As long promised, this is going to be a recipe post. Once again it’s one of my favourite recipes. It’s made even more special with the fact that the main ingredient (pumpkin) is only available for a short time of the year. Last year I didn’t have ANY! :(
While there were pumpkins in the supermarket, they seemed to me to be decorative, rather than edible. I was convinced they don’t exist here (I’m rather prejudiced about this country’s agricultural produce. Prejudice is never good, but it’s like Christmas every time I get proven wrong!) So when I saw this big and rather less than stellar looking pumpkin (ergo it cannot be decorative, and therefore HAS to be edible), I immediately had to buy it! Poor PB had to suffer the consequences and carry it home. ;)
Then I let it sit in my kitchen for a week, drawing out the anticipation for this dish. Also: My Mamma makes it with bacon, so I had to think what to replace that with. But then I just forged ahead and made it with smoked tofu (I tend to use this to achieve that smoked flavour that I love about bacon. Tofu or smoked paprika). It was as delicious as the original and PB and I kinda fought over the last bits (Me: “I’d like some leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.” PB: “Why do you always get to eat the leftovers? I want some too!” So we settled for PB having lunch at home the next day and we shared).
But where’s the freaking recipe?! Give it to me already! I imagine you yelling at the screen, grabbing it ferociously (I have a weird and lively imagination). So without much more ado, there you go:
Pumkin Gratin (from my Mamma)
(Should theoretically serve 4, but we usually eat all of this in 3)
1Tbsp butter or oil
100g smoked tofu, cut in small cubes
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1kg pumpkin, skinned and cut into big cubes
1Tbsp white wine vinegar
3dl vegetable broth
1.5dl cooking liquid
1 cup (around 180g-200g) créme fraîche
dill (the recipe asks for fresh, but I used dried), to taste
salt and ground nutmeg, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 220°C. Prepare an ovenproof casserole dish.
Sauté the tofu, onions and garlic in the butter for about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin, vinegar and broth and let simmer for 10-20 minutes (depending on the type of pumpkin and the size of the cubes) until pumpkin is just soft.
Add the pumpkin to the casserole, keeping the cooking liquid apart.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the flour and roast (is that the right word?) for about 1 minute. Add the cooking liquid and let the butter/flour mixture dissolve completely. Remove from heat, add the remaining ingredients, except Parmesan, stir well, and pour over the pumpkin in the casserole.
Now sprinkle the Parmesan over the whole thing and bake in the middle of the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until cheese is golden brown.
I usually eat it with bread or all by itself, but I think rice or potatoes might also fit.
P.S: I had an “accident”, publishing this post too early. Sorry if you receive this twice, or if you received this as a one sentence update…