October is that time of the year when northern and southern hemisphere seem to share seasonal similarities. The temperature is still quite cool and crisp in Sydney, and although the fruit and vegetable stalls are starting to show the first crops of spring peas, fava beans and mangoes, the wintry sturdiness of spinach and pumpkin is still abundant and inviting. These ingredients, together with shavings of pecorino cheese, a light lemon and EVOO dressing and a slice of sourdough, constitute the ideal transitional-season salad.
Ingredients for 4 people:
800 gr (1.7 lb) of Japanese pumpkin, cut in slices (skin on)
A few sprigs of rosemary
A handful of sage leaves
3 garlic cloves, skin on
3 or 4 tablespoons of EVOO
200 gr (1/3 cup) of Pecorino cheese shavings
a handful of fresh pumpkin seeds (optional)
a packet of baby spinach
salt and pepper to taste
1. Line an oven tray with baking paper, arrange the pumpkin slices in one layer, the pumpkin seeds, and season with the herbs, oil, garlic and salt. Bake at 200 Celsius (395 Farenheit) for 45 minutes.
2. Wash and dry your baby spinach, dress it with two tablespoons of EVOO, 1 table-spoon of lemon juice and coarse salt.
3. Arrange the leaves onto a platter, scatter your toasted pumpkin seeds, your pumpkin slices and the pecorino shavings and grind some fresh black peppercorn on top.
Enjoy with toasted Ciabatta for added pleasure…
Silvia’s Cucina the cookbook is now available in stores and online!