Meat-free Monday: Sesame pastry cases with onion and pumpkin

This recipe is from nutritionist Janella Purcell, when she was on the LifestyleFood show, Good Chef, Bad Chef, with (MasterChef Australia's) Gary Mehigan in 2009. Monsieur D made them and they became a favourite – they could be an appetiser, entrée or main if served with a salad.

Sesame pastry cases with onion and pumpkin (pictured borrowed from

Sesame pastry cases with onion and pumpkin (pictured borrowed from


2 1/2 cups spelt flour
 (wholemeal will do)

1 cup toasted sesame seeds

1 cup sesame oil
 (we used only half a cup because it made the pastry less oily)

1 1/2 cups boiling water

2 tbls tamari
 (for pastry cases)

1 onion, finley sliced

500ml vegetable stock

1 tbls ginger juice

1 tsp tamari
 (for onions)

1 cup japanese (nap) pumpkin, cubed and steamed
 (any pumpkin will do)

1 packet of silken tofu

2 tbls shiro miso paste

1 tsp umeboshi or white wine vinegar


For the cases, combine the dry ingredients and blend the wet ingredients separately. Mix together slowly then knead for a couple of minutes. It should be quite oily and elastic. Let pastry sit for 30 minutes under a dry cloth. Roll out pastry to 1cm thick, (you may need a little flour on the bench) then using a biscuit cutter fit into individual non stick muffin cases. Our recipe says to take at 180C for 10 minutes, our oven is fan-forced (I noticed she also suggests 200C for 15 minutes). The cases will harden once they cool.

Meanwhile, prepare your filling – put the onions in a pot with the stock, ginger juice and tamari. Bring to the boil then drop to a simmer until the liquid is evaporated. Meanwhile, blend your pumpkin together with the tofu and vinegar.

To assemble, put a little miso paste on the bottom of each case *** this is optional, I suggest trying out the miso, we left it out after the first time these were made because it was just too salty for our tastes. Fill the cases half way up with the onion mixture. Finally dollop each case with some of the pumpkin puree.

For presentation, you could sprinkle a few toasted sesame seeds on the top, or a few chopped herbs, such as coriander for colour.

Voila. Enjoy.