I love pecan nuts: my in-laws used to have hundreds of pecan nut trees growing on the banks of the Tugela River on their farm in South Africa, and I remember my mother-in-law Jean taking me down to harvest them. Sounds simple enough, however there were many puff adders and cobras lurking in the undergrowth, and I had to feign courage and nonchalance when searching under the leaves for the fallen nuts. Perhaps this is why they feel like some sort of delicious treasure, and why I use them in so much of my cooking.
Serves 2 as a lunch or 4 as a side.
One butternut squash, skin on, cut into chunks
Two carrots, peeled and chopped into thick slices.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp turmeric
1 heaped tsp garam masala
Half a cup of pecan nuts
Zest of half a large orange
Juice of the orange
Mix all the ingredients together except the pecan nuts, until they are all well coated with the oil, and add more oil if you think it needs it. Roast for 25 minutes on 180, shaking every now and then so that most of the surface area of the carrots and butternut brown and colour well. Then add the pecans and shake well, and roast for a further 20-25 minutes. I don’t put the pecans in at the same time as the vegetables as they can burn easily. Serve with anything really: but this goes particularly well with beef or chicken, and lots and lots of greens.