I have heard that Australians eat more pumpkin than any other nation. It is a common vegetable on many Australian plates. We eat it in soups, roasted, roasted and cold in salads, in pasta and risotto, on pizza, in tempura batter, etc. Australian pumpkins are often smallish, with thick sweet flesh. We also tend to call winter squash, like butternut, a pumpkin.
Most Australians would use fresh pumpkin, though you occasionally see frozen prepared pumpkin in the freezer section of the supermarket. I have never seen canned pumpkin of the sort which seems to be common in the USA. Oddly, pumpkin pie is only occasionally seen on Australian menus. I think I have only eaten pumpkin pie two or three times in my life (love it though!).
I have posted pumpkin soup in the past and will post more in the future, I am sure. However, today's dish is a pumpkin side dish that I made a few weeks ago.
Maple Glazed Pumpkin
Serves 4 as a side dish
500g (approx) pumpkin cut into 5cm chunks
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon each paprika and sumac (you could use other spices like coriander for different flavours)
1 1/2 tablespoon sweet fruity olive oil or neutral cooking oil like canola
- Heat oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
- Mix all ingredients but pumpkin.
- Add pumpkin and toss until pumpkin is coated with maple syrup mix.
- Bake pumpkin on a tray lined with baking paper for approx 45 minutes to 1 hour or until pumpkin is soft and lightly browned.
- Serve with your savoury dish of choice.
Now, I am off to Toowoomba to attend the Carnival of Flowers celebrations. I grew up in Toowoomba, which is 120 kilomoters west of Brisbane, on top of the Great Dividing Range (mountains which stretch down most of the east coast of Australia). Some of my family still live there. Each year there is a garden and flower based festival in Toowoomba, with parades, garden tours and a major festival in a large park. I haven't been for years and am quite excited about going this year. I will report back tomorrow.