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 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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Peter’s Wet Polenta and Tomato Layers

Once I had a lovely older Italian man as a hairdresser. He was amazing. As we molded my hair into some shape and varied colour upon colour, we discussed cooking, fashion and food. Sometimes with a glass of champagne. He was very special and he gave me this great family polenta recipe.

Are you looking for Polenta recipes? Read about Polenta, then have a look at How to Cook Polenta and then try Onion and Chilli Polenta and Grilled Polenta.

Or are you looking for Italian recipes? Try White Bean Soup, Farinata with Onions and Tomatoes, and Roast Pumpkin Risotto.

Please browse all of our Polenta recipes here and here. Our Italian recipes can be explored here. Or simply visit our Early Spring recipes.

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Oven Baked Tomatoes

A simple dish with a lot of punch.

Tomatoes are very special fruits, very versatile ingredients that match well both with so many cooking methods and with a variety of other ingredients. Can you imagine a world without the humble tomato?

This recipe is very simple, paring it back to the basics. Yet the result, as so often is the case, is outstanding. Bake a double batch and use the left over tomatoes in salads, sauces and soups, using them whole, chopped or pureeing them for their intended use.

The tomatoes can be cooked in the oven or in or on a BBQ. It is a perfect vehicle for home grown organic tomatoes. In autumn, serve with grilled polenta and a salad.

Similar recipes include Confit Tomatoes, and Tomato Kurma.

Feel free to browse our Tomato recipes and BBQ recipes. Check out our easy Mid Autumn recipes too.

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