We received a lovely and unexpected gift yesterday: autumn's first pumpkin, straight from our friends' organic farm in the Rhön. So after work, even though I was tired and not really in the mood to cook, I decided to make us something quick and delicious, with our pumpkin as the main ingredient. I wasn't really feeling like something heavy and so the idea of a flatbread popped to mind - and it wasn't long before my favourite pumpkin accompaniments - spinach, feta and some pine nuts - had joined the list. Since it was a weeknight and this was such a spontaneous idea, I used store-bought flatbread dough. Otherwise I'd have put together this version before leaving the house to give it plenty of time to rise. It took about 10 minutes to put this baby into the oven, which was perfect since I really wasn't high on energy - and in the 15 minutes it took to bake we poured wine, lit candles and then sat down to some relaxed time with this delicious meal. I can imagine this going well paired with some salad, but the spinach seemed to eliminate the need for that last night. So give this a try - and freestyle as you see fit!
Pumpkin, Spinach and Feta Flatbread
Serves two as a main
1 roll of pre-made flatbread or pizza dough (or you can use this recipe)
about 250 grams pumpkin or squash, peeled
3 large handfuls fresh spinach, washed and dried
2 tablespoons green pesto (I used Genovese)
2 - 3 tablespoons pinenuts
150 grams feta, crumbled
Fresh basil leaves to top, optional
Salt to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 220 C. Remove the flatbread or pizza dough from its packaging and spread it onto a baking tray. Alternatively, roll or spread out your pizza dough onto a baking tray and set aside.
Slice the pumpkin very thinly and then cut into 2 cm pieces. If the pieces are too thick, they won't be done with the rest of the ingredients. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, add 1 teaspoon of the pesto, a glug of olive oil, some salt to taste and toss everything around until the pumpkin is evenly coated. Set aside.
Spread the remaining pesto over the dough base. Evenly distribute the spinach over it, don't worry too much if it seems like a lot - the spinach wilts pretty quickly. Scatter the pumpkin pieces over, making sure they don't clump together. Finish off with the crumbled feta and the pine nuts, sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt and pop into the oven, in the upper third. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the pumpkin is soft and cooked through. Check the base of the dough to make sure it's done too, it took longer with me this time. Once done, remove from the oven, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle over with fresh basil and serve immediately.
Prep time: 10 minutes Baking time: 12 - 15 minutes
Images: Vatsala Murthy