When it’s October, there’s no such thing as too much pumpkin. So, if you’re planning an all-pumpkin menu this Halloween, then it’s got to include pumpkin bruschetta. It makes a delicious starter to a main course of pumpkin risotto or pumpkin curry or a snack to have at a Halloween party. And if you use butternut squash, you can have it all year round.
This recipe is inspired by Delia Smith’s roast pumpkin soup with stringy gruyere cheese but if you’re not a fan of gruyere, swap it for parmesan or pecorino instead.
It’s much easier to get perfect cubes of pumpkin if you just cut the whole thing up instead of scooping out the flesh but make the effort to keep the pumpkin intact for jack-o’-lantern on Halloween night.
Pumpkin bruschetta ingredients:
Sour dough or ciabatta cut into thick slices
One small to medium sized pumpkin
Small handful fresh sage leaves
100g pine nuts toasted
75g Gruyere cheese grated
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 garlic cloves
¼ teaspoon of fresh nutmeg grated
Good quality balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Scoop the flesh out of the pumpkin and place the seeds aside in a bowl to roast later.
Cut the pumpkin flesh into small cubes and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with the groundnut oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, giving it a stir halfway, and then allow it to cool for 10 minutes when you remove it from the oven. Transfer the pumpkin to a warm heatproof bowl and stir in the grated gruyere to allow it to melt slightly and become stringy. Keep the bowl warm on a hot plate.
Meanwhile toast the pine nuts. Place a heavy frying pan over a medium high heat and toss the pine nuts in. Toast for 1 to 2 minutes, taking care not to burn them.
Remove the pine nuts from the pan and toss into the bowl with the roasted pumpkin.
Place the pan back over the heat and add 1tbsp of groundnut oil. Gently fry the sage leaves in the oil until crispy and then when they’re cool enough to handle, chop them up and add to the pumpkin.
Season the bruschetta with the salt, pepper and nutmeg and then start assembling the bruschetta.
Cut each garlic clove in half and toast the slices of bread under the grill. While it’s still hot, rub a garlic clove all over the bread and then spoon the pumpkin mixture on top.
Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar and don’t forget to light the tealight in your carved pumpkin before tucking in!