This dish was originally meant to form the first course of our last year’s Christmas dinner. However, times were rather hectic last December and we ended up feeling so exhausted when we finally started cooking that we abandoned the plan of any complicated dishes and settled for a cozy night instead. The carefully picked dishes and recipes had to wait till another day – which finally arrived now as spring is slowly settling in. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it turns out that it is never the wrong time of year to enjoy a truly festive dinner!
Ingredients (serves 2):
For the pumpkin salad:
- 300 to 400 grams of red kuri squash, cut into cubes
- olive oil
- sea salt, freshly ground pepper
- several teaspoons of Spanish thyme honey
- 4 to 5 branches of fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon of pumpkin oil
- 5 to 6 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 1 to 2 handfulls of winter purslane and young leaf mix, washed and dried
- 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
For the goose liver in port wine sauce:
- 200 grams of goose liver
- 60 grams of butter
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of cooking olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of Spanish thyme honey
- freshly ground pepper, salt
- 50 ml of ruby port
- 250 ml of poultry fond
Preparing the pumpkin salad:
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Put the pumpkin into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and 1 teaspoon of honey, and season with salt and pepper. Remove the thyme leaves from the branches and sprinkle over the pumpkin. Mix well. Then spread the pumpkin on an oven tray.
- Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for approximately 25 to 30 minutes until the pumpkin is soft.
- Mix a dressing from the pumpkin oil, virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of thyme honey, freshly ground pepper and salt. Note that pumpkin oil is very intense in flavour, so be careful not to add to much.
- After removing the pumpkin form the oven, let cool down. Then carefully mix with the dressing.
- Roast the pumpkin seed for 3 to 4 minutes on medium to high temperature in a non-stick pan without the addition of oil. Let cool down the pumpkin seed.
- Before serving, i.e. when the goose liver is ready (see below), carefully mix in the winter purslane and young leaf mix and sprinkle the pumpkin seed over the plate.
Preparing the goose liver:
- Cut the liver into cubes (not too small).
- Cut 15 grams of the butter into cubes and put it in the freezer.
- Let the remaining 45 grams of the butter melt in a non-stick frying pan over medium to high temperature with the olive oil added.
- Add the goose liver, season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper and fry until the outside is properly browned, then remove from the pan with the help of a skimming ladle. The liver should not fry too long. Set aside.
- Deglaze with the port. Make sure to resolve the brown bits from the bottom of the frying pan in the port wine (use a wooden spoon to remove from the bottom of the pan). Let reduce a little bit, then add the poultry stock and 1 teaspoon of honey.
- Let the sauce reduce to 1/3. Season (lightly) with salt and freshly ground pepper and quickly stir in the remaining butter. Do not let re-heat after this.
- Add the goose liver and let in warm up in the sauce, then serve immediately with the pumpkin salad.