There are things that (supposedly) define what sort of person you are. Toilet paper – crunched or folded. Roasted pumpkin – skin on or off. I firmly fall in the 'on' camp, I love the break in texture, the deep earthy taste, and in this case, the job it does holding the slow-roasted pumpkin flesh in place. If you can't think of anything worse, gently remove the skin after you have roasted the pumpkin and serve as a loose salad instead.
2 small or 1 large butternut pumpkin (about 1 kg total)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 ½ cups black rice, rinsed thoroughly
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup kale leaves, ribs removed, coarsely torn
2 tbsp flaked almonds
½ -1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
½ cup salted pepitas
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
½ cup Persian-style feta
Ginger turmeric and lemon dressing
¼ cup lemon juice
1 x 4cm knob of ginger, finely grated
2 tsp ground turmeric
½ tbsp maple syrup
5 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2. Cut the pumpkin/s widthways into 10cm thick slices. Place the pumpkin rounds flat-side down on the tray and drizzle over the oil and maple syrup. Season generously with salt and pepper.
3. Roast for about 40 minutes or until the skin darkens and the flesh is soft, but not so soft the pieces collapse.
4. While the pumpkin is roasting, add the rice and stock to a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked – it should still have a slightly chewy, nutty texture. Strain and add to a large bowl.
5. Once the pumpkin is cooked remove from the oven, and using a spoon, carefully scoop out about a quarter to half of the pumpkin flesh and seeds and add to the bowl of rice (if you don't like the seeds you can discard them).
6. Add the remaining topping ingredients to the bowl and gently toss together – you don't want it turning to mush.
7. To make the dressing, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl and pour over the rice mixture.
8. To serve, carefully scoop the rice mixture back into the centres of the roasted pumpkin rounds. Season generously and serve immediately.