Butternut with Buckwheat Polenta and Tempura Lemon

Butternut Pumpkin features often in our Kitchen in Winter – roasted, in soups and mashed on its own or together with white beans or polenta, in risotto and salads, or in dals and curries. It was a joy to see that Ottolenghi uses it too, of course he does, so another recipe was completed for our project of cooking his books.

This is not a difficult dish, but it does take about 90 mins to bring it together. The pumpkin is baked, polenta is make, tempura batter is made and rested for 45 mins, the lemons are cooked, and then it all comes together. The lemon of the tempura is divine! It is exactly what the dish needs – without the warm, lemony flavours of the flesh and rind the dish falls flat. It reinforces the fact that Ottolenghi’s dishes are meant for all the ingredients to be eaten together. If, for example, there is polenta left over, add lemon juice or other tart ingredients to balance it out. Likewise the garlic that is cooked with the pumpkin – the smoky earthy flavours of the garlic are absolutely essential to the final dish.

This dish is from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Polenta Crisps with Avocado and Yoghurt, Caramelised Pumpkin and Peter’s Wet Polenta and Tomato Layers.

Browse all of our Pumpkin dishes and all of our Polenta recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.
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Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad

A perfect spring or summer salad with a healthy grain and tastes of sunshine.

Such a healthy salad with the tastes of the sun. Buckwheat is new to me, so I relished this opportunity to cook with it.

While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel, making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein gluten. Buckwheat flowers are very fragrant and are attractive to bees that use them to produce a special, strongly flavored, dark honey.

You can read more about buckwheat here.

You might also like to try Beetroot and Honey Salad, Charred Tomato Salad, Tomato and Peach Salad, and Carrot and Blueberry Salad. All of our Salads are here and here. Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.

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