Donna Hay’s honey and almond hasselback pumpkin

We can thank the Swedes — and the chefs at Restaurant Hasselbacken, in particular — for the invention of this particular style of presenting vegetables Accordion style. Whatever you call it, the result is the same: it’s sliced into thin wedges but left joined at the bottom, baked until the layers fan out into rounds of crispy bliss. Try it with potatoes— just slice straight down into the potato, but stop just short of cutting all the way through.

Ingredients

  • 1 x 1.8kg butternut pumpkin (squash), halved lengthways, peeled and seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup (180g) honey
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 14 bay leaves
  • ½ cup (80g) almonds, toasted and chopped
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F). Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place half the pumpkin, cut-side down, on a chopping board. Place a chopstick, lengthways, on each side of the pumpkin. Using a very sharp knife, carefully slice through the pumpkin to the chopsticks at 5mm intervals. Repeat with the remaining pumpkin half.
  2. Place the pumpkin on the tray, cut-side down, and drizzle with the oil. Cover tightly with aluminium foil and roast for 1 hour. Uncover and roast for a further 20 minutes or until golden.
  3. Place the honey, vinegar and bay leaves in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 4–5 minutes or until slightly reduced. Spoon half the honey glaze over the pumpkin and place the bay leaves in the incisions. Roast the pumpkin for a further 5–10 minutes or until tender and golden.
  4. Sprinkle with the almonds, salt and pepper and drizzle with the remaining honey glaze to serve. Serves 6

Photography: Con Poulos


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