Spinach is often paired with butternut pumpkin and it is a perfect match. We’ve been cooking this recipe for ages. Over time it has changed, simplified, adapted to the food fashions of the time. But the main ingredients have stayed the same – spinach or similar greens, butternut or jap pumpkin, mushrooms and a couple of spices. In this recipe, any greens that cook up like spinach or chard and can handle spices can be used – try some of the Asian greens and Indian greens also.
At our place we often need a quick way to use up greens from the garden – spinach, bok choy, chard, silver beet and others. Our garden can get over-run with these! This is a great dish to use them up.
The butternut pumpkin is sauteed until almost cooked before the greens are added, and the finished dish is topped with roasted or sautéed mushrooms and some roasted garlic. Delicious.
Sautéed Butternut and Spinach Greens with Roasted Mushrooms
2 * 2cm slices butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced into 1cm dices
1 tspn grated ginger
0.5 tspn red chilli paste, or to taste (can be safely omitted, or replaced with a chopped red chilli)
small bunch of greens – use spinach, beetroot leaves, silver beet, chard etc or a mix of greens; remove any hard stems
2 tspn cumin seeds
6 – 8 mushrooms, or 1 cup sliced field mushrooms (I love to use whole shiitake)
1 head garlic or 2 – 3 of the 1-clove garlic bulbs
nigella seeds or black poppy seeds
Heat the oven to 200C.
Wash the greens thoroughly. Remove the spines from large leaves, cut each leaf in half, top to bottom. Lay them on top of each other, and slice them thinly. Set aside.
If using whole mushrooms, remove the stem and place on baking paper on an oven tray. Slice the top off the whole head of garlic, or chop large 1-clove bulbs in half. Place them on the oven tray alongside the mushrooms. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven until the mushrooms are roasted and the garlic soft. It will take 15 – 2o mins but will depend on your oven. Set aside.
If using sliced mushrooms, roast the garlic as above, and cook the mushrooms in ghee or olive oil in a saute pan on the stove top. You want them to retain lovely slices, rather than cook to a soft mushroom state. Set aside.
Stirfry the pumpkin cubes 1.5 -2 Tblspn ghee with the ginger, until the butternut pumpkin is almost cooked. In the last 4 to 5 minutes of cooking, add the cumin seeds and the fresh chilli (if using) and stir well.
If using chilli paste, stir that through now. Then add the chopped greens to the butternut pumpkin and stir fry until wilted but not overcooked.
Arrange on a serving dish. Arrange the roasted mushrooms or slices of field mushrooms on top along with the garlic halves, or squeeze the garlic out of the roasted cloves and add to the dish. Strew with the poppy seeds or nigella seeds.
Serve and enjoy.
recipe notes and alternatives
Toasted walnuts can be added to the dish in place of the seeds.