Roast Pumpkin Pesto Wedges

Dinner, Lunch, Salad

Autumn brings an end to warmer and longer days but it does add great colour to our trees and plates. Squash plants and in particular pumpkins are in prime condition at this time of year. I’m definitely trying to make the most of them and adding them to lots of different dishes.

A simple spoonful of pesto brings lots of flavour to any recipe and I love to experiment with different combinations. Pesto is traditionally made using pine nuts but they can be quite expensive and hard to find in shops. Hence I use nuts or seeds in my recipes. Roasting pumpkin seeds until they begin to pop make a great base for pesto. So reserve your seeds when you are carving your pumpkin to make this very tasty pesto.

This pumpkin recipe is great as a side with roast or grilled chicken or added to any salad.

Find out more great pumpkin and squash recipes here.

Serves 4.

Roast Pumpkin Pesto Wedges, Delalicious

  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Pumpkin Seed & Coriander Pesto:

  • 30g pumpkin seeds (reserved from the fresh pumpkin)
  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 40g coriander/mint/basil include the stalks
  • 10g parmesan
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat an oven to 180°C.
  2. Halve the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds, set the seeds aside and slice the pumpkin into half moon shaped wedges.
  3. Stir the honey, oil, salt and pepper together in the bottom of a roasting tray before adding the pumpkin.
  4. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Wash the seeds in a fine sieve, place in a dry frying pan over a low heat until they begin to pop.
  6. Place all the pesto ingredients excluding the olive oil in a food processor/blender or pestle and mortar. Combine until a smooth texture is formed, gradually adding the olive oil.
  7. Place the pesto in a sterilised glass jar with another layer of olive oil on top. Store in the fridge for 3 weeks.
  8. To serve: drizzle the pesto over the pumpkin wedges.

Roast Pumpkin Pesto Wedges, Delalicious

Happy cooking,

Sinéad

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Cheesey Bruschetta Pesto Toasts

Lunch, Snack

I’m not the biggest eater of bread but when I am going to eat some, my general rules are homemade or else locally produced sourdough. Sourdough is possibly the purest bread of all with only three ingredients (water, flour & time). If you fancy making your own, I would recommend trying Riot Rye‘s foolproof method, time & patience is required but you will be well rewarded for your efforts I promise! Bruschetta is a great option when in a hurry or simply have very little in the fridge. The pesto should last for 1-2 weeks in a jar in the fridge. Simply add your favourite toppings & enjoy!

 Coriander Pesto:

  • 50g cashews
  • 50g walnuts
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 50g coriander include the stalks
  • 25g parmesan
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Bruschetta:

  • 2 slices fresh sourdough bread
  • 4 tbsp cottage cheese
  • toppings of your choice: sliced cherry tomatoes, olives, sauteed mushrooms with butter & garlic, parma ham, smoked salmon
  1. For the pesto: simply add all the ingredients with half the oil into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add the remaining oil little by little until you get a suitable texture, taste as you go. 
  2. For the bruschetta: heat the grill, spread 1 tbsp of pesto on each slice of bread and place under the grill until lightly toasted. Top with the cottage cheese & the toppings of choice. Return to the grill for 2-3 minutes.

 

Get Your Greens In!!

Uncategorized

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh (Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone)!! Instead of making something shamrock shaped or artificially green in colour, I’ve decided to showcase some of my recipes that naturally allow you to bulk up on your green food content in minutes. I promise your body will thank you for it long after St. Patrick’s Day is over. Our diets should be filled with various colours and green is a common colour found in abundance in fresh fruit and vegetables. All of your regular meals can be easily bulked up with green content by a number of ways: add some spinach, kale, chard or spring onions to your mashed potato; introduce some courgette, cabbage or bok choy to your next stir-fry; replace your normal spaghetti with courgetti; add celery, cucumber and kale to your smoothie; substitute regular rice with broccoli and courgette rice; make a pesto from basil or nettles (if your feeling adventurous) or simply just add mint and lime to your water!

