This recipe by Ed Smith (of Rocket & Squash) hails from The Borough Market Cookbook. A thrifty trick takes this technique up a notch: Instead of de-seeding it, roast the seeds of the pumpkin or squash first and sprinkle it over the finished product. He uses the squat, green-grey Delica pumpkin that’s all over Borough Market in the autumn, but you can use any kind of winter squash or pumpkin. ‘Cold-pressed rapeseed oil cooks to a higher temperature than olive oil,’ he writes, ‘and also provides an extra nutty flavour. But use light olive oil if that’s what you have, finishing the dish with your favourite extra-virgin variety.’ You can purchase the book here.
- 1-1.2kg Delica pumpkin (or other winter squash or pumpkin)
- 6 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil
- 2-3 teaspoons Aleppo chilli pepper flakes (pul biber)
- 20-24 sage leaves
- 150g Greek-style yogurt or goat’s curd
- extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 200C fan/220C/gas mark 7.
- Clean the squash or pumpkin with a damp cloth to remove any dirt, then cut it in half from top to bottom with a large, sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and spread them out on a small baking tray. Drizzle a tablespoon of the rapeseed oil on top and mix with a fork, pulling away and discarding any fibres as you do so. Roast in the oven for 10-20 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven, season generously with flaky sea salt and 1 teaspoon of the Aleppo pepper and set aside.
- Cut the squash halves into 3-4cm–thick wedges, leaving the skin on. Place in a bowl with 4 tablespoons of the rapeseed oil and mix until glossy, then spread over a large baking tray or low-sided roasting tin, ideally in a single layer. Roast near the top of the oven for 20 minutes.
- Mix the sage leaves with the final tablespoon of rapeseed oil, then once the squash has been cooking for 20 minutes, carefully flip the slices and scatter the sage under and around them. Roast for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the squash is tender and browning at the edges, and the sage leaves are crisp.
- Spoon the yoghurt or curd onto plates or a serving platter. Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil onto this, then pile the squash pieces and crisp sage on top. Sprinkle with the roasted seeds, remaining Aleppo pepper, and perhaps one final glug of oil (extra-virgin, if you have used olive oil for the cooking).