Here I am again, speaking about how much I HATED (my siblings too) pumpkin and squash as a kid growing up on the islands. Mommy tried, yea she did… but without any luck. She could not convince us.. even when she added “it’s good fuh yuh skin and complexion“. Today, it’s one of my favorite dishes, so much so that I grow them in my garden here in Canada every Spring.
5-7 lbs Pumpkin (sliced)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 pimento Peppers (aka seasoning peppers)
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper
4 cloves garlic (smashed)
1 medium onion (sliced thin)
1/2 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups prepared salted cod (boneless)
Important. If making this dish gluten free, please go through the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary requirements.
Wash, peel and slice the pumpkin thinly (watch the video below).
Prepare the salted cod. Boil and rinse or soak overnight in water. Drain, rinse and break into small pieces. Double check for any tiny bones, remove and discard.
In a big heavy pot on a medium heat, add the olive oil followed by the prepared salted cod and stir. Turn the heat to low (as it will go) and add the black pepper and scotch bonnet pepper. Stir well. Then in goes the onion, pimento peppers (aka seasoning peppers) and the smashed garlic. Stir again to combine all of those flavors and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Go in with the Caribbean Green Seasoning – stir again. Heat still on low. A pinch of cumin (not mentioned in the ingredients list) if you want to add some additional flavor to the finished dish. I’m not the biggest fan of cumin so I don’t do as Mom would.
It’s time to start adding the sliced pumpkin to the pot. It will pile up, but as it cooks it will spring a lot of liquid and cook down. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a boil with the lid on.
Leave the lid off when it comes to a boil and you start seeing that liquid, top with the brown sugar and continue cooking on a medium heat with the lid off. At this point the pumpkin will start getting tender and break down.
The goal is to burn off all the liquid which will sprot naturally, and in the process the pumkin will go tender and packed with flavor.
After about 20-25 minutes, it’s time to turn the heat up a little and burn off all that liquid. It can take up to 1 hours for this to happed.
With all the liquid gone, you can smash any chunky pieces with the back of your spoon, taste and adjust the salt to your liking. I didn’t add any salt as the remaining salt in the salted cod was enough for my taste.
If you can’t source Caribbean Pumpkin, butternut squash will work just as good.
Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @ CaribbeanPot.com/CookBook/