Before you say you don't have time to make fresh chermoula, I promise this takes no longer than a minute and you use every skerrick of it in this recipe. It's worth it as it adds so much more flavour. Make double and store the extra in the fridge to go over all manner of grilled proteins or roasted veg.
2 tsp coriander seeds, toasted in a dry pan until fragrant
2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted in a dry pan until fragrant
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
¾ cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves
2 tsp Aleppo pepper (or mild red chilli flakes)
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric
about 1.3kg Japanese pumpkin, deseeded, skin removed, cut into large bite-sized pieces
2 brown onions, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp maple syrup
6 tbsp chermoula (above)
400g can chickpeas, rinsed thoroughly
1 cup Persian-style feta
1 green chili, deseeded, finely sliced
zest of 1 lemon
¼ preserved lemon, finely diced
½ cup chopped coriander leaves
½ cup smoked almonds, chopped
4 pitted dates, chopped
about 10 sheets filo pastry (see note)
1 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 170C fan-forced (190C conventional).
2. For the chermoula add all ingredients to a blender and blitz to combine – take it to that magic spot where it's blended but still a little chunky, slightly thinner than a salsa.
3. To a large roasting tray, add the pumpkin pieces, onions, garlic, maple syrup and 6 tablespoons of the chermoula. Use your hands to toss to coat.
4. Roast for about 40 minutes or until the onion has cooked through and the pumpkin is soft but holding its shape. It should be caramelised in parts.
5. While the pumpkin is cooking, use a spoon to stir together the remaining ingredients in a bowl – you want the chickpeas to be coated in the mixture.
6. Once the pumpkin has cooked, remove from the oven, and while still hot, add the chickpea mixture. Using spoons, gently toss to coat. The pumpkin will be soft so it's important to be gentle, so you can still have nice big chunks.
7. Line your pie dish (or dishes) with enough filo to cover the base. Scoop the pumpkin mixture into the dish then fold or crunch your remaining filo sheets and pop them through the mixture. Arrange the pastry so it adds an element of crunch and contrast to the pumpkin and chickpea texture, rather than covering the filling completely.
8. Once you have pushed the pastry into and over the pumpkin mixture (similar to pictured), brush the exposed pastry tops with melted butter and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp, and the filling is warmed through.
9. Scatter with chopped coriander, if using, and serve.
Note: The amount of filo you use will depend on how you construct your pie. I used small dishes that are about 2 serves each, but you could easily do this in 1 large pie dish. My rough guide is: enough sheets to line the base of your pie dish and about 1 extra filo sheet per serve, to ensure you give everyone that delightful bit of crunch, without completely covering up the filling. Also, no one needs to spend an eternity picking flaky bits of filo from their person. The aim here is to keep it in check.