Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Roast pumpkin is one of my favorite foods to cook with, so it's not surprising that Billie has embraced the sweet vegetable with vigor. In her early solids days it was mushed on its own or to sweeten up spinach, broccoli or tofu. Now she munches on it straight from the oven, cut up into little Billie bite-sized chunks.

We seem to be eating a lot of pumpkin in our household this Autumn. I roast it up to use in warm salads, lasagne and pies - such as this recent creation below. A few pieces of pumpkin are put aside for Billie, and the rest we devour.

This pie (definitely a 'big bite') is something I dreamed up in my head for literally years after being inspired by a version from a good pie warmer.


It's worth making your own quick pastry:
220g wholemeal flour
110g butter
2-3 tblspns cold water

If you have a food processor, mix flour and butter together until crumbly and then add water until mixture forms a ball. If doing by hand, make sure the butter is very soft and then rub with flour between your fingertips, adding water next to make a ball. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Divide into two - make one slightly bigger, and use this for the base. Roll each out thinly. Grease a 24cm pie tin and line with pastry base. Bake empty for 10 minutes.

1/4 pumpkin - chopped roughly into large bite-sized chunks
1 leek (optional) - chopped roughly into large pieces
olive oil
1 tin chickpeas or equivalent cooked from dried
2 beaten eggs
70 grams grated cheddar cheese (a strong vintage if possible)
black pepper
salt as required (depending on strength of the cheddar)

 Rub pumpkin and leek with oil and roast in hot oven for 20-30 minutes or until very soft. Blend or mash and stir through chickpeas, eggs, salt and pepper. Line pie case with half of the cheese. Spoon filling in and top with rest of cheese and pastry lid. Squash edges of pastry against edge of dish so sealed and bake in moderate oven for 15-20 minutes, until pastry crispy but not too browned.
Serve with steamed green beans, broccoli or a green salad.


  1. I cooked it up and tried it. Mmmm! damn that pie is nice.

  2. I have a recipe I have used that is a pumpkin, chickpea and feta filo pie. Also really good. I agree re roast pumpkin. It is a good standby for a vege meal in our household. We had rouge pumpkins sprouting in our garden from the compost. Paul loved watching them get bigger. Like you using sumac I also use a spice mix I made up for something else once and had lots of and use with the roast pumpkin. I then serve it with risotto. Though my risotto is never as good as that one you made once years ago.

  3. MMMM, that sounds like a goodie too Hannah, I'll have to try it soon. I never use filo actually, but my mum does. I should take up the habit.
    ha, that famous risotto. I've never made it since actually.

  4. It was a recipe from a Gourmet Traveller. When I worked at AUT I used to borrow those mags and copy all the recipes I liked. Most were vege recipes actually. Some have become real favourites. I have not bought a Gourmet Traveller for years. Anyway this pie you are supposed to make long filo rolls and then wind them around each other in a spiral but you probably don’t have to do it like that. It looks really good though. I reckon you could do it with any filo pie filling.
    Petrina made a delicious rich risotto the other night with pumpkin, mozzarella, fried shallots and pesto.

  5. Hmmm, I haven't made risotto since Billie was born. I tend to go for recipes that I can do in stages. Otherwise I would have to wait til she is in bed for the night before I start cooking. But Petrina's idea sounds enticing

  6. It was a bit of a special treat Sunday night dinner and it was with this really nice NZ made Buffalo Mozzarella. Not an everyday meal.
    It is hard juggling cooking and looking after kids. Often Petrina will make dinner before she leaves for work or make at least part of it that I can finish off when I get home. It is hard to make a meal from scratch when I get home because Paul is being demanding and he needs to eat, have a bath and go to bed. Weekends when we are both home is when we can have special meals.

  7. Yes - that's the biggest strategic challenge. Tonight I was sitting on the lounge floor with Billie, it was only 4pm but she was already grizzly, dinner needed to be cooked for all of us and I thought ahhhhh!!!! But the solution was a winner. I plonked her in her bouncernet chair in the kitchen so she could watch me cook. When she tired of this I gave her a prune inside this special mesh sucking thing. This kept her hunger pangs at bay until the soup was ready.

  8. Its in the oven now with the addition of sage and garlic. Yum :)

  9. Hi Naomi, yum - how did the sage go? a good combo with pumpkin