Baked Pumpkin with Smoky Eggplant Hummus and Figs by Chef Samantha Gowing

Here’s a special occasion recipe perfect for brunch or as part of a vegetarian feast or a main meal. Baked pumpkin is delicious on its own, as is the eggplant hummus, but even greater when the two meet!

Serves 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • ½ small organic butternut pumpkin, cut into 4 wedges, skin on
  • 1 Tbs macadamia oil
  • Pinch or 2 of salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 6 baby pickled figs, halved, *use sliced dried figs if preferred
  • 1 Tbs syrup from fig pickled figs, *use maple syrup if preferred
  • 2 Tbs crème fraiche, marscapone, fetta, cashew cheese or sheep’s yoghurt of your choice
  • Micro herbs – I uses coriander, red radish leaves, to serve
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed between your fingers


Eggplant hummus:

  • 2 medium eggplants, wiped over
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 x 400g tin cooked chickpeas, drained
  • 2 Tbs white tahini
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • ¼ cup herbs – coriander, mint and/or parsley
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Cayenne pepper *optional

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Rub pumpkin wedges with macadamia oil, salt and smoked paprika.
  3. Prick eggplant with a fork a few times to let out steam while baking.
  4. Place the pumpkin and eggplants on a baking tray.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes until pumpkin tender.
  6. Remove pumpkin from oven, set aside.
  7. Add garlic cloves to baking tray and continue baking eggplant for a further 10-15 mins or until the eggplant is tender. You can slice in half to check or press gently with your fingers being careful not to burn them!
  8. Remove eggplants and garlic from oven. Allow to cool then remove the stalk and roughly chop.
  9. In a food processor, add eggplant, garlic, drained chickpeas,  tahini  lemon juice, herbs, olive oil, smoked salt and smoked paprika.
  10. Blitz until crumbly but not pureed. Add more smoked salt, smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper – if you like.

To serve:

  1. Spread a bed of eggplant hummus on serving plates.
  2. Place pumpkin wedge skin side down on top of eggplant hummus.
  3. Add halved pickled figs, fig syrup, crème fraiche and micro herbs.
  4. Finish with pink peppercorns, crushed between your fingers

Recipe and images by Chef Samantha Gowing