Roast Pumpkin with Cashew Crumble

Serves 6

Paleo, vegan; no gluten, dairy, egg, legumes, nightshades

Reduce the crumble recipe if you must. But I love having extra to sprinkle over salads, soup or steamed veg. Lots of nutty flavour to enjoy in so many ways. And it stores well.

Try this over other roast vegetables such as kumara and eggplant. Serve over steamed green beans or cauliflower. Add pizazz and protein to a salad of greens and beetroot. Just grab a spoon and snack on it.

I buy top quality bread and waste none of it. Any stale or unwanted pieces go into a bag in my freezer. When full, I put them in the food processor and make crumbs to keep on hand for stuffings, toppings, even many cakes of Viennese and Italian heritage. New Zealanders waste 3 shopping trolleys of edible food each year and most of that is bread. Sad.

pumpkin pieces, medium sized, skin removed
extra virgin olive oil or other cold pressed oil*
salt and pepper

Cashew Crumble
1 cup toasted* cashews
½ cup breadcrumbs (can use Paleo bread)
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 clove garlic
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp sea salt with kelp*
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or other cold pressed oil*

Place pumpkin or other vegetable in an oiled roasting pan and toss with a little oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 180° Fan Grill for 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top and soft within. Place on a serving platter and sprinkle generously with Cashew Crumble.

Toast cashews (see below) in a frypan or oven. In a food processor place the cashews, breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, cumin, thyme, curry, and salt. Process just until medium fine. Add oil and briefly pulse to combine. Sprinkle on roast pumpkin or other cooked vegetables and serve. Place any remainder in a glass jar and refrigerate.

Shopping & Preparation Tips

• Oil: mild, cold pressed oil suitable for baking and cooking is Ceres brand Organic Roasting and Frying Oil (from health stores). It is also second to extra virgin olive oil for affordability. Or use peanut, almond or untoasted sesame oil. For which fats to choose and why, see web TIPS: The Fats of Life.

• Sea salt: is sea water dehydrated by sun. When mixed with seaweed or kelp (containing iodine and other minerals low in our soil) it is ideal in terms of flavour (interesting but not too strong) and mineral balance. Try Pacific Harvest or Malcolm Harker brands; both in health and gourmet stores. NOTE these are less salty in taste than other brands. Ordinary salt is taken from mines or sea and so highly refined over extreme heat that it contains nothing but sodium chloride. All other minerals are stripped away, such as potassium and magnesium which help regulate fluid balance and blood pressure. Bleach as a whitener and chemicals to prevent clumping may be added to table salt.

•  To toast coconut, other seeds and nuts: simply place in a sturdy cast iron pan (no oil is necessary) over low-medium heat until lightly brown and fragrant. Or put on a baking tray in a low-medium oven (no more than 180°C or 350°F). Stir frequently and watch carefully to prevent burning.

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