All new recipes from Hetty McKinnon's Community

Since Community's first release in 2014 Hetty McKinnon has found it remarkable how much the book has resonated with people, both older and young, from the city and the country; from all corners of Australia - and even the world. Community has slowly taken on a life of its own, inspiring home cooks to live up the title of the book with zeal. Cooking salads together and sharing recipes has become a delicious pastime embraced by so many.

Cinnamon pumpkin with chickpeas, tahini and candied pumpkin seeds

For me, the thought of warm, spiced pumpkin always conjures up images of flickering jack-o'-lanterns and American holidays. This salad is inspired foremost by the classic Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, but is given a cheeky Middle Eastern twist with a nutty tahini sauce. The sweet, crunchy candied pumpkin seeds deliver an indulgent trick-or-treat surprise.

Cinnamon pumpkin with chickpeas, tahini and candied pumpkin seeds. Picture: Luisa Brimble

Cinnamon pumpkin with chickpeas, tahini and candied pumpkin seeds. Picture: Luisa Brimble

Ingredients

1 large butternut pumpkin (about 1 kg), peeled and cut into 2cm cubes

1 red onion, finely sliced

2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

90g tahini

3 tbsp Greek yoghurt

juice of 1/2 lemon

small garlic clove, crushed

500g cooked chickpeas (about two cans), drained

1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

sea salt and black pepper

Candied pumpkin seeds:

1 cup pumpkin seeds

3 tbsp sugar

1 large egg white, beaten

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

pinch of coarse sea salt

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Toss the pumpkin and onion with the olive oil, cinnamon and ginger, and season with salt and black pepper. Spread on a large baking tray and roast for 25 minutes, or until golden. The red onion may cook faster than the pumpkin, so you may need to remove it before the pumpkin is cooked.

3. To make the candied pumpkin seeds, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Spread the mixture in a single layer on a tray lined with baking paper. Bake until the pumpkin seeds are golden and slightly puffed (this will take about 10-12 minutes). Remove from the oven and season with more salt. Stir gently, leaving some clumps. Let cool completely and store in an airtight jar.

4. Whisk together the tahini, yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic and a good pinch of salt. Slowly add 80ml of water until you have a smooth, creamy sauce. You want the consistency of double cream.

5. Combine the pumpkin with the chickpeas and parsley and toss gently. Transfer to a serving plate and scatter over the candied pumpkin seeds. To serve, spoon over the tahini sauce.

Serves 4-6.

Smashed chickpeas with broccoli and dukkah

The creaminess of the smashed chickpeas, the smokiness of the chargrilled broccoli and the spiced earthiness of the dukkah combine perfectly in this very memorable salad. The dukkah takes a bit of effort to prepare, but it's well worth it - this recipe will make enough for you to keep some extra in an airtight container or perhaps give to family and friends as a delicious homemade gift. Omit the yoghurt from the smashed chickpeas for a vegan dish.

Smashed chickpeas with broccoli and dukkah. Picture: Luisa Brimble

Smashed chickpeas with broccoli and dukkah. Picture: Luisa Brimble

Ingredients

1 garlic clove

750 g cooked chickpeas (about three cans), drained

3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tbsp Greek yoghurt

3 broccoli heads (about 1.5 kg), cut into florets

1/2 cup mint leaves

sea salt and black pepper

Dukkah (makes two cups):

1/4 cup coriander seeds

1 tbsp fennel seeds

2 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp white peppercorns

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1 tsp black sesame seeds

2 tsp nigella seeds

3/4 cup hazelnuts, skinned and toasted

1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted

2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp paprika

Method

1. To make the dukkah, place a small frying pan over medium heat and toast the coriander and fennel seeds for 30 seconds. Add the cumin seeds and peppercorns and toast for another 20 seconds, or until they start to pop. Remove and place in a bowl. Reduce the heat to low and lightly toast the sesame seeds and nigella seeds for a minute or so, then add them to the other spices. Using a large mortar and pestle, pound the hazelnuts until coarsely broken. Add all of the toasted seeds and spices, and pound again. Mix through the salt and paprika. I like the dukkah to remain quite chunky.

2. For the smashed chickpeas, place the garlic and a big pinch of salt and pepper in the mortar and pound with the pestle until you have a paste. Add the drained chickpeas, a tablespoon at a time, and smash up roughly (if your mortar is too small, use a large bowl for this part). Stir in two to three tablespoons of the olive oil and the chilli flakes, lemon juice and yoghurt until you have a nice, chunky consistency.

