If you’ll remember I recently had the pleasure of harvesting some much awaited and precious items, two limes and a butternut pumpkin. The limes were especially sought after, having waited four years and two trees to finally pick something citrus. Pumpkins, however, should be a breeze to grow, other people have them popping up all over the place from their compost. Me, on the other handed, carefully planted seeds in trays and then the seedlings out into the garden once they were bigger. Two of the plants took off and grew all over the garden, had lots of tiny little pumpkins, but almost all of them shriveled up and died. Only two of the pumpkins got beyond the baby stage and starting to develop properly – sadly I accidentally harvested one of the two far too early, leaving me just one to look forward to.
I pondered what to do with them, and sought advice from the blogosphere. Such rare pickings needed careful consideration, dishes that would make them the star. I thought I had decided on a lime and ricotta tart to serve at Baby Good’s birthday party, but time got the better of me on that occasion. I didn’t think Mr Good and I needed a whole tart just for us – and the tiny bit the girls would eat – so I looked for an alternative. Andrea suggested making marmalade, but I’m not yet ready to tackle that again, and I only had two limes. Liz was a fan of making the pumpkin into soup and I had to agree given the weather (though I’d still love your Indian chutney recipe, Andrea).
The cook up started today….
Firstly, the limes turned into a lovely lime and cardamon syrup based on this recipe. Andrea made the comment about making something with the limes that I could enjoy for longer than just one meal, which is why I settled on this one. It can be used like a cordial, is great with soda and vodka (as I found out tonight) and is apparently lovely over pineapple pieces for a tropical dessert.
Secondly, as I was in a bit of a cooking frenzy (I actually got a full night sleep last night, hurrah, and felt like I had the energy levels to tackle just about anything), I roasted the whole pumpkin in the oven, portioned a section off to serve with dinner and put the rest in a pot, minus the skin. Now I like my pumpkin soup pretty simple, all I added was some chicken stock I made a couple of weeks ago (definitely my best stock, full of flavour), a knob of butter, some cream and some thyme, plus salt and pepper. I whizzed the lot and it was done. Now I’ve only tasted a little, it will go into the freezer and we’ll have it with fresh bread rolls for lunch on Saturday after swimming, but from that taste it’s definitely a winner.
The section I portioned off was served with a butterflied lamb roast, marinaded in dijon mustard, rosemary, thyme, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and orange juice. I also roasted some chat potatoes and carrots and made up a batch of the french peas. Not bad for a mid-week meal.