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Pumpkin & Goat’s Cheese Lasagne

by Daniel Galmiche from French Countryside Cooking

(Nourish / Watkins Publishing)

photography: Manisha Patel


This “lasagne” is made with very thin layers of pumpkin, rather than pasta. For me, goats’ cheese is perfect with pumpkin, while the addition of pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of pumpkin oil make this a delicate, light and surprisingly lovely meal.


Serves 4

Prep time 40 minutes

Cooking time 50 minutes



Ingredients

2kg/4lb 8oz pumpkin, skin removed and deseeded

100ml/3½ fl oz/scant 1⁄2 cup full-fat milk

500ml/17fl oz/2 cups whipping cream (or substitute with double cream) 1 rosemary sprig a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

300g/10½ oz soft goats’ cheese log, such as Golden Cross, rind removed, crumbled

40g/1½ oz unsalted butter

2 pinches of toasted pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp toasted pumpkin seed oil (or substitute with walnut, sesame, peanut or a combination of all 3)

100g/3½ oz firm ewes’ cheese, such as Ossau Iraty, diced

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper




FOR THE GOATS’ CHEESE & PUMPKIN SALAD

75g/2½ oz lamb’s lettuce leaves

1 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds

50g/1¾ oz soft goats’ cheese log, such as Golden Cross, rind removed, crumbled

1 tsp toasted pumpkin seed oil

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp white wine vinegar or Chardonnay vinegar






Method

1 Cut a 13 x 7.5cm/5 x 3in rectangle 5cm/2in thick from the pumpkin, then cut it into 12 x 2mm/1∕16in slices using a mandolin or sharp knife. Chop the remaining pumpkin (about 750g/1lb 10oz) into bite-sized cubes.


2 Put the cubed pumpkin in a saucepan with the milk, half the cream, the rosemary sprig and the nutmeg and cook over a very low heat for 10–15 minutes until the pumpkin is just tender but with a little resistance. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the pumpkin and leave to one side. Reserve the milk mixture in the pan.


3 Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil over a high heat. Add the thin slices of pumpkin, a few at a time, and cook for 2–3 minutes until just tender and pliable, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl of iced water and leave for 1 minute. Lift out and drain on paper towel, keeping the slices separate, then season with salt and pepper.


4 Return the saucepan containing the milk mixture to a medium heat, add the remaining cream and the goats’ cheese. Turn the heat to low and cook, whisking continuously, until the cheese has melted and the sauce thickened to a silky texture. Discard the rosemary sprig.


5 Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and grease a 22 x 18cm/81⁄2 x 7in baking dish with the butter. Overlap 4 slices of the pumpkin in the base of the dish. Scatter with half the pumpkin cubes, then add half the toasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil and finish with one-third of the sauce. Repeat with another 4 slices of pumpkin, then the rest of the pumpkin cubes, seeds and oil. Spread another one-third of the sauce over the top, then finish with the remaining pumpkin slices. Add the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the ewes’ cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling, then turn the oven up to maximum and cook for a further 5–8 minutes until golden brown. Leave to rest for 2–3 minutes.


6 Meanwhile, prepare the salad, if you like. Toss the lamb’s lettuce, pumpkin seeds and crumbled cheese together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oils and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the salad with the dressing, toss and serve with the lasagne.




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