Gabriel Wilson loves to cook, eat tasty foods and drink a glass of wine. And not wash up.
These curried pumpkin and filo pastry parcels are a tasty vegetarian snack or starter. They are also very healthy, as pumpkin is loaded with potassium, magnesium, iron and fibre. (As an aside, the seeds are also packed with fibre, so you may wish to consider reserving them for another recipe.)
Pumpkin belongs to the squash family and is an extremely versatile fruit—yes, it's a fruit, not a vegetable. Botanically speaking, fruits are defined when the flesh encloses the seed(s). Either way, pumpkin is a healthy friend.
If you can't get your hands on a pumpkin for this recipe, you can substitute butternut squash or even sweet potato. I usually roast my pumpkin with sliced onions and garlic to go with my roast chicken dinner for Sunday lunch, and I often make a pumpkin soup with lots of chilli flakes and fresh coriander. Today, however, I feel like trying something different. Let me show you how I made these pumpkin parcels with Asian coleslaw.
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- 2 cups pumpkin, peeled and chopped into small cubes
- 2 spring onions, finely diced
- 1 small head white cabbage, finely sliced
- 3 tablespoons coconut-flavoured yogurt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 small bulb fresh garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- Pinch of smoked paprika
- Pinch of chilli flakes
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 small bunch fresh coriander
- 4 sheets of filo pastry, 5 x 5 inch squares
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
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- Put the pumpkin cubes into an oven-proof dish. Sprinkle over the curry powder, smoked paprika, chilli flakes and 1 teaspoon of lime juice.
- Drizzle over the olive oil. Using your hands (clean-washed hands), rub the spices, lime juice and oil into the pumpkin. Place in a pre-heated oven 200°F for 15 to 20 minutes till cooked through.
- Now to the slaw. Place your cabbage, spring onions, ginger and garlic in a deep-bottomed bowl. Add the coconut yogurt, 1 teaspoon of lime juice and the chopped coriander keeping back a few sprigs to garnish. Mix together, cover and put into the fridge till ready to serve.
- Remove the pumpkin from the oven. Using a fork, lightly press down on the pumpkin cubes to create a little texture, but don't mash. Leave to one side while you get on with the pastry.
- Brush each sheet liberally with the melted butter, keep back two sheets and layer into 2 individual non-stick mini tart tins, as in the picture below.
- Spoon the pumpkin into the filo-layered tins. Using a knife or kitchen scissors, cut each remaining pastry sheet into 3 and layer the strips across the top of the pumpkin. This will create an attractive parcel, as you will be able to see the lovely deep orange pumpkin through the crisp pastry.
- Place back into the oven and bake for 5 to 8 minutes till the filo parcels are golden brown and crisp.
- Once cooked, remove the pumpkin parcels from the mini tart tins and serve with the coleslaw. Garnish with a sprig of coriander.
The pumpkin parcels with Asian coleslaw are a success and will be added to my little cookbook. Perhaps one is not enough!
If you're planning to use this delicious little pumpkin parcel for a starter, why not finish with another delicious little parcel for dessert?
For a quick dessert, make the filo parcels just like the pumpkin parcels using all the pastry sheets layer your mini tart tins. Bake till golden brown and crisp (5 to 8 minutes), as in the above photograph. Remove from the tin and place on a serving plate. Fill the parcels with warm custard (shop-bought is fine) and top with a vanilla, lemon or coconut flavoured ice cream. Be superbly fancy and grate over a little orange zest.
© 2020 Gabriel Wilson