This taste bud-teasing recipe from south coast-based is ideal for entertaining at Halloween, tricking and treating the kids, or for eating around the bonfire. Watercress is one of the most nutritious vegetables available containing over 50 vital vitamins and nutrients, many of which help support the immune system at a time when colds are on the rise. Gram for gram watercress contains more vitamin C than an orange, that traditional bastion against the sniffles!

So, go ahead – wave a culinary wand and enjoy!


Baked Pumpkin and Watercress Fondue

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves 4 as a starter or snack



1 small pumpkin

30g watercress, roughly chopped

2 small shallots, finely diced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

150g grated mature cheddar

150g grated gruyère

150g grated Emmental

25g plain flour (or use cornflour for gluten free)

50ml dry white wine

150g crème fraiche

Freshly ground black pepper


To serve (optional):

Crusty bread

Roasted vegetables

Roasted baby potatoes



1. Pre-heat the oven to 170ᵒC. Take a sharp knife and carefully remove the ‘lid’ of the pumpkin, keeping to one side. Scoop out the seeds and stringy insides from the pumpkin, leaving the edible flesh intact. Put the lid back on the pumpkin and place onto an oven tray.

2. Roast the pumpkin in the oven for around 45 minutes, or until the flesh is just cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you make up the fondue mixture.

3. Take a large mixing bowl and add in the grated cheese, watercress and plain flour. Mix together thoroughly so that the cheese and watercress are evenly coated with a fine layer of flour. In a separate bowl, mix together the crème fraiche, white wine, shallot and garlic, along with a little ground black pepper (to taste).

4. Combine the cheese mixture and the crème fraîche, then take a spoon and carefully fill up the pumpkin with the cheesy mix. Put the pumpkin back into the oven for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

5. Take the pumpkin out of the oven and carefully transfer to a board for serving. Serve with bread, potatoes, or roasted vegetables for dunking, using spoons or fondue forks to dip into the fondue and scoop out the soft roasted pumpkin.

6. Note: The pumpkin can be roasted ahead of time and kept refrigerated for up to 48 hours but you will need to add around 20 minutes extra onto the oven time for the fondue to melt as the pumpkin will be cold inside.