by Darya Mead
Autumn is upon us, even though summer fare is still available and in some parts of the country Indian summer is being enjoyed. Appetites and fresh produce shift as the weather cools down and the leaves turn from green to orange and red to brown. Why not use Mother Nature’s warm fall palette to inspire your cuisine. A favorite recipe of mine for this time of year is a recipe I found in The New York Times Food section many years ago. It is glued into a blank recipe book, yellowed and tattered, but yes it can be found online…. What I love about this recipe (besides the vibrant color and mixture of sweet, tart and savory) is that you can embellish or alter it depending on whim or availability. No pumpkin handy, use butternut squash or maybe yams. Add red or yellow beets to the mix. I am personally allergic to all tree nuts, so I replace pine nuts with sunflower seeds. I have tried it with olive oil but peanut oil really does add a special flavor. It takes a lot of chopping and preparation, but if you get your kiddos involved it can be a little bit like creating a colorful symphony. I’ve also gotten great approval at potlucks. This is great with some tri tip steak, or roast chicken, you get to combine your starch, veggies, salad and cheese in one dish! If you make extra and leave it in the fridge the marinating of the lime is still divine, but some of the crisp veggies do get a little soggy. Let us know how it goes! Here it goes: (Takes about 1 hour to make) Ingredients Scant 2 pounds peeled pumpkin, cut into 2 1/2-inch cubes 1 tablespoon olive or other *non-gmo oil; to cut down on the amount of oil you can use an organic olive oil spray* 1/2 large red onion, peeled and finely sliced Juice of 2 limes 1/3 cup pine nuts or other favorite nut (i.e. almonds) 2 tablespoons olive oil or peanut oil 1/4 teaspoon pumpkinseed oil or olive oil 7 to 8 ounces organic feta cheese, crumbled 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) radicchio, chopped into bite-size pieces Preparation
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rub pumpkin with olive oil*.
- Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake until just tender all the way through, about 45 minutes.
- Remove, cool, cover, and refrigerate until needed.
- In a small bowl, combine onion with lime juice, and let soak for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Lightly brown (pine) nuts in a skillet; remove from heat, and set aside.
- Add peanut oil and pumpkinseed oil to onion/lime mixture, and mix well.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, but safe ½ of the nuts and mix everything gently by hand.
- Place everything on a large platter/bowl and garnish with the remaining nuts.
- Recipe adapted from and credit where credit is due