Something that has been coming up in our conversations a lot is generosity. While we travel it’s amazing the generosity you see – and conversely, the lack of generosity you see (one woman made us pay $4 to fill our water up from her outdoor tap hahah). And there is an absolute passion, love and kindness from those who are generous – it’s universal.
As we always talk about with trade, when you trade, or when you share your abundance, it really opens you up to the world – you exchange ideas, you share. And that is what being human is about.
For much of this post, the vegetables were supplied by this amazing older man selling his organic produce on the side of the road. We only had $4 cash, but wanted to spend it on what he had grown. We talked and talked and he was insistent that we left with almost half the shop! Handfuls of organic apples, squash, potatoes, plums, pumpkin…
And he has no idea how he not only made our day, but our month, our trip. He has no idea we are writing about him. And that’s the beauty of it.
So this post is inspired by him. Not only the vegetables, but the idea of sharing. This is a side dish, to be shared with other food and those you love.
This recipe uses the pumpkins that are just being harvested (eating a new season vegetable that you haven’t had fresh for a while is always exciting!) and helps to savour the last of the zucchinis and squash of the season. It’s also super great for everyone, as it’s gluten free, vegetarian and can be adapted to be vegan and dairy-free also (simple omit the parmesan cheese). It is super quick and easy, and super rewarding as it’s a deliciously umami and warming dish.
We served it really simply, with a side salad of fresh leaves and crystal apple cucumbers, charred corn, our fermented dill pickles, sourdough bread, butter, fresh cheese and a glass of light red wine (grenache or pinot would be great). It would also be great served with smoked fish, roast meat, a brown rice salad, and a cool Riesling.
On Autumn in your garden
For us, this is our favourite time in the garden. You’re absolutely not meant to have favourites, but I have to be honest, this is our favourite time. And I think most gardeners and chefs who live in a temperate climate like ours would agree, there is just such an abundance of colour, flavour and variety at this time of year that gardening and cooking become so much more fun!
It’s the time when we still have the fun and variety of summer vegetables, but it is just starting to get cold, and our Autumn produce has started to kick off too. We are still pickling most of our summer vegetables, but they are ripening at a slower pace (cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, squash and zucchinis); some of the vegetables that have been growing throughout summer are only really just starting to ripen now and many of these also store well throughout the winter when not as much variety grows (capsicums, chilies, potatoes, sweet
potatoes, pumpkins and melons); the herb garden is bursting with summer favourites like basil and dill, but equally happy are the fringe season herbs that love these cooler days like chervil and parsley, and all the perennial herbs like rosemary, thyme and sage. Finally, we have the most amazing fruit in season – all the apples and pears, quinces and figs, the last of the fruit before winter hits. The combinations of all of these flavours and colours is just amazing.
It’s a special time that brings with it a special kind of feeling – the memories of seasons past. We start to spend a little more time inside as we bottle and jar the last of the summer produce (making things like passata, fermented cucumber pickles, bottled whole fruit), and prepare to settle in for the winter. And the smell of the fresh cold air - it’s something special, that I will never forget.
Serves 4 as a side // Time 10 minutes prep + 40-50 minutes cooking
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons of white miso paste
3 tablespoons of sesame oil
A big pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 medium-large zucchinis / squash (or a mixture), halved
Half a small pumpkin
Parmesan cheese to serve
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees. Oil a medium sized baking tray and set aside.
Mix together garlic, miso paste, sesame oil and black pepper in a small bowl until combined.
Using a spoon, evenly distribute the mixture on the top of the zucchinis/squash and pumpkin so they are neatly covered and all of the mixture is used. Place on the baking tray.
Place the vegetables in the oven for about 40-50 minutes, until the top is golden and the vegetables are very soft, just starting to brown and fall apart.
To serve, top with a liberal amount of parmesan cheese.
Cooking time will vary, based on the size of the vegetables you use.
We used a white miso that was rather chunky, yours may look a little different to ours in texture if you’re using a miso that is more like a paste.
Dishes/platters supplied by Country Road.
P.S. Upcoming event! This Melbourne Food and Wine Festival we are throwing a super fun Fancy Hanks x Grown and Gathered dinner on Monday 3rd April 6-10pm!
It will be an epic feast, including sustainable meats, salads from our book and wild ferment wine by us! Matt (G&G) and Mikey (Fancy Hanks) will be chatting about what sustainable meat really means.
TICKETS: Grab a ticket here or enter our competition to win a double pass worth $226.
TO WIN: Simply share on Instagram a photo of you with / reading / using / growing from / eating from / making something from the Grown & Gathered book! Share the photo, along with @grownandgathered #gandgliving to be in the running! *
*T&C's: Entries close Friday 31st March at 4pm. Winner drawn (at random from all valid entries) and announced (notified via instagram messenger, so keep an eye out!) the same day by 8pm.