A whole roasted pumpkin is not only so easy to cook but is also incredibly gorgeous aesthetically when presented on the dinner table. Serve up with a sumac yoghurt condiment for the perfect companion.
Why You’ll Love This Side Dish
It is so easy!
One of the things about preparing pumpkin before cooking is having to prepare it. Cutting raw pumpkin can be quite a challenging task, especially if they are big. Peeling them is an even more challenging task and one I am sure we would all be happy to avoid.
For this recipe, there is no chopping, peeling or removing seeds. Just coat with some good olive oil and whack it in the oven whole.
The result is simply delectable. The natural sweetness of this heirloom pumpkin is out of this world. Not to mention stunning!
What is an Heirloom Pumpkin?
Have you ever walked through a farmers’ market and you come across a stunning array of pumpkins that come in all shapes, sizes and colour?
None of the pumpkins on display are the same, all uniquely different with varying lumps and bumps and a rainbow of colours.
These pumpkins are of the heirloom variety. The word heirloom is somewhat difficult to define succinctly, but it is essentially seeding of vegetables, fruits and flowers that are of old heritage.
Seeds that are allowed to open pollinate naturally with the help of insects and pollen. Hence nature is creating these pumpkins naturally and whatever eventuates is up to mother nature.
Fruit and vegetables as we know today are grown for commercial purposes, with each and everyone looking the same in size, shape and colour.
Flavours are inadvertently bred out of them and can never hope to be as good as the heirloom varieties.
If you have ever wanted to try to roast a whole pumpkin, the heirloom pumpkins are truly the best ones to use. How fantastic to be able to serve up different sizes and colours on the dinner table.
Flavour/Texture: Serve this piping hot, and you’ll have yourself a nutty, almost creamy texture that is so sweet naturally. This Black forest heirloom pumpkin speaks for itself and doesn’t need any spices to enhance its flavour while roasting.
To cool the warmth of the pumpkin and to give it a bit of crunch and acidity, add a dollop of Greek yoghurt with sumac and pistachios to round off the best pumpkin side dish ever!
Ease: This is an incredibly easy to make side dish. Roasting the heirloom pumpkin whole takes the work out of having to prepare it like you normally would.
Just make some incisions and cover with olive oil, and in the oven it goes.
Time: This pumpkin side dish does take time, but all good things come to those who wait. While it’s roasting nice and slowly in the oven, you can prepare the rest of your meal. Let the oven do the heavy lifting.
Ingredients you’ll need to make Whole Roasted Heirloom Pumpkin:
Black forest pumpkin: This heirloom pumpkin is simply divine. The dark green, almost black skin is such a beautiful contrast against the orange of the pumpkin flesh. When you cut out a wedge on your dinner time, it’s a striking side dish. Not to mention the beautiful sweet flavours.
Greek yoghurt: Get good Greek yoghurt for more protein and less sugars. This makes for a cool and creamy condiment to complement the pumpkin.
Pistachios: Nothing quite beats the lovely green and purple hues of the pistachio. Against the backdrop of the yoghurt, it makes for a really good-looking condiment.
Sumac: Love this tangy spice to enhance the flavours of the yoghurt and pistachios. It also gives the yoghurt a tinge of deep red flecks. We love it so much we made fruit salad with it Summer Berry Salad with Sumac Dusted Meringues.
Variations and Substitutions
Black forest pumpkin substitute: Any small heirloom pumpkin will do for this recipe. Select a dark coloured skin pumpkin to create the presentation of this side dish.
If you simply can’t get your hands on an heirloom pumpkin, roast up some regular pumpkin, perhaps a quarter in size or a small wedge or even half of a butternut squash. The sumac yoghurt condiment would work nicely with any of these varieties.
Pistachio substitute: Pistachios, although gorgeous in colour and flavour, is an expensive nut to consume. For a more budget-friendly alternative, you can use almonds, cashews or Brazil nuts. The premise of the nuts is also to give the side dish a bit of a crunch which is otherwise absent.
