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I think I’ve mentioned before my mother’s love of vegetables; she was crazy about salad! Growing up as a child, I could never quite understand, but now as an adult I get it. I love vegetables now, too, of any description, and lately I’ve discovered the beauty and convenience of roasting them.

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I mean, how easy is it to peel and chop up some eggplant, sweet potato, onion, capsicum, some olives maybe, some cherry tomatoes for good measure, toss them in a bit of olive oil, and throw them in the oven for half an hour. Low on actual prep time, the roasting warms the house, fills it with delicious aromas, and lets you get on with other tasks while doing your cooking for you. What really could be simpler?

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There are a couple of dinners on high-rotation now that showcase roasted vegetables. One tuna risoni salad in particular has become quite a favourite. But I digress… today we’re talking about pumpkin. Again. Yes, it’s become an infatuation. And at 39 cents a kilo, what’s not to love? I bought two butternuts and roasted one up the other day specifically with this recipe in mind.

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I’d eaten this dip before – and fallen deeply in love. It’s just so good you want to eat it with a spoon – but at four dollars a pot, a bit pricey to afford that indulgence. So you can imagine my delight after deciding that I wanted to make the Wattle Valley Roasted Pumpkin with Cashew and Parmesan dip, to find that someone else already had! The recipe below is taken directly from Cheap and Easy Recipes dot com and replicates the wonderful flavours found in a processed food, for a fraction of the price.

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Roasted Pumpkin, Cashew and Parmesan Dip
Makes one and a quarter cups

Ingredients
250 gm (8 oz.) peeled and seeded pumpkin
2 and 1/2 tablespoons of mild oil
1/2 cup salted roasted cashews
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
Dash ground chilli
1/2 teaspoon mild paprika
2 – 3 tablespoon water

Method
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).

Cut pumpkin into cubes, brush with half a tablespoon of the oil and roast in the oven until tender. This may take about half an hour or so.

When cooked, place the pumpkin in a blender with half of the roasted cashews and all the other ingredients. Blend till smooth. Add the remaining cashews and pulse the blender just a couple of times for the cashews to be broken up, but only into small pieces. You don’t want the whole lot to be blended smooth because there needs to be some chunkiness remaining.
Serve with savoury crackers and raw vegies to dip. Makes about 1 and 1/4 cups of dip.

Notes:
Don’t let the pumpkin get overdone in the oven. You still need it to be golden but not brown.

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