- 1 medium-sized pumpkin or round squash (about 1kg)
Pumpkins are the most famous of all the winter squashes, and are most associated with Halloween…
- 4 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 100g wild rice
- 1 large fennel bulb
Like Marmite, fennel is something that you either love or hate - its strong aniseed flavour…
- 1 Bramley apple
A large, flattish cooking apple, green in appearance but sometimes with specks of red. The flesh…
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 30g pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…
- 1 large pack parsley, roughly chopped
One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…
- 3 tbsp tahini
Also known as tahina, this finely ground paste of husked and roasted sesame seeds is an…
- pomegranate seeds, to serve
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the top off the pumpkin or squash and use a metal spoon to scoop out the seeds. Get rid of any pithy bits but keep the seeds for another time (see our pumpkin seed recipe ideas). Put the pumpkin on a baking tray, rub with 2 tbsp of the oil inside and out, and season well. Roast in the centre of the oven for 45 mins or until tender, with the ‘lid’ on the side.
Meanwhile, rinse the wild rice well and cook following pack instructions, then spread out on a baking tray to cool. Thinly slice the fennel bulb and apple, then squeeze over ½ the lemon juice to stop them discolouring.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Fry the fennel seeds and chilli flakes, then, once the seeds begin to pop, stir in ½ the garlic and the fennel. Cook for 5 mins until softened, then mix through the apple, pecans and lemon zest. Remove from the heat. Add the mixture to the the cooked rice, then stir in the chopped parsley and taste for seasoning.
Pack the mixture into the cooked pumpkin and return to the oven for 10-15 mins until everything is piping hot. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining lemon juice with the tahini, the rest of the garlic and enough water to make a dressing. Serve the pumpkin in the middle of the table, topped with pomegranate seeds and the dressing.