I get excited every year when I see pumpkins at the farmer’s market or grocery and try to think of new ways to get them to the table. The past few years I’ve made either pumpkin cheesecake or ravioli, but I wanted something different. The following is a combination of a few recipes. Since I tend to adjust flavors as I go, I’ve put par amounts on the ingredients marked with TT so they can be adjusted.
1 small cooking pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1” squares (about 3 cups)
8-10 mission figs
12 tiny red onions /shallots or quarter 3 medium red onions
2 cups quinoa
1/3 cup roasted pecans or walnuts
1/3 cup EVOO
2 TBs lemon juice TT†
1 TB balsamic vinegar TT
¼ tsp kosher salt TT
1 TB maple syrup TT
2 TB warm water
1 tsp fresh thyme TT
Toss the pumpkin in olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and roast using high heat (450F). Roasting at high heat allows for browning without turning the pumpkin to mush. Try 8-10 minutes, or until browning.
Roast the onions till visibly brown (caramelize).
Roast the figs separately at 325F in a Pyrex pan, or glass oven-proof pan. Be sure to spray lightly with non-stick spray. Roast the figs until juices seep into the pan. The lower heat allows the figs to express moisture without hardening. Save the liquid.
Prepare quinoa and set aside.
Roast pecans (walnuts).
In a bowl, mix wet ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, ¼ tsp kosher salt, maple syrup, and warm water). Adjust taste (TT) to your preference. Add quinoa, fresh thyme, and roasted ingredients. Toss.
Can be served either warm or cold. Warm brings out the flavors.
† to taste