Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pumpkin Crumble - A savory winterish side dish

For some of you out there, spring is happening on a grand and daily basis, but for some of us the spring like feeling is more wishing and hoping and enjoying the longer days than watching tiny green things emerge. I find that I'm still enjoying some of the winter fare and finding them comforting and enjoyable. We still have some great big pumpkins that are begging to get used, so I will oblige them and find more ways to consume them as it is easy to get in a rut. I found this recipe from Beatrice Peltre for the Boston Globe and made a few adaptions for my taste and available ingredients, as you should too. Her description was to think fruit crumble only substitute firm squash and a savory topping. I loved the results and have added different ingredients to the crumble to vary on several occasions.  It's an excellent companion to  roast chicken or pork chops, but makes a nice vegetarian option paired with a green, cabbage or fennel salad for a light vegetarian option.
Pumpkin Squash Crumble
Serves 4

TOPPING

1  c  flour, I used half faro or spelt for a nutty flavor and half regular white flour and some cereal flakes for contrast
6  T  butter, diced I used olive oil for a healthier alternative, but it will be a softer crumble
1/2 c grated Parmesan
1  T chopped parsley
1/2 c walnuts, chopped coarsely, I used hazelnuts and they were of course wonderful
Salt Pepper, to taste

 In a bowl, combine the flour, parsley, Parmesan, and a generous sprinkle of pepper.
Add the butter and work with your fingertips or pastry sutter or fork  until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. 
Add the nuts and toss all together.
Cover and refrigerate.

SQUASH  base

 Butter or oil  (for the dish)
2 T  olive oil
1 T  butter, you can of course use all oil
1  red onion, coarsely chopped
1   tsp  ground coriander
1   bay leaf
1/2 c tomatoes, diced, canned or fresh
1   peeled firm squash, pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into 1-inch dice
5  fresh sage leaves, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste
1 T   parsley, fresh, chopped
1/2 c   Parmesan, grated

Generously  grease or butter a 10-inch baking dish. I used 6 individual baking cups
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. 
Add the butter and when it melts, cook the onion, coriander, and bay leaf, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until softened.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 more minutes. 
Add the squash, sage, salt, and pepper. 
Turn down the heat. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables soften. I kept my squash a little firm as I like having a bit of texture to the pumpkin.
Preheat your oven to 350* F
Discard the bay leaf from the squash mixture. 
Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan; stir gently.
Transfer the vegetables to the baking dish(es).
Spoon the crumble mixture on top.
Bake for 20 to 35 minutes or until the top is golden.Timing will depend on the size of your pan.

 
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