Love, love, love this warming winter dish (sorry if you’re reading this from Down Under, but it’s getting mighty cold over here already!)

Well known Aussie chef Karen Martini, is known for her contemporary take on traditional food, in particular Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and classic English. Sydney’s famous Icebergs Dining Room and Bar located at Bondi Beach was founded by her, and as well as authoring some very popular cookbooks, she owns Mr Wolf pizzeria in Melbourne, and is also a TV presenter.

Here, she makes light and delicious work of this notoriously tough fruit (yes, it’s a fruit and not a vegetable – pumpkins belong to the cucurbitaceae family, which includes cucumbers, melons and squash!)

½ Kabocha (Jap) pumpkin, skin on, deseeded and cut into 6-8 wedges
100ml rapeseed oil
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup plain yoghurt – I use goat or sheeps, but any plain yoghurt will do
The juice of ½ a lemon
4 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
6 sprigs coriander, leaves only
1 small red chilli, finely sliced

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Wash the whole pumpkin, before chopping it into 6-8 wedges and remember to leave the skin on as it adds a lovely chewy contrast.

Toss in a bowl with the rapeseed oil, cinnamon and the salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking tray and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until golden and cooked.

Arrange the pumpkin on a serving platter and drizzle with the yoghurt. Pour on the lemon juice and scatter the pine nuts, chilli and coriander leaves over the top. This dish is best served at room temperature when all the flavours have blended together.

This dish is rich and hearty, and pumpkin is an extremely nutrient dense food, meaning it’s packed full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, and potassium to name but a few, but is surprisingly low in calories. I like to crumble some fetta over the top, but if you feel the need for more protein (it contains only 1gm per 100gms), then grill some fish or a little turkey or chicken as your pumpkin companion.

Enjoy 🙂

Recipe adapted from Karen Martini’s “Cooking at Home” cookbook.