Pumpkin and cornmeal made for one of the more, shall we say, interesting quick breads I have made. I was not sure that my taste buds, which are fully aligned with sweet, would be down with it.
Things were not looking too good until I sliced the loaf thin and used it as a hearty sandwich bread. Then I was on board.
Walnuts impart a nice crunch, and fresh flat-leaf parsley packs an unexpected punch of flavor. It is a perfect alternative to the standard cornbread muffin I enjoy with chili and would likely pair well with any soup or salad.
Still not sold? I hear ya. If I was not on a near-constant lookout for unusual recipes to try, I would have passed right over this in a heartbeat. But in addition to sounding unique, the ingredients were easy to procure. I had everything I needed, including the fresh parsley, on hand when I set out to make it. That almost never happens.
Not quite so lucky? Or maybe you are feeling adventurous? I would love to know how other nut and herb combos work for this bread. My first thought on the next go round is to use sunflower seeds and sage. Pepitas and rosemary also seem reasonable.
In the meantime, there are plenty more delicious dishes to experiment in the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash links below. Check them out!
- 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- ¾ cup ground cornmeal, plus additional for sprinkling
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In a skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts until browned and fragrant.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the toasted walnuts, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin puree, eggs, parsley and oil.
- Fold the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until fully incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Grease a 9 x 5 - inch loaf pan with oil, line the bottom with parchment paper and sprinkle cornmeal along the sides until coated.
- Pour the bread batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes until the top is crusty and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling or serve warm.