Roast Pumpkin & Shiitake Quinoa with Herbed Mascarpone

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Roast Pumpkin & Shiitake Quinoa with Herbed Mascarpone

This dish is a real seasonal feast, starring sweet roasted pumpkin and earthy shiitake mushrooms, brightened with zingy lemon-dressed quinoa and topped off with creamy splodges of herby mascarpone.

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  • 1 pumpkin
  • 100g mascarpone
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley
  • A handful of mint, leaves only
  • 1 aubergine
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 75g quinoa
  • 100g shiitake mushrooms
  • A handful of rosemary, leaves only
  • 50g rocket
  • 2½ tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 200ml boiling water

Prep: 30 mins | Cook: 45 mins

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1. Heat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds (compost, plant or roast them). Cut the pumpkin into large chunks. Cut the skin off if you prefer.
2. Tip the pumpkin onto a large baking tray. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Season and toss to coat. Cover with foil and pop into the oven for 20 mins.
3. Spoon the mascarpone into a bowl. Zest in the lemon. Peel and grate the garlic clove. Add to the mascarpone. Finely chop the parsley stalks, half the leaves and half the mint leaves. Stir through the mascarpone with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set to one side.
4. Trim the aubergine and cut it into finger-sized batons. After the pumpkin has cooked for 20 mins, remove the foil and add the aubergine and 2 tsp cumin seeds. Drizzle over another 1 tbsp oil. Gently stir to mix. Cook for a further 20 mins.
5. While the veg roast, rinse the quinoa. Tip into a pan. Pour over 200ml boiling water and cover with a lid or baking tray. Place on the hob and simmer for 15 mins till the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed.
6. Add the shiitakes to the pumpkin tray. Scatter over the rosemary leaves. Roast for another 5 mins. After this time the pumpkin should be golden and soft and the aubergine browned.
7. Whisk ½ tbsp olive oil with the juice from half the lemon. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk again to make a dressing. Stir the lemony dressing through the quinoa.
8. Arrange the rocket leaves on a large serving platter or a couple of plates. Sprinkle over the lemony quinoa. Top with the roast veg. Dot over the mascarpone. Squeeze over a little more lemon juice to taste and scatter over the remaining herbs. Serve straight away.
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Whilst the mushrooms were beautiful, the pumpkin with the mascarpone wasn't very interesting to overall the meal felt rather bland. Felt it needed something to lift the mascarpone.