Simply Seasonal is a vibrant recipe book inspired by nature’s bounty and the seasons. Recipes are categorized by seasons and feature produce specific to the four seasons of the year. It’s a way of cooking that is gaining popularity and places a spotlight on what’s being produced in our immediate surroundings, encouraging us to buy seasonally and locally, thus shortening the chain from farm to fork.
Simply Seasonal is the creation of Ilse van der Merwe, a recipe developer, award-winning author, TV presenter and blogger at The Food Fox. It was written and photographed during the four seasons of 2020, starting with Autumn and ending with summer. Ingredients were sourced in her home-base of Stellenbosch, Western Cape and there are little touches in the photographs that allude to the seasonality of the recipes.
It’s a gorgeous cookbook and I’ve bookmarked many of the recipes – knowing it’s a cookbook that will be well used. Her recipes are vibrant, fresh and there’s something for everyone; from plant-eaters to meat-eaters and everything in between. My only gripe is that the produce she’s sourced is far superior to what I manage to get in Joburg. There’s recipes using waterblommetjies, blood oranges and the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes. Clearly, I need a new produce supplier.
The recipe I’m sharing is Ilse’s Roasted Pumpkin & Red Onion pasta with feta, herbs, and almonds, but with one change which you may have noticed in the header. I’ve used butternut not pumpkin, as I prefer butternut and since they’re both in the orange squash family, I consider them interchangeable. It comes from the Autumn chapter (slightly unseasonal for spring), but the ingredients used are mostly found year-round. It uses orzo pasta, which is a rice shaped pasta that is ideally suited for room temperature salads. It can be eaten warm or cold and is a delicious and simple pasta salad that can be served as a main or side.
A Simply Seasonal Roasted Butternut & Red Onion Pasta with Feta, Herbs and Almonds
- 500 grams butternut or pumpkin peeled and cubed
- 3 large red onions sliced into slim wedges
- 3 tablespoon olive oil plus extra
- salt and pepper to taste
- 500 grams orzo pasta you can also use rosmarino or risoni
- 1 small bunch fresh Italian parsley finely chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh mint finely chopped (you can also use basil or dill)
- 2-3 rounds feta cheese crumbled
- 1 squeeze lemon juice to taste
- ¼-½ cup flaked almonds lightly toasted in a pan
- Preheat the oven to 220°C.
- On a large baking sheet lined with baking paper, spread out the butternut (or pumpkin) and red onions. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes until tender and golden brown.
- In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta for 7 minutes, then drain.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pasta and stir to coat, then transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl, adding the roasted pumpkin and onions. Add the parsley, mint, feta and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and gently stir to mix well. Top with the toasted almonds and serve warm or at room temprature.
Simply Seasonal is published by Penguin Random House and is available here.
Recipe is reprinted with permission from the publisher. Images are by Nutreats Food Photography Studio.
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.