Roasted Pumpkin with Ricotta, Garlic and Cider Vinegar

This week’s Maine Fare recipe is from Sam Richman, owner and chef of Sammy’s Deluxe in Rockland.  In Sam’s words, Sammy’s Deluxe serves up “simple, fresh, not-fussy, very straightforward, extremely high-value, exceptionally delicious cooking in the style of what your grandmother might have cooked if she were a very good cook who used lots of seasonal ingredients and had a soft spot for Americana.”

This recipe embodies Sam’s straight forward approach. You can use ricotta from the store, but Sam encourages trying to make it yourself too– it’s actually quite simple.  Sam loves kabocha squash; I happened to have kuri. Both red kabocha and kuri squash have a chestnut flavor and rich texture, but this dish would be equally delicious made with lighter and sweeter delicata, or any other squash, really.

Sam will be preparing the food for  our Annual Meeting next Thursday in Rockport, so come join other MFT supporters, eat delicious food, drink tasty local brews and listen to some great music!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium size red kabocha squash (or other variety)
  • oil for roasting
  • salt and pepper
  • herb of your choice for garnish
  • ricotta (store-bought, or make your own using the recipe below)

Ricotta 

  • 1 gallon local, high fat milk
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 T salt


Directions
Peel and seed the squash and cut into wedges.  Coat with oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees, turning once or twice, for about 20 minutes, or until charred and soft but not falling apart. 

For the ricotta (if you’re making your own):

Combine all of the ingredients in a pot and mix well.
Bring to just shy of a boil over medium heat. Don’t stir the mixture as it comes up or you will break up what would otherwise be big juicy ricotta curds.
Watch the pot as it comes close to a boil so that it never boils.
When it looks just shy of a boil, pull the pot off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
You should then be able to very easily lift the ricotta floating off of the top of the whey in big, satisfying scoops.
Let the ricotta sit in a cheesecloth or strainer basket to drain. Keep the whey (liquid) to use in the optional dressing below.
After about 45 minutes it should be firm but not too firm, place in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

 

For the whey broth/dressing:

  • 1 quart of the reserved whey from above (optional — if you’re using store-bought ricotta, you won’t have whey, so just omit this if that’s the case)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup high quality apple cider vinegar

Blend all ingredients until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

To serve:

Put some of the whey broth in the bottom of a bowl (if using, it’s also great without!).
Top with pieces of roasted squash/pumpkin and a nice scoop or two of the ricotta.
Season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and some olive oil, and top with rosemary. 

Enjoy!

Calling all MFT members & supporters! Have you RSVP’d to our Annual Meeting yet? This year we’ll be at Union Hall in #Rockport on Thurs, Oct 27 5:30-7:30pm. In true MFT fashion, expect lots of good snacks from Sammy’s Deluxe, Maine brews, and toe-tapping tunes from our favorite honky tonk band, The Dog Hounds. Hope to see you there! RSVP to susan@mainefarmlandtrust.org by 10/24