Food that is shared takes on a special meaning. It is an act of love, of gratitude, of belonging. Sitting around a table, eating the same meal has a way of bringing people together that is unique and universal all at once. Especially at this time of year, eating together can be a panacea for the colder weather and longer nights.
This sharing plate is one of my favourites. The colours alone are a rich tapestry to liven up any table. Pumpkin cut into wedges, slow roasted with maple syrup, cinnamon and sage leaves for a deep flavour and enticing aroma. Chestnuts and pine nuts add a satisfying crunch and counter balance and jewels of pomegranate seeds make for the perfect final finishing touch.
This is a dish made only for sharing, a way to fill the people who you have cooked for with comfort and contentment. A dish made to be passed around and the recipe taken away for after so the sharing can continue.
First preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line two large baking trays with parchment paper.
Cut your pumpkin into wedges about 2cm thick, leave the peel on and discard the seeds. Place into a large bowl and add in 4 tablespoons of olive oil, maple syrup, salt & pepper to season, and your teaspoon of cinnamon. Toss well so that the pumpkins wedges are evenly coated. Spread evenly onto your baking trays. Coat the bay & sage leaves with olive oil and add to the tray, along with the cinnamon sticks (broken in halves).
Cook for about 40-50 minutes, until golden and juicy & a paring knife goes through the flesh with ease. At this stage add in your pre cooked chestnuts & cook for another 7 minutes.
Into a small frying pan at a high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add your pine nuts and a generous pinch of salt, toss the nuts in the oil to ensure they are evenly coated and cook for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown. You can also cut your pomegranate at this stage and remove the fresh seeds.
Take your baking trays out of the oven and arrange the spread on your serving plates. Sprink the toasted pine nuts and pomegranate seeds over and serve warm to people you love!