Hello October! We are well set into autumn and I would very much like to describe a scenic picture of golden brown leaves dropping on a gentle breeze but this is not at all autumn in Athens. Instead of walks to the park, we stroll the city center in much more bearable temperatures and we can still head to the beach over the weekend. The transition is made with vegetables! I am cooking a favourite bake with aubergines (yes, again) and freshly arrived pumpkin. Bites of summer, bites of autumn.
Head straight to the recipe.
This aubergine and pumpkin bake is a favourite for many reasons. It is an unusual combination having aubergine and pumpkin but if you are fond of cooking seasonal like me, now it’s the best time for it. Smoked anchovies give this dish an extra special touch, sharp sweet and savoury flavours packed in one bake. I can assure you, it tastes amazing and it is made in hardly anytime. For me it’s extra special because a very good friend had introduced this delight to me.
Back in my office days I used to rush around, grab some fruit from home and most often than not, feed on ready made sandwiches, a handful of nuts and other snacks of absolutely no nutritional value (see cake(s)). Bad habits that thankfully changed soon. I admit it used to be a drag to plan meals to take for work and by meals I am sorry but I don’t mean salad. I am the person who has frequently meals, not just because it’s a healthier approach to eating but because I am indeed hungry. No food in sight for more than 2-3 hours, it actually puts me in a bad mood and you won’t want to be anywhere near me (think of hungry bears). Huge appetites are not sustained by sandwiches or light salads. I started cooking proper meals for lunches after my friends’ Vero encouragement. Doubling portions on dinners and packing them straight out of the pot for the next day. My freezer suddenly replaced ice-cream for neatly packed boxes of meals that are ready to de-freeze and consume. I realised I was really not keen on this either. Super fresh food just out of the pot or oven beats everything. So one solution: quick daily dinners in large quantities. We even formed our own little lunch club, what a great excuse to escape the daily routine midday!
My lunch break adventures with Vero gave me inspiration to a lot of dishes and lengthy chats. Some of these dishes are still my every-day staples and I hope these will be making their way on the blog too. We have both changed countries a couple of times since then and have followed our crazy dreams but the wonderful taste of this first bite in the aubergine and pumpkin bake remains as fresh and tasty as ever. Along with a long lasting friendship! Here is what you will need:
- 2-3 large aubergines
- 1 large onion
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 700 g of pumpkin approx
- 2 small cans of anchovies
- 150 gr of grated kasseri, any yellow melted cheese
- Olive oil
How to make it:
- Cut the aubergines in half and cut in criss cross, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and put them in a preheated oven for 20 minutes approximately, until they are cooked.
- Meanwhile peel the pumpkin and cut it in small cubes. Finely chop the onion and smash the garlic cloves.
- Put 2-3 spoons of olive oil in a large pan and cook them a little, then add the pumpkin and a bit of salt (very little as the anchovies are already salted.
- Take the aubergines out and take the inside with a spoon, add it to the pumpkin and cook it for 2-3 minutes.
- Cut the anchovies and Add them to the pan, let the stuffing cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Once it’s done fill the aubergine with it and add a bit of cheese on the top. Then back to the oven and once the cheese has melted they are ready to eat.
Cook it for/with friends! Cooking is connecting people 😉
Do you need some more pumpkin inspiration? Check these out, I’m not the only one cooking with pumpkin today. It’s #blogsinthekitchen day!
Evina from Cook and feel made butternut squash pork stew.
Katerina from Delightful Area made (Greek only) pumpkin tarts..
Aggeliki from Cookika made vegan chocolate and pumpkin biscuits
Dora from Pandora’s Kitchen made roasted pumpkin soup
Irene from Paxxi made sweet pumpkin pie (Greek vlog)
Eva from Real Family food made honey pumpkin cake (Greek only)
Sofia from Sofeto made wholegrain cheese and pumpkin pie (Greek only)
Niki from To mialo sto fagito made mini pumpkin pies (Greek only)
Artemis from Wonderfoodland made pumpkin and chocolate energy bars (Greek only).
From Athens with love,