Brown-butter pumpkin with goat's cheese and sage

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This comforting recipe from James Ramsden sees the humble pumpkin transformed to a thing of beauty thanks to a slow pan-roasting and lashings of brown butter. Laced with sage and goat's cheese, this dish works brilliantly as a warming starter, or even a stunning side dish to a meaty autumnal main course.

First published in 2016

This is not a ground-breaking recipe. There are no ingredients here that will have you flicking over to Google, unless you are particularly uninitiated in food, in which case I’d wonder how you ended up on this website. Rather, this is a recipe that was borne of the contents of my fridge, and the reminder given to me by a sensational dinner at Skye Gyngell’s new restaurant, Spring, that delicious food doesn’t need to be complicated.

I’m all for weird and new ingredients. I think experimentation and exploration are what make food exciting. To those who whinge about recipes that include an ingredient they’ve never heard of I will point out that it wasn’t long ago that spaghetti was seen as something exotic and foreign.

But there’s also something heartening about cooking something simple, easy and familiar that is nevertheless deeply satisfying and slightly different to what you might cook every day.

This is a dish for autumn. Eat it as a starter or as a side dish to something like a pork chop.




Brown-butter pumpkin with goat cheese and sage


In your largest frying pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Gently fry the breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds with the garlic and chilli flakes until crisp and golden. Toss through a pinch of salt and tip into a bowl, discarding the garlic. Keep in a warm place
Melt the butter in the same pan, over the same heat. Add the pumpkin and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 minutes, turning every now and then, until tender and chestnut-coloured
Remove the pumpkin and return the pan to the heat. Add the sherry vinegar and simmer for 30 seconds or so, then whisk in the olive oil and sage. Take off the heat
Arrange the pumpkin slices and top with the goat's cheese, breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds. Spoon over the brown butter and sherry vinegar dressing and serve
First published in 2016

James Ramsden is author of four cookbooks, he has written about food and cooking for Delicious magazine, the Guardian, the Times, the London Evening Standard and many others.

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