded
Salt and Pepper
For the vegetables:
1 small Pumpkin, I used a Red Kuri Squash, but your local variety will be fine
350 g French Beans, fresh, frozen, or use Cabbage cut into bite size pieces
1 pinch of Baking Soda
2/3 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
1/3 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
1 Tsp Salt
Pumpkin Seed Oil, optional
To make the pesto, grind the pumpkin seeds to a fine floury consistency in a blender. Roughly chop the herbs, and add to the pumpkin seeds with the oil, garlic and chilli, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend to a rough paste. Check for seasoning and put to one side.
Preheat the oven to 180 °C, and put a medium sized saucepan of water on to boil. Peel (if needed) and deseed the pumpkin, then chop into 1 cm thick wedges. Using a pestle and mortar grind the spices with a good pinch of salt, then in a small baking dish add the pumpkin, ground spices, a good pinch of salt, 2 Tbsp olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile once the water is boiling add plenty of salt, so that you can taste it, and a pinch of baking soda. Boil the green beans for 4 – 5 minutes until cooked but so that they still have a little bite to them. Remove from the water, add to the pumpkin, squeeze a little lemon juice over, a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil and spoon over the pesto. Check for seasoning and serve.
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