Have I told you I love Pumpkin? Has that come up yet? 🙂 Well in case you forgot – I. LOVE. PUMPKIN.
I love all the things about pumpkin! The way the look, the way they taste, the fact that they are so versatile – they can be made sweet or savory. They are a “complex” carbohydrate – meaning that they do not spike blood sugar when consumed as compared to simple carbohydrates (i.e. items high in sugar), but they give the body good, clean fuel to burn. I love that they are the epitome of fall. The summers in Texas can be so “oppressive” sometimes – I always welcome fall with wide open arms! And, let’s face it – they are so fairytale-like right? Who sees a pumpkin and DOESN’T think of Cinderella? Ha! Ok, maybe the other way around for most – but for me? I see a pumpkin and start swooning – I really do.
As you can see, pumpkins bring about much joy for me – for many reasons. And while I have been accustomed to utilizing pumpkin in one predominant way: Pumpkin Muffins or Pumpkin Bread – which I grew up from as early in my childhood as I can recall!
This recipe is far from those and as beautiful as it looks (at least, I think so!) it is so easy to make. I made them as a side to dinner one night – it was a crazy day so I simply made my go-to Tuna Lettuce Tacos and served these beautiful wedges with it. But they would be the most wonderful passed hors d’oeuvres at your holiday party or any party! Or a fun, new addition to your Thanksgiving dinner!
There are MANY varieties of pumpkin. In fact, a pumpkin is actually a squash, if you didn’t already know that. So, you could, in theory use any variety of fall squash you’d like – just be sure to consult the Google 🙂 regarding the skin and if the squash you choose to use has an edible skin. For example, I would peel a butternut squash prior to making this recipe. But the Kabocha a a beautiful skin that is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals and is perfectly fine and good for you to eat! Just be sure to wash well!
I used Chickpea Breadcrumbs in this recipe! When I came across them at Whole Foods I was SO excited! All packaged breadcrumbs have added oils and stabilizers and use wheat flour. It’s so annoying! And, we’ve officially run out of sourdough bread for the time being. If you can’t find these, no worries – the other two options work perfectly fine!
Due to the dairy used in the “crust” and if you choose to use a dairy-based yogurt for the dipping sauce, these are not Paleo. I do suggest you keep them Primal by using a raw/unpasteurized cheese and a grass fed Greek yogurt. If you want to keep them strict gluten free – definitely use the chickpea breadcrumbs or almond flour. And last but not least – if you want to keep them dairy free and go strict Paleo – feel free to nix the cheese in the topping/crust and double the amount of almond flour you use – in which case I would also double the amount of salt you use. And stick to a coconut milk based yogurt in lieu of dairy. Just be sure whether you use a coconut or dairy based yogurt, that it is PLAIN and not a vanilla flavor or sweetened at all!
Crispy Pumpkin Wedges with Yogurt Dipping Sauce
…for the pumpkin:
- 1, approx. 2lb kabocha squash/pumpkin, skin on
- ¾ – 1 cup grated raw parmesan or manchego
- ¼ cup sourdough or chickpea “bread” crumbs or almond flour
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley or cilantro
- ½ tsp dried thyme or 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 large lemon, zest only
- dash or two of cayenne pepper
- olive or avocado oil for brushing the pumpkin
- sea salt
…for the yogurt dipping sauce:
- ¾ cup plain Greek dairy or coconut yogurt
- 2 tbsp chopped dill
- sea salt and black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, place the yogurt with the dill and a pinch of sea salt and pepper – whish well to combine. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Cut the pumpkin into approx. ½-inch-thick slices and lay them flat, cut-side down, on the baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, mix the cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley/cilantro, thyme, half of the lemon zest, a pinch of sea salt and cayenne pepper.
- Brush the pumpkin generously with olive oil and sprinkle with the crust mix, making sure the slices are covered with a thick coating. Gently pat the mix down a little.
- Place the pan in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender – start checking at 20 minutes: stick a small knife in one wedge to make sure it has softened and is cooked through. If the topping starts to darken too much during cooking, cover loosely with foil.
- Serve the wedges warm, sprinkled with the remaining lemon zest, with the yogurt mixture on the side.