Pumpkin Purée with Goats Cheese

We discovered this rather excellent dish by accident – but more of that later. First, the recipe. It makes a delicious vegetarian main course for 3 people or starter for 4 or 5 with a simple salad and fresh home-made bread.


  • 600g of the flesh of a pumpkin or butternut squash. That’s around 1.2kg whole fruit. Discard the skin and seeds (or keep the seeds for drying).
  • 50g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 50ml crème fraiche. The original recipe calls for 150ml, so by all means add more to taste.
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and black pepper
  • A shake of chilli sauce (optional)
  • 50g gruyère or cheddar, grated
  • Goats cheese
  • Chop the flesh of the pumpkin into chunks, and sauté them gently in the butter over a low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. If they start to dry out add a little water so that they don’t stick and burn. Then pass them though the coarse grater of a mouli or simply chop them fairly finely.

    Beat the eggs and incorporate the crème fraiche, paprika, salt and pepper, and chilli sauce (if used). Stir the mixture into the pumpkin purée and mix well. Stir in the grated gruyère or cheddar.

    The picture below shows the pumpkin purée (in the glass bowl) and the prepared mixture (in the oval dishes).

    Cut some rounds of goats cheese and place on top of the pumpkin mixture.

    Cook in a hot oven (200C or 180C for fan-assisted) for about 15 to 20 minutes. You can brown it briefly under the grill before serving if you wish.

    The Story

    During half term we went on a “booze cruise” to Calais to top up our wine supplies. We had a little tour around some of the nearby countryside, and on our way stopped at an Auchan supermarket to buy a drink and a sandwich for lunch. Jean searched the presse section hopefully for a Le Monde Education. She didn’t find one – not surprisingly, since we were rather seeking the emperor in a low caste teashop. I was idly scanning the books, and picked up something called Hachis & Purées. I didn’t have high hopes, but it turned out to be a real gem.

    It has a nice selection of vegetarian and meat dishes and some puddings too. Here’s the page with the pumpkin recipe.

    And, of course, we made up a little song to go with it:
    Sur le pont, Potiron
    L’on y hachis, l’on y purée

    Oh, and the the book cost only €1.89!

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