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Imagine: There are these wonderful pumpkins all around you in your trusted food store – just buy a small Hokkaido pumpkin & tonight’s dinner is almost ready! Trust me: it’s easier & faster than you think…
Last year I wrote about pumpkin & posted a recipe for a large rich pumpkin casserole filling up a lot of people. Today I start w/ a small Hokkaido pumpkin transformed in a dish for 2 (or max a small side dish for 4).
Yes – we need a rather large casserole, but the casserole is only bottom covering. The pumpkin slices are not piled… (& shouldn’t piled!).
We start w/ a small Hokkaido (I recapitulate… I know) which we manage to cut into slices.
Further ingredients are:
- spring onions
- olive oil & balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper
…and – this is optional! – fresh thyme (I happened to have on my window sill!).
Here is – once again – our small Hokkaido: mine was 700 gr. If you are aiming at a dinner for 2 that’s about the size you should look for – the range 600 – 800 gr is just fine!
After having removed the stem & the seeds & the fibres (just scrape w/ a small spoon!) it’s possible to cut the Hokkaido – now about 450 gr – in slices. Well: it’s not soooo easy – the Hokkaido is very hard, but manageable…
For the record:
After the cleaning of a Hokkaido the Hokkaido (a small one!) has lost about 30% of its starting weight.
Now we chop the spring onions & the bacon & mix them w/ the olive oil & the balsamic vinegar in a casserole. Any optional ingredients will follow: same procedure – no exceptions.
Finally we layer the Hokkaido slices on top & put the casserole in the preheated oven (160 degrees C w/ fan).
30 min in the oven are more than enough for softening & cooking the Hokkaido.
Hokkaido pumpkin is
- easy & fast to process,
- a basic flavour by bacon & spring onions is sufficient to enhance the rather tender flavour of pumpkin…
- … & there is always the possibility to add more/different flavours.
When I did this Hokkaido for some weeknight dinner we had just the roasted Hokkaido, fresh French bread w/ some butter & sour cream: it was delicious! (No leftovers!)
I experienced that Mediterranean herbs – if fresh, if dried – are great w/ Hokkaido. The choice “fresh or dried” is mainly on availability: if it’s in season usually some pots w/ herbs are sitting on my window sill waiting to be cut for a proper dish. Which herbs? It depends also on availability – each herb has its special flavour, but all of them combine fine w/ Hokkaido. … and after-season: I rely on dried herbs!
The pumpkin casserole of my earlier post starts w/ a big Hokkaido & additional cheese etc.: it’s a really rich casserole that’s fine for any dinner event w/ up to 6 people (…even then you’ll have some leftovers!). However, pumpkin doesn’t need a lot of richness & small pumpkins may be the right choice for a light weeknight dinner.
The businesswoman with too many office hours thinks
If the time needed as said in the recipe is correct it’s fine w/ me. I can prepare a “small” Hokkaido within 45 min – that’s more than fine. French bread, Italian bread… will always go!
Well: when buying the Hokkaido I’ll have to check its weight: it’s always a fix price for a Hokkaido so you tend to grab the biggest available…