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Halloween is coming. A festival we all love to celebrate, I however, personally loathe the ridiculous enslaught of ‘spooky’ ‘haunting’ and ‘vampiric’ recipes.
I’ve chosen to mark the occasion with one of the greatest Autumnal ingredients and the undoubted hero of Halloween: The Pumpkin. This is a one-pan side dish that can be thrown in the oven and is a great alternative to potatoes.
It’s important to note that carving pumpkins are the perfect choice for decoration but not great for flavour as they are purely grown for their size, uniform shape and sturdiness. It’s the Dickinson pumpkin that is the best option for eating, This variety is widely used in almost all canned pumpkin (if you’ve ever made a pumkin pie you will know what I’m talking about.) There are plenty of great kinds of pumpkin though so see what’s local to you.
1kg large eating pumpkin
a pinch of chilli flakes
1 garlic bulb
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, Gas 6. Chop the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and peel using a sharp knife. Slice into rounds, arrange in a baking dish and drizzle with some oil. Break the bulb of garlic into separate unpeeled cloves and scatter amongst the pumpkin. Sprinkle over the thyme and chill and plenty of salt and pepper. Pop in the oven for 25 minutes and serve alongside a main course of your choice.