pumpkin, chickpea and brown rice balls

with labne and roasted carrots

  • 400g butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 24 heirloom baby carrots 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups (400g) cooked brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes 
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed 
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup (40g) sesame seeds 
  • labne (yoghurt cheese), to serve
  • mint leaves and baby (micro) watercress (optional), to serve
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Place the pumpkin and carrots on a large baking tray. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes or until golden and tender. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and roughly mash with a fork.
  2. Add the pumpkin, rice, lemon rind, chilli, garlic, sumac, coriander, salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Divide and shape the mixture into 2-tablespoon balls and flatten slightly. Press into the sesame seeds to coat and brush with extra oil. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and roast, turning halfway, for 20 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with extra sumac and serve with the carrots, labne, mint and baby watercress. Serves 4

Photography: Chris Court

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