"My three-year-old wolfs these down, so I can say with confidence that it is a family friendly recipe. However, it does take time to prepare and is more of a weekend or festive-occasion dish. Be sure to use pumpkin/squash that has a dry flesh, as this will give you a malleable mixture and not a sloppy mess. The dukkha makes about 2 cups of deliciousness to sprinkle on salads, avocado toasties or baked bananas, or to use alongside olive oil as a dip for fresh crusty bread." ~Zita Steyn.
1 medium (about 1 kg) dry-fleshed pumpkin or squash (such as onion squash), peeled, seeds removed and cut into medium dice
1/2 Tbs grapeseed oil, or melted coconut oil or ghee, plus extra for frying
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
120 g Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and very thinly sliced
40 g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
125 g shelled, unroasted hazelnuts
1 Tbs cumin seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan until fragrant
1 Tbs ground coriander
50 g sesame seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan until golden
1 heaped Tbs dried mint (or use the contents of a mint tea bag)
2 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (or less if feeding children)
2 tsp dulse flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
Toss the pumpkin in the oil or ghee and some salt, then spread out on a baking tray in a single layer and roast for 30–50 minutes, turning the pieces once, until caramelised and dry roasted. If the pumpkin looks as though it is still steaming (or sweating), roast for a further 5–10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before mashing until smooth, then transfer to a bowl.
While the pumpkin is baking, spread the hazelnuts out on a baking tray and roast for 10–15 minutes. Rub between two clean tea towels to remove the skins, then leave to cool.
Finely chop the cooled hazelnuts in the small bowl of a food processor, until there are no large pieces but they still retain lots of texture. Alternatively, use a sharp knife. Mix with all the other dukkah ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Heat a little oil or ghee in a saucepan and fry the caraway seeds until fragrant. Add the sprouts and cook, stirring regularly, until tender. Tip out onto a chopping board and use a large knife to chop up finely. Mix with the cranberries in the bowl of mashed pumpkin and season generously with salt.
Using a teaspoon, scoop small amounts of pumpkin mixture into your hand and roll into balls. If the mixture still feels too moist to roll into truffles, add a few spoonfuls of quinoa or fine oat flakes until the mixture becomes manageable.
Working in batches, pour some dukkah into a soup bowl and roll the truffles in the dukkah until well covered. Continue until all the truffles are coated, then serve.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Good Better Green by Zita Steyn published by Quadrille $29.99 and is available in stores nationally.
Photo Credits: This is an edited extract from Good Better Green by Zita Steyn published by Quadrille $29.99 and is available in stores nationally.