3. In a large bowl, coat the broccoli in the remaining olive oil and add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Heat a chargrill pan over high heat or a barbecue to high. When smoking hot, lay out the broccoli in a single layer and cook for a minute or so, turning to make sure that it is well charred on all sides.

4. Spread a thick layer of smashed chickpeas on a serving platter and lay the broccoli on top. When ready to serve, sprinkle over most of the dukkah and the mint leaves, along with a light drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 4-6.

Slow-roasted caprese with charred green beans and basil pistou

Many years ago, while holidaying in Positano, Italy, we dined on elevated terraces, feasting on magnificent vistas and caprese salad. There was one salad in particular that stood out, called Luigi's Caprese; it was so much more than simply tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. It was served on a hefty mound of peppery rocket leaves, which made the dish feel much more substantial. In the spirit of Luigi's main-meal caprese, my version features slow-roasted tomatoes, cannellini beans, charred green beans and a zesty basil pistou to bring brightness and life. While this recipe is best made with ripe, seasonal tomatoes, the genius of this dish is that even year-round tomatoes will taste amazing, because the slow-roasting coaxes out maximum flavour. You can use bocconcini, burrata or even fresh ricotta in place of the mozzarella.

Slow-roasted caprese with charred green beans and basil pistou. Picture: Luisa Brimble

Slow-roasted caprese with charred green beans and basil pistou. Picture: Luisa Brimble

Ingredients

1 kg mixed tomatoes, cut into even-sized pieces

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

3-4 thyme sprigs

80-125ml extra-virgin olive oil

300g green beans, trimmed and halved

250g cooked cannellini beans (about one can), drained

300g fresh mozzarella or bocconcini balls, torn

sea salt and black pepper

Basil Pistou:

1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, plus extra juice if necessary

about 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160C.

2. Place the tomato on a baking tray. Add the garlic and thyme, and season well with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil all over the tomato - the amount of oil depends on how big your tray is, but about 80ml should be enough. Bake for one to one and a half hours, or until the tomato has shrunk and is sweet and full of flavour. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add a good drizzle of the remaining olive oil and the green beans, season well with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook for four to five minutes, or until the beans are slightly charred and tender yet crisp to the bite. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.

4. For the pistou, pound the basil, garlic and a pinch of salt together using a mortar and pestle, until the mixture resembles a paste. (You can also do this on a board by chopping everything together very finely. The texture will be chunkier, but this is okay.) Stir in the lemon zest and juice, and slowly drizzle in the oil, stirring continuously. Season with more salt and adjust the oil and lemon juice to strike the right zesty balance.

5. Combine the tomato with the green beans and cannellini beans, the torn mozzarella or bocconcini and any fragrant oil from the baking tray. Toss gently to combine and serve topped with the basil pistou.

Serves 4-6.

Beetroot with dill creme fraiche and walnuts

The combination of beetroot and dill is irresistible. Earthy and refreshing, dill brings beetroot to life. This salad is inspired by cold borscht soup. Drizzling the beetroot with balsamic vinegar before roasting intensifies its natural sweetness, while creme fraiche adds a surprising depth of flavour.

Beetroot with dill creme fraiche and walnuts. Picture: Luisa Brimble

Beetroot with dill creme fraiche and walnuts. Picture: Luisa Brimble

Ingredients

12 beetroot (about 1.5kg), peeled and cut into 2cm cubes

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, grated

3 spring onions, finely sliced

2 cups baby spinach leaves

1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and crumbled

1/2 cup dill fronds

sea salt and black pepper

Dill creme fraiche:

250g creme fraiche

1/2 cup dill fronds, finely chopped

juice of 1/2 lemon

1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

Community, Salad Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen, by Hetty McKinnon.

Community, Salad Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen, by Hetty McKinnon.

2. Place the beetroot on a baking tray and drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and one to two tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Roast for 40-45 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and cool.

3. For the dill creme fraiche, whisk the creme fraiche together with the dill, lemon juice and olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

4. Mix the beetroot with the spring onion and baby spinach leaves and add a good drizzle of olive oil. Season the beetroot well with salt and pepper. Fold the dill creme fraiche very gently through the beetroot, to create a vibrant marbled effect. Top with the toasted walnuts and sprinkle over the dill fronds.

Serves 4-6.

Recipes from Community, by Hetty McKinnon. (Revised edition, 2019). Plum, $34.99.

This story Be part of a community first appeared on The Canberra Times.