Sarah B’s roasted pumpkin with black rice and tangerine tahini sauce recipe

Back when I worked in professional kitchens, a good portion of the year the staple vegetable always guaranteed to be lurking somewhere in the storeroom was the humble pumpkin. To many it may seem one of the more, how shall I say this... boring, vegetables. But to me, they simply mean endless possibilities. Not only can they be used in hundreds of savoury dishes from pasta, salads and stews, but pumpkin works just as well when used in sweet dishes too! Just take a look at any US food blog in the first week of (their) autumn, or should I say fall, when everyone goes pumpkin-crazy in blogging land and you will see all the amazing things that can be done with this so-called 'boring' veg. Smoothies, pies, brownies, you name it, pumpkin is the king. 

Ada and I love roasted vegetables like no one else I know, so I've pretty much always got a tray of mixed root vegetables on the go, to eat for dinner or to send along to school in her lunchbox. While butternut pumpkin (squash) is my favourite to roast and eat, from a stylistic point of view, the Japanese pumpkin (aka Kabocha squash in the US) is always prettier in photos (so shallow, I know!), so that's what I went with when I cooked this beautiful dish from my friend Sarah B's much anticipated debut cookbook My New Roots, which has just been released. I don't really do full book reviews anymore, but one thing I will say about this beautiful book, is that in a time where the world of 'health food' has become ridiculously extreme, it's refreshing to have someone like Sarah provide a balanced and achievable view on all that's healthy. There's nothing preachy about what she does, just honest good real food. I love that.

A few other pumpkin recipes from the archives, just in case you didn't believe me when I said I love the stuff!

Roasted pumpkin with black rice and tangerine tahini sauce
I used new-season mandarin zest and juice in place of tangerine, and I suspect tangelo, lemon or orange would also work perfectly fine here too.
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups (250g) black rice, soaked overnight if possible, rinsed + drained
Fine sea salt
1 medium pumpkin (1kg), washed, seeds removed and cut into wedges
Knob of coconut oil or ghee, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup (10g) chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 fresh chilli, sliced
Handful of raisins, optional

Tangerine tahini sauce

1/2 cup (125ml) tahini
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari (or gluten-free soy sauce)
Grated zest of 1 organic tangerine 
1/3 cup (80ml) freshly squeezed tangerine juice 
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 fresh chilli, sliced
Fine sea salt

Put rice into a saucepan along with a few pinches sea salt and 3 cups (675ml) water, bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered, until the water has absorbed. 25-50 minutes (depending on how long you soaked the rice). Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C (400F). Place pumpkin on a tray in a single layer, drizzle with oil, scatter over garlic and some salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes.

To make the tangerine tahini sauce, place ingredients into a small food processor or blender along with 1/4 cup (60ml) water and blend on high until smooth. Season with salt. Any leftover will store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

To serve, arrange the rice and pumpkin slices on plates. Sprinkle with parsley, chilli and raisins (if using). Drizzle with the tangerine tahini sauce and serve with extra sauce on the side.

Reprinted with permission from My New Roots by Sarah Britton (with just a few minor wording changes).

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  • Reply
    valentina | sweet kabocha
    April 30, 2015 at 6:10 am

    I love so much pumpkins too and this recipe seems really comforting ^_^ Sarah can't go wrong 😉

  • Reply
    Agnes {Cashew Kitchen}
    April 30, 2015 at 6:24 am

    This looks so good! I love both black rice and pumpkin. Gotta get my hands on Sarah's book soon I think 🙂 And I agree, pumpkin is also one of my favorites, and I can't imagine people find it a "boring" vegetable??
    Lovely styled, as always 🙂

  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Simply perfect.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Such beautiful photos Emma. I'm so happy pumpkin is back in season. Can't wait to eat it all the time.

    Sarah's book is just lovely isn't it?

    Erin xx

  • Reply
    london bakes
    April 30, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Pumpkins do have a bit of a bad reputation don't they? What you say about their versatility is so true though (and shown by all of the delicious recipes that you've linked to!). I agree also with everything you say about Sarah's book – it's refreshingly un-preachy with a real focus on what tastes good and is all the more inspiring for it.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 9:48 am

    this looks insane!!! love your photography 🙂

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    April 30, 2015 at 10:23 am

    This pumpkin meal looks like a delight! So delicious!

  • Reply
    Sydney | Modern Granola
    April 30, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I love that plate. It's so rustic and earthy. It fits perfectly with the Kabocha squash, which you styled beautifully! You made this look irresistible.

  • Reply
    Shelly @ Vegetarian 'Ventures
    April 30, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    So simple yet looks delicious! Love the natural color vibes you have going on with the plate and background too! : )

  • Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    This is a delicious meal!! The clicks look perfect too 🙂

  • Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Really gorgeous photos and such great food! Can't wait to get my own copy! 🙂

  • Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 4:03 am

    I, too, adore pumpkin, Emma! This recipe looks delicious, and your photos are stunning.

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well
    May 1, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    This recipe sounds so cozy and looks amazing – I need to give pumpkins more of a savory chance, they have always had a place in my sweet recipes but haven't crossed over just yet! Plus, your photos never cease to inspire me and this one is no exception. So excited for Sarah's book too, my copy should be arriving today – stoked to cook my way through it! Still need to get my hands on yours too, I just know I would love it – everything you post is amazing! xo

  • Reply
    May 2, 2015 at 4:13 am

    We've just finally ran out of pumpkins at the local markets in the last month. Like you, I LOVE them. This recipe and your list from the archives makes me miss them all over again!

  • Reply
    genevieve @ gratitude & greens
    May 2, 2015 at 11:56 am

    I just adore pumpkins. I grew up in Asia and my mom cooked with kabochas regularly, and just called them Japanese pumpkins, which is pretty much what they are. They are SO good! I would take them over regular pumpkin any day. Love Sarah's book- so gorgeous! I've made several recipes from it and just love it.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    As a Kiwi I am another pumpkin/ squash lover but my husband is English and not so keen. The first time he went to NZ it was winter and pumpkin was everywhere. Pumpkin soup is now something of a family joke because it was on every single cafe menu. My memory is of passing a garage near my mother's house. The door was open and on ( the freezer?) at the back was a large ironbark pumpkin that the family obviously cut into on a regular basis. My mother used to eat pumpkin alongside potato every day. Thank you for the recipe links. I shall have to try them out but it will be the savoury ones as my husband doesn't 'do' sweet. Oh, and my father who was in the UK in 1944-45 used tell us that the English only used them as animal feed and were very surprised that NZers ate them.

  • Reply
    Gourmet Getaways
    May 8, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Oh wow, what a healthy dish! The tahini is just so wonderful to have with the pumpkin, yum!!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  • Reply
    Hardik @ Maya Kitchenette
    May 8, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Emma your photographs are beautiful! I can’t wait to try this recipe soon.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Have bought some black rice and look forward to trying this dish soon – thanks Emma for highlighting it.

  • Reply
    December 12, 2015 at 1:20 am

    It's a great cook book! I tried this salad from the book, also using mandarin rather than tangerine,and mountain blend rice rather than black rice. Delicious.

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