Roast winter pumpkin with avocado pesto

This colourful winter warmer makes a simple, satisfying vegetarian meal. The sweet notes of the pumpkin are enhanced by the avocado pesto and micro herbs.


  • 1 winter pumpkin; e.g. acorn
  • 3 tbsp olive oil; divided
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 cloves garlic; minced
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon; juiced
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 150 g (1 cup) frozen peas; thawed
  • 250 g (2 cups) cooked couscous
  • 1 red chilli; seeded and finely diced
  • 1 small red onion; sliced
  • 25 g (1 cup) micro salad
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Step 1.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160° fan).

Step 2.
Cut the squash into four or five wedges. Scoop out any seeds or stringy pulp and place on a baking tray. Brush with 2 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Step 3.
Roast until soft to the tip of a knife and lightly charred at the edges, about 40-50 minutes.

Step 4.
In the meantime, halve, pit, and peel the avocados. Place in a food processor or blender with the garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Purée until smooth. Cover and chill.

Step 5.
Heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat. Add the pumpkin and sunflower seeds, frying until toasted, about 2 minutes. Set off the heat.

Step 6.
Cook the peas in a saucepan of salted, boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Step 7.
When ready, remove the squash from the oven. Fill with couscous and peas. Top with the avocado pesto, red chilli, red onion, and micro salad before serving.

Serves 4