Balsamic Roasted Pumpkin and Beets

This week’s pumpkin recipe comes from Caren McSherry, the owner of Vancouver’s Gourmet Warehouse. Caren’s new cookbook is In A Pinch, Effortless Cooking for Today’s Gourmet, published by Whitecap earlier this year. Caren writes:


Pumpkin is usually reserved for pies, soups, or loaf cakes. But there is so much more it can do. Roasting brings out the inherent natural sugars of pumpkin and gives it star status.


2 lb (1 kg) piece of pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes

1 lb (500 g) beets, tops removed, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes

1/2 cup (125 mL) olive oil

1/4 cup (60 mL) balsamic vinegar

2 tsp (10 mL) fleur de sel for roasting

Freshly ground pepper for roasting

Olive oil for drizzling

Balsamic vinegar for drizzling

1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme

Crumbled chèvre or feta (garnish—I like to use a fair amount)

Fleur de sel

Freshly ground pepper


Place the cubed pumpkin and beets in a large bowl. Pour the oil and balsamic overtop, add the 2 tsp (10 mL) fleur de sel and ground pepper, and toss well to coat.

Transfer to a large, rimmed baking sheet. Spread out into a single layer and bake in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven for about 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown and tender.

Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle over a bit more olive oil and balsamic. Sprinkle the fresh thyme overtop, and garnish with the crumbed chèvre. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

France may have started the “salt revolution” with fleur de sel, which comes from the coast of Brittany and also from Normandy and Camargue; but now countries like Portugal, Spain, and Italy are producing it too. Its superb taste makes it a great finishing salt.

Perhaps it is the sheer size of pumpkins that discourages anything but carving out faces for Halloween. You can buy pumpkin in pieces at most stores or simply choose the smallest one you can find.

From In A Pinch, Effortless Cooking for Today’s Gourmet, Caren McSherry. Published by Whitecap, 2010.


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