This Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin is a recipe adapted from Karen Martini, a great Australian chef. The flavour combination of caramelised roasted pumpkin with cinnamon is sensational and set off perfectly with tangy, creamy yoghurt and bursts of nutty crunch from the pine nuts. Simple to make, satisfying enough to have as a meal, or a great side.
Karen Martini is a great Australian chef known for her contemporary takes on traditional food, in particular Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and classic English. She is the founding chef of Sydney’s famous Icebergs Dining Room and Bar located at Bondi Beach, the author of 3 hugely popular cookbooks, owner of Mr Wolf pizzeria in Melbourne as well as a TV presenter.
What I love about Karen Martini is that she keeps the base flavours of traditional foods authentic but adds something simple to make it extra special. I especially love her salads, and this is one of my favourites.
Pumpkin and cinnamon is not a flavour combination that is familiar to many Australians. I think in the US it is more familiar owing to the popularity of pumpkin pie which is a traditional sweet dessert that is commonly made for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
But try it once and you’ll be converted. Cinnamon and pumpkin go together like tomato and basil. It’s even more incredible when the pumpkin is drizzled with olive oil and roasted in a hot oven so it caramelises. The golden brown burnt bits are my favourite part, I wish I could package it up so I could snack on it all the time!
The tangy yoghurt in this Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin is perfect to offset the creamy pumpkin and the toasted pine nuts provide a great texture contrast. You could easily substitute the pine nuts with other nuts – almonds or macadamia nuts would go well. Just chop them up roughly and toast them to bring out the flavour.
Other than how incredibly tasty and unique this dish is, here are other reasons why I love this so much:
- Fast to prepare – there’s no need to peel the pumpkin! The skin becomes soft and edible and is part of what makes this dish so unique and delicious. So the only chopping involved is cutting the pumpkin into wedges.
- You can make ahead – while it’s great eaten warm, it’s even better served at room temperature after the flavours have had a chance to meld together so this is a fantastic side for entertaining because you can make it ahead. I haven’t tried making it the day before though, and to be honest I don’t think that would work very well as the pumpkin will become a bit soggy and sad. And because the preparation is so fast, I don’t feel the need to make this in advance.
- Substantial meat-free dish – this is really meaty so suitable to have as a main, but of course it’s suitable as a side too.
Hope you give it a try! – Nagi x
Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin
- 1/4 Jap Pumpkin (1 kg / 2lb), unpeeled, deseeded, cut into 6 wedges
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 salt
- Black pepper
- 1/2 cup plain greek yoghurt , loosened with a bit of water
- 1/4 lemon
- 1 tbsp pine nuts , toasted
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves
- 1 birds eye chilli , finely sliced
- Preheat oven to 200C/390F.
- Combine olive oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a shallow dish large enough to fit the pumpkin wedges. Even a plate will work, it just needs to be large enough to lay the pumpkin wedge flat.
- Place each side of the pumpkin wedge in the olive oil mixture, using your hands if needed to spread the cinnamon over each piece, including on the skin. Place pumpkin on baking tray and drizzle over any remaining olive oil.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the pumpkin is golden and cooked through (no need to turn). (See notes on cooking tips)
- When the pumpkin is cooked, remove from baking tray and place on serving platter. Drizzle over lemon juice. Rest for 5 to 10 minutes before garnishing.
- If you are making it ahead, let it come to room temperature before putting on the other garnishes.
- To serve, season with extra salt and pepper, drizzle over the yoghurt, scatter over pine nuts, coriander leaves and chilli.