For those of you who follow The Prague Basket’s scrumptious posts, you’ll notice a theme in the last few weeks: pumpkins! Our farmer’s markets are overflowing with bright, orange pumpkins here in Prague. Not only that, but it’s also easy to find another one of my favorite ingredients: garlic!
Since I started experimenting in the kitchen, one ingredient I never skimp on is garlic. When a recipe calls for 2 cloves, usually 4 or more appear in my food. So, when I moved to Prague last year and started using the garlic from the market, I was surprised when my husband exclaimed, “Wow, how much garlic did you use?” Well, in my mind, it was the “normal” amount, except the garlic here is anything but normal.
The Czech garlic (Český česnek) for sale at my local farmer’s market has a beautiful purple hue to the flaky layers of skin. The cloves are large, and you really don’t need to add any more than your recipe calls for. The flavor is strong, and it fights the strongest of vampires! Here’s an adapted recipe that combines the fall flavors of fresh pumpkin and strong Czech garlic.
4 cups pumpkin puree
1.5 cups chopped red or white onions (I like a mix)
1 small red pepper
1 small green pepper
3 cloves Czech garlic
cayenne and black pepper to taste
½ cup firm or Greek yogurt
seeds: sunflower or pumpkin chopped
nuts: walnuts or pecans, chopped
optional: feta cheese
This recipe was originally from a Moosewood cookbook, and calls for butternut squash and feta. I use bright orange Hokkaido pumpkin instead, and have been leaving out the feta. You can add feta when you mix the pumpkin with the sauté veggies, or in the last 10 minutes of baking so that it stays a bit crumbly.
Preheat the oven to 375 F/ 190 C.
Sauté the onions in the olive oil, 4-5 minutes or until soft. Add the peppers, garlic, and season with the cayenne and black pepper. Sauté another 3-4 minutes until mixture is soft.
In a bowl, mix the pumpkin and yogurt. Fold in the sauté mix a little at a time. Once the mixture is evenly mixed, spread into an ungreased baking tray. I use an oval 9 X 12 pan, but a 9X9 square works well. Sprinkle the top with the chopped seeds and nuts.
Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm with veggie sticks, blue corn chips, or dark rye crackers.