Macadamia Nut Dukkah Encrusted Pumpkin

This scrumptious vegetable dish will work well alongside any number of mains. Dukkah is an Egyptian spice mix made up of nuts, seeds and spices. It is traditionally eaten by dipping bread in olive oil and then into the Dukkah mix.  You can use store bought Dukkah, usually found at specialty food stores, or you can make your own with the recipe below. It only takes a few minutes to make and lasts for up to a month. It is so versatile you can sprinkle Dukkah on vegetables, salads, fish, chicken, eggs and more!

The pumpkin I used is a Jarrahdale, a native blue Australian pumpkin, that sprouted voluntarily out of my compost pile. You can use any type of pumpkin or winter squash, like butternut. Pumpkins and winter squashes are so healthy they are included on the American Institute of Cancer Research’s list of foods that fight cancer. See link here. These vegetables are full of fibre, vitamins A, C, and E and B vitamins including folate. They also contain the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron . They are also loaded with carotenoids which are potent antioxidants that protect our genes and tissues from damage. In 2012, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that having optimal amounts of dietary carotenoids protects the skin from sun damage and helps maintain skin health and appearance.(1)
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For the Pumpkin:

 Ingredients

  • 1 small pumpkin (Jap, Queensland Blue, Jarrahdale) or winter squash like Butternut.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Dukkah (recipe below)

Directions

Preheat oven to 200C degrees (400F)

Slice pumpkin into wedges. Scoop out and discard seeds.

Rub slices of pumpkin with olive oil on both sides

Sprinkle with salt (don’t use too much salt as the Dukkah is salty)

Place on baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes, until just starting to brown and carmelize on the edges.

Pull out of oven and sprinkle Dukkah over pumpkin slices. Drizzle a little olive oil over slices and pop back in oven for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

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For the Dukkah:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup raw, unsalted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons corriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or sea salt)

Directions

Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the macadamia nuts and pistachios and toast lightly, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes. Place the toasted nuts into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (like coarse bread crumbs).

Add sesame seeds to pan and lightly toast for 1 to 2 minutes until golden. Add to food processor and pulse for one second.

Add coriander seeds and cumin seeds to frying pan and toast lightly for 1 to 2 minutes until golden. Put these seeds in a mortar and pestle and grind until they are finely crushed.

Add this to food processor along with the white pepper and salt and pulse once more.

Resources

(1) 2012, Stahl, W. Beta Carotene and other carotenoids in protection from sunlight

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