Ingredients

½ butternut, peeled, seeds removed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
FOR THE TOUM
7 cloves garlic, peeled
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
300ml rapeseed oil or olive oil (or a mixture of both)
TO SERVE
1 loaf bread, sliced (I used rye)
½ cup shredded mint
6-8 prosciutto slices (optional)
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
Butternut is one of my favourite pumpkins, partly because it is easy to peel but also I find the shape and size appealing, and the flavour delicate. Here I’ve paired it with toum – the Lebanese version of aioli that is not for the faint hearted – and some sweet and nutty prosciutto, but feel free to omit this if you wish.

FOR THE TOUM It’s hard to make this in small amounts. I use a mortar and pestle to mash the garlic then transfer either to a bowl and whisk by hand or use a stick blender to emulsify the ingredients. It will keep refrigerated for up to a month. Don’t use pre-crushed or pre-peeled garlic; it will just be a bitter mess. And on that note, if the cloves have green germs, remove them for the same reason. Use olive oil for a stronger flavour, rapeseed oil for a more mellow toum.

Instructions

1.Cut the butternut in half lengthwise, then use a peeler to slice into very thinly.
2.Put the slices into a bowl.
3.Toast the coriander seeds in a dry pan and grind. Put into a saucepan with the chilli flakes, vinegar, sugar and ¼ cup water and bring to the boil.
4.Lower the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
5.Pour over the pumpkin and leave to sit for an hour, tossing occasionally to allow the flavours to mingle.
6.TOUM
7.Mash the garlic with the salt to a smooth paste in a mortar and pestle and add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice.
8.Put into a bowl and slowly start drizzling in the olive oil a little at a time, stirring the whole time until the mix thickens.
9.Add a little more lemon juice and alternate with the rest of the oil.
10.Adjust the seasoning, adding extra lemon juice if necessary.
11.If the toum is too thick, loosen with a little water.
12.TO SERVE
13.Grill the bread for a few minutes on each side.
14.Smear the toum over the toast.
15.Add the mint to the pumpkin and drain the slices from the pickle.
16.Arrange on the toum and top with prosciutto if using. Scatter with the pumpkin seeds.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles

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