As summer draws to a close, my local greengrocers’ shelves start to fill with a jumble of autumnal pumpkins and squashes.
They run from deep blue to electric orange and brilliant white ones. They roast beautifully and all but the very thick-skinned varieties can be cooked without needing to be peeled. The crunchy fried chilies, shallots, and garlic need to be cooked very slowly, starting with the oil completely cold. They’ll slowly expel any moisture and will eventually become glass-brittle, so make a perfect topping for the soft, sweet roast pumpkin.
- 2 small pumpkins, squash or a combination of both deseeded and cut into thick wedges
- olive oil
- sea salt
FOR THE GLAZE
- 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 4 tablespoons white miso paste
- 4 tablespoons mirin
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 red chilies finely sliced
- 2 shallots peeled and finely sliced
- 350 ml vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and sliced
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC/gas mark 7. Put the pumpkin or squash wedges in a large bowl, drizzle with plenty of olive oil and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer in a large roasting tray and season with salt. Roast for 30 minutes until soft and caramelized, turning halfway through.
- Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for 3–4 minutes until glossy and slightly thickened.
- Put the chilies and shallots in a saucepan and pour over the vegetable oil. Gradually bring up to a medium heat and fry gently for 5 minutes until the shallots start to turn a golden color at the edges. Add the garlic and fry for a further 5 minutes until the garlic and shallots are golden all over, stirring regularly. Immediately drain through a sieve (keep the oil for stir-fries) and tip onto a plate lined with kitchen paper. Season with a little salt while hot.
- Arrange the pumpkin or squash wedges on a large serving platter and drizzle over the glaze, ensuring that everything gets a good coating. Scatter over the crispy chilies, shallots and garlic and serve.