Sumac alternative: If you can’t find sumac or don’t wish to get it just for this one use, you can make your own substitute by mixing 1 tbsp of lemon zest with 1 tsp pepper and 1 tsp salt. This will give the recipe the acidity it needs.
Dairy free recipe: Substitute Greek yoghurt with dairy free coconut yoghurt. The flavours of the coconut would still work well with this pumpkin side dish.
Step by step instructions for making Whole Roasted Heirloom Pumpkin:
How to roast a whole pumpkin? It’s much easier than you think.
Make some deep incisions on the underside of the black forest pumpkin so that the juices have somewhere to go. Otherwise, as it cools, the juices will flow in abundance onto your dinner table.
Coat with olive oil.
Place pumpkin on a wire rack with a roasting pan underneath to catch the juices. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 200°C or 400°F.
Roughly chop the pistachios.
Mix the Greek yoghurt with some sumac. Place in a jar or bowl and add pistachios.
When the pumpkin is done, remove and place on a wooden board and cut into wedges.
Serve with yoghurt condiment on the side.
Great Mains for This Side Dish
Looking for the best main dish to go with this whole roasted pumpkin? We can recommend a few choices:
Maple roasted pork tenderloin is a such a comfort dish where the sweetness from the maple syrup would go so well with the pumpkin.
Frequently Asked Questions
The black forest pumpkin is also known as the black forest kabocha squash or Japanese pumpkin. It has dark green, sometimes also black coloured skin and bright orange flesh. It is wonderfully sweet and the perfect size to roast whole.
If you wish to eat this side dish piping hot, then you can’t make this pumpkin side dish in advance. If you don’t mind it at room temperature or even cold, you can roast it beforehand and serve it up at dinner time. The roasted pumpkin will hold nicely.
Sumac is tangy and is slightly sour with a hint of citrus. Sumac is dried berries found in the Mediterranean and the Middle East and is often used as a souring agent.
It doesn’t have a smell which is great for cooking as it won’t overpower the rest of the dish. Its sole purpose is to bring some gentle tartness to a recipe.
Nothing quite beats a piping hot side dish and even better when you can elicit those oohs and aahs as you cut it open and the steam rises into the air. This is a great side dish to serve up with so many different mains—definitely a recipe for keeps.
More Healthy Side Dishes
Whole Roasted Heirloom Pumpkin
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- Make some deep incisions on the underside of the black forest pumpkin so that the juices have somewhere to go.
- Coat with olive oil.
- Place pumpkin on a wire rack with a roasting pan underneath to catch the juices. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 200°C or 400°F.
- Roughly chop the pistachios.
- Mix the Greek yoghurt with some sumac. Place in a jar or bowl and add pistachios.
- When the pumpkin is done, remove and place on a wooden board and cut into wedges.
- Serve with yoghurt on the side.
- Any small heirloom pumpkin would work well for this recipe. If you can’t find heirloom pumpkins, you can just roast half or quarter of a regular pumpkin or even butternut squash.
- As you grab a wedge of the pumpkin, scrape off the seeds and remove the skin before eating.
- You can use any nut for the yoghurt condiment. All we want is some crunch. Macadamias, almonds, hazelnut or Brazil nuts would work well.
- Don’t mix the nuts in with the yoghurt as otherwise, you won’t see it. If using a jar, add some yoghurt mixture and then the roughly chopped nuts on the side. Top up with more yoghurt and repeat until the jar is full. That way, you’ll see the nuts on the side inside of an all-white lumpy concoction.
- Serve this side dish hot. Nothing quite as satisfying as when you cut a wedge of pumpkin on the dinner table and the steam rises.
- If you can’t find sumac or don’t wish to get it just for this one use, you can make your own substitute by mixing 1 tbsp of lemon zest with 1 tsp pepper and 1 tsp salt. This will give the recipe the acidity it needs.
- Substitute Greek yoghurt with dairy free coconut yoghurt for a dairy free recipe. The flavours of the coconut would still work well with this pumpkin side dish.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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