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« Chinese Noodles | Main | Texas Toast with Italian Inspiration »

Talkin’ Pumpkin (and not the Carving Kind....)

By Lori Powell

Not too long ago, I shared my story about the pumpkins growing wild in my backyard. I promised I would tell you how I cook them.

Well, the pumpkins did grow but they would not have won any national pumpkin prize for size. That was A-Okay by me.

It was a first-time thrill to have kind of raised my own. (To tell the truth, they grew by themselves. I was just an observer.)

I so enjoy squash of all kinds and now is the time cook with them, with the first chill of autumn in the air. So reluctantly, I picked my orange globes and none too soon, since I noticed the vines were shriveled and dying, I think due to all of the monsoons this summer.

The vines had rotted but luckily, not the pumpkins. My crop yielded two perfectly orange and round sugar pumpkins and about 12 beige jack-o-lanterns.

Pumpkins for cooking generally have names like “sugar,” “New England Pie” or “Long Island Cheese.” Pumpkins are so versatile. One of my favorite cooking methods is to roast them since the flavor deepens, along with the color.

You can then use the roasted pulp for a ravioli filling mixed with Parmesan cheese and sage. Toss the pulp in risotto, soup or make a pumpkin butter by mixing pureed pumpkin with some maple syrup to spread on toast for a healthy breakfast. Or mix it in your oatmeal with a touch of cinnamon...sooo good!

For another take on pumpkin, here is a salad with the unpeeled wedges roasted (yes you can eat the skin or simply cut it away if it is too tough) and served with its own seeds that I roasted and tossed with spices. The homemade toasted seeds are a bit more crunchy than the green pepitas you can buy at Whole Foods or at your local Health food store.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Parmesan
Serves 2

1 pound small sugar pumpkin or New England Pie Pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups winter salad greens
4 fresh figs sliced
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Halve pumpkin and removed seeds, cut pumpkin into wedges. Arrange on a lightly oiled baking sheet cut sides down. Rinse pumpkin seeds and pat dry.
  • Roast pumpkin on sheet pan in middle of oven, turning once, until golden brown on both sides and tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer pumpkin to a plate to cool. Leave the oven set at 400° F. Add pumpkin seeds to sheet pan and sprinkle with chili powder, turmeric and pinch of salt. Toss together and roast in middle of oven, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • To make vinaigrette, whisk together mustard, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Arrange salad greens, roasted pumpkin and figs on two serving plates and drizzle with vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

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    Easy 30 minute recipes for weekday cooking - Blog - Talkin’ Pumpkin (and not the Carving Kind....)
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    Easy 30 minute recipes for weekday cooking - Blog - Talkin’ Pumpkin (and not the Carving Kind....)
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    Easy 30 minute recipes for weekday cooking - Blog - Talkin’ Pumpkin (and not the Carving Kind....)
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    Easy 30 minute recipes for weekday cooking - Blog - Talkin’ Pumpkin (and not the Carving Kind....)

Reader Comments (1)

YUM! That's look delicious. Thanks for posting!

George Zeed
Impact Battery

October 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Zeed

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