Roasted Butternut with Pear, Marcona Almonds & Preserved Lemon Dressing
Wedges of golden roasted butternut, soft roasted pear and sweet pickled pumpkin combined with the textured crunch of Marcona almonds and saltiness of Parmigiano Reggiano make this dish a winning combo!
1 whole butternut
2 Tbsp Pons or Colonna lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil (EVO)
3 sprigs of thyme
1 tsp La Chinata sweet smoked paprika
Preheat the oven to 210˚C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and put aside. Peel the pumpkin to remove the outer skin, remove and discard the seeds. Cut the pumpkin into quarters and reserve one of the quarters to make the pickled pumpkin. Season the pumpkin with the EVO, salt and thyme in a mixing bowl, then transfer the seasoned pumpkin to the pre-prepared baking sheet. Roast the pumpkin in the oven until thoroughly golden brown and tender for approx. 12-15 minutes depending on size of pumpkin. Once cooked, keep the pumpkin warm.
Preheat the oven to 230 ˚C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Quarter the pear and remove the core, cut each quarter into half lengthwise. Season the pear with EVO, salt and thyme and then bake in the oven until brown and tender, approx. 4-6 minutes, then remove the thyme and keep warm.
Add the white balsamic vinegar, salt, sugar and water to a pan and heat until it reaches boiling point. Once it boils, take it off the heat and reserve, (this will keep, once refrigerated for approx. 2 weeks).
Reserved ¼ butternut pumpkin
200ml Giusti white balsamic pickling liquid (recipe as above)
Using a mandolin, slice the butternut paper thin. Lay it on a heatproof dish, bring the pickling liquid to the boil and pour over the pumpkin. Leave to cool and reach room temperature (this can and should be made in advance as its best the day before).
Finely dice the preserved lemon skin only, and then in a bowl combine all the ingredients and whisk together (this can and should be made in advance).
Grate some of the Parmigiano over the warm roasted pumpkin and then combine the pumpkin with the pear in a mixing bowl. Portion over 4 serving bowls and dress lightly with the preserved lemon dressing, lay the pickled pumpkin over the top and around the sides, then slice some fresh pear over the top, sprinkle some of the roasted Marcona almonds and a few shavings or Parmigiano.
Recipe by Paul Froggatt