Roast Pumpkin with Walnut Pesto

I love taking simple ingredients and creating something special.  This garlic roasted pumpkin will absolutely melt in your mouth!! With the addition of the walnut pesto and toasted almonds, it takes the flavours to the next level.  The left over pesto can be stored in a glass jar in the fridge for 4-5 days or can be frozen for 3 months.  It can be used as your sauce to pasta, a dip or a delicious spread in your sandwich.

Ingredients:
1 butternut pumpkin
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and pepper to taste
drizzle olive oil
toasted slivered almonds (optional - as topping)

Walnut pesto:
4 cups basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup walnuts
zest and juice of one lemon1/2 cup olive oil, more as needed
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of cracked pepper
1/2 cup parmesan (optional)

Method:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Prepare a tray with baking paper and prepare your pumpkin by cutting it in half length-ways and removing all the seeds.  Place the pumpkin on the tray skin side down.  Rub the pumpkin with the garlic, season and drizzle with the oil. Bake in the oven for 75 minutes.  The pumpkin should be very soft.

Whilst the pumpkin is baking, you can make the walnut pesto by adding all of the ingredients except for the oil into your food processor (including parmesan if you are using) and pulse a few times to break the basil down.  In a steady stream add the olive oil until it is all blender and forms a loose paste.  Add one tablespoon of oil at a time if you haven't reached the consistency you desire.  Adjust seasoning

Transfer the pumpkin to a tray and top with the walnut pesto and slivered almonds.

Serves 8

vitalassurance

Keren is the founder of Vital Assurance, and hopes to bring to you her passion for healthy eating and living.

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