Here are my eight favourite ways to incorporate more green fruit and vegetables in my diet:

  1. Broccoli and Cashew SoupProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
  2. Green Eyed Monster Juice
    IMG_1623
  3. Creamy Cashew Kale Salad
    IMG_2669
  4. Crisp Asian Prawn SaladIMG_2876IMG_2876
  5. Almond & Basil Pesto Chicken with Veg Spaghettiimg_5131
  6. Creamy Smoked Salmon CourgettiIMG_4575
  7. Broccoli RiceIMG_3544
  8. Tuscan Style Baked Cod with Nettle PestoIMG_3579

Almond & Basil Pesto Chicken with Veg Spaghetti

Dinner

This is the possibly the quickest dinner to russle up that delivers on taste, nourishment and style! Making your own pesto is an added extra but shop-bought works fine too. Prepare the chicken marinade the night before so all you have to do is pop it into the oven when you arrive in the door starving from the day. The pesto should keep fresh for at least 5 days in an jar in the fridge.

Serves 1.

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 1 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1/2 courgette
  • 1 medium carrot

Almond & Basil Pesto:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves & stalks
  • squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • thumb length piece of Parmesan
  1. For the pesto: roast the almonds for about 20 mins at 180°C until the colour darkens but doesn’t burn! Add the roasted almonds, basil, garlic, lemon juice and 2 tbsp oil to a food processor and blitz until the almonds have broken down considerably, slowly adding the remaining oil. Grate in the Parmesan and continue to blitz until smooth. Add more oil if it is too dry. 
  2. To marinade the chicken, simply place the pesto and natural yoghurt into a resealable bag, add the chicken, close the bag and mush it around until the chicken is well covered. If the night before, leave the chicken in the bag in the fridge. 
  3. Otherwise, pour the chicken and contents into an ovenproof dish. Bake in the oven at 180°C for about 20 mins until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Using a spiraliser/Julienne peeler/edgy knife, create thin long strands of the courgette and carrot. 
  5. Place a large frying pan over a high heat, ensure the pan is hot enough by adding one veg strand and it should hiss once it hits the pan. Add the remaining veg and continuously toss ensuring they don’t stick. 
  6. Reduce the heat and stir through some of the pesto juices from the chicken. Add more pesto and natural yoghurt if you want a more creamy sauce. 
  7. To serve: slice the chicken into generous slices and serve on a bed of vegetables.

Tuscan Style Baked Cod

Dinner

I recently entered this recipe in this years Cono Sur Food Bloggers competition and I was lucky enough to be shortlisted. The top three in Ireland is decided by public vote which closes on Tuesday October 15th, make sure and vote at: http://bloggercompetition.conosur.com/index.php.

I decided to enter this dish as it is both appealing to our sensory and visual taste-buds. It is a very simple dish to prepare but doesn’t lack in flavour or wow value for the lucky diner who enjoys your creation. Happy cooking and I would really appreciate all of your votes!!

 I made my own nettle pesto from wild, foraged nettles from the fields but it can also be purchased. In Ireland one of the best suppliers is Wild About. If making your own, ensure you pick young nettles that look much smaller and a lighter green than the bigger, older ones. Also make sure to wear gloves or wrap your hand in a plastic bag to prevent those nasty nettle stings and I promise the pesto doesn’t sting you!!

Nettle Pesto:

  • 25g freshly picked nettle tops
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 25g parmesan
  • 10 tbsp olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. De-stalk the nettle tops and lightly rinse. 
  2. Strain the nettles and squeeze any excess water off.
  3. Add the garlic, ground almonds and 3 tbsp olive oil to a food processor and gently pulse until they form a paste. 
  4. Continue to pulse, whilst adding the nettles, parmesan and 1 tbsp at a time of the oil until it all combines into a pesto. 
  5. Season with the pepper and transfer to a sterilised glass jar (simply rinse with water and place in a hot oven to dry).
  6. Keeps fresh in the fridge for at least 4 weeks.

Baked Cod:

  • 1 cod fillet
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp nettle pesto
  1. Pre-heat an oven to 180°C.
  2. Line a baking tray or oven-proof dish with tin-foil.
  3. Place the cod skin side down onto the tin-foil. Spoon over the pesto to evenly cover the fish. Layer the tomatoes slices on top and simply place in the oven for 20 mins.  
  4. Serve on a bed of roasted sweet potatoes and steamed kale or spinach and courgette.