Pumpkins are not just for Hallowe’en lanterns or masks – along with their close relation the squash they are deliciously soft and rich when roasted, as you’ll find out in this seasonal recipe from Rachel Kenyon. Serves 4.
• A small (30cm diameter) pumpkin or two squashes (ideally of mixed colours)
• Two large beetroot (raw, not precooked)
• Bulb of garlic
• Olive oil
• Fresh thyme and/or tarragon
• Salt and pepper
• 500g fresh spinach
• 350g cooked polenta
• Halve the pumpkin/squash, peel if desired, remove seeds and cut into wedges.
• Peel and chop beetroot into 3–5cm cubes.
• Remove outer layers of skin from garlic but leave skin on cloves.
• Place the ingredients in a baking tray and coat with a few tablespoons of olive oil, then add herbs, salt and pepper to taste.
• Bake for 35–45 minutes at 220°C/gas mark 7 until soft, stirring half-way through.
• While baking, slice polenta into 1cm thick strips; allow three per person.
• Heat small amount of oil in a frying pan and fry polenta slices for 1–2 minutes each side, then remove from pan.
• Add spinach to the pan and put a lid on to allow it to wilt over 1–2 minutes.
• Plate the spinach, arrange the polenta on top and serve with the pumpkin/squash, beetroot and garlic cloves.