Alboronía

Rich Quince And Pumpkin Ratatouille

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • 6

    Medias Raciones

Appears in

MoVida Rustica

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2009

  • About

A DARKLY GOLDEN DISH WHOSE RICH, DEEP FLAVOURS AND REFRESHING SPICY AROMA GIVE ITS NORTH AFRICAN ORIGINS AWAY. LIKE SO MANY FOODS WITH MOORISH ROOTS, ALBORONÍA HAS BECOME PART OF THE ANDALUSIAN CULINARY VERNACULAR. ALL THE INGREDIENTS ARE COOKED SEPARATELY AND BROUGHT TOGETHER AT THE END, LEAVING THE TASTY CHUNKS OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES INTACT. THE SLIGHT SHARPNESS OF THE QUINCE AND THE SWEETNESS OF THE PUMPKIN MAKE ALBORONÍA A GOOD EXAMPLE OF MOORISH AGRIDULCE, OR MIX OF SWEET AND SOUR. IT CAN BE SERVED WITH GAME OR LAMB, BUT I THINK THE BEST WAY TO UNDERSTAND THIS DISH IS TO DESCRIBE IT AS A SPICY AUTUMN SALAD THAT CAN BE ENJOYED JUST AS WELL ON ITS OWN.

Ingredients

  • 5 quince(s)
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) jap or kent pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) dice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) olive oil
  • 3 eggplants (aubergine), cut into 1 cm (½ inch) dice
  • 50 ml ( fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 2 green capsicums (peppers), seeded and membranes removed, then diced
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, roasted and ground
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) tomatoes, peeled, seeded (see glossary) and puréed
  • a handful of parsley, chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

Wash the quinces and wipe dry, then place on a large baking tray. Roast for 1 hour, or until soft and pinkish/golden.

Meanwhile, spread the pumpkin on another baking tray, sprinkle with the sea salt flakes and drizzle with 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) of the olive oil. Shake the baking tray to coat the pumpkin with the oil and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.

Heat the remaining 90 ml (3 fl oz) olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the eggplant, season to taste and toss for 7–8 minutes, or until golden and tender. Drain on paper towel.

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté for 5 minutes, or until soft but not coloured. Stir in the capsicum, bay leaves and cumin, reduce the heat to low-medium, then cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the mixture is soft and has a jam-like consistency.

Meanwhile, peel and quarter the roasted quinces and cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) dice.

Add the puréed tomatoes to the capsicum mixture and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until warm. Add the roasted pumpkin, quince, eggplant and parsley, then gently mix together. Season to taste and serve warm.