In the previous post on wild boar with myrtle berries I promised to post the recipe for the side. For such an autumnal dish, I thought I’d choose an autumnal side as well. I decided to roast some pumpkin and mix it with lentils, which I had done before in combination with rabbit. But this time around I added dried porcini mushrooms. The combination was very nice.
For 3 servings
450 grams (1 lb) peeled and seeded pumpkin, cubed (from about 550 grams / 1.2 lbs pumpkin)
1 can (240 grams/8.5 oz) cooked lentils, preferably Du Puy
25 grams (1 oz) dried porcini mushrooms
1 large shallot (or 2 small), minced
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 225C/440F. Peel the pumpkin and remove the seeds. Cut the pumpkin into evenly sized chunks (bite size). Place them in an oven dish with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss until the pumpkin is well coated with the oil.
Roast the pumpkin for half an hour at 225C/440F, stirring halfway to ensure even cooking.
Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in 250 ml (1 cup) of hot water for about 10 minutes.
Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Filter the liquid with a paper towel. Roughly chop the mushrooms.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan. Add a minced shallot, season with salt, and stir over medium heat until it is soft and starts to turn golden, about 10 minutes.
Add the reconstituted porcini mushrooms and season with salt.
Stir for a couple of minutes over medium heat.
Add the filtered mushroom soaking liquid.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half.
Add a drained can of lentils. (You could also cook the lentils from scratch instead.)
Stir and allow the lentils to heat through.
Add the roasted pumpkin.
And stir to incorporate.
This is a trick I saw on Facebook to pick the thyme leaves: pull each stalk of thyme through a sieve. The leaves will stay behind in the sieve. This is a bit easier than picking the thyme leaves one by one, but it is still a frustrating process for someone with as little patience as I have.
Stir half the thyme through the mixture and scatter the other half on top when serving. For the presentation I used a ring mould.
Škampi na Buzaru is a traditional dish from the peninsula of Istria in Croatia and another discovery from our recent vacation. It is prepared in nearby Italy as well, and there it is called Scampi alla Bùsara. Scampi are cooked in a sauce with white wine and bread crumbs, with tomatoes (rosso) or without tomatoes (bianco). It is quite easy to make and absolutely delicious.