Eat that porch decoration! It’s a superfood! It’s loaded with powerful nutrients like beta carotene and the seeds are a rich source of Omega 3 fats.
PUMPKIN ROASTED WITH ROSEMARY
Cut 1 small pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into wedges and place on a cutting board to cut the tough peel off away from you – use a sturdy knife. Cut pumpkin flesh into 2 inch chunks. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary. Bake at 350 degrees on a baking sheet for 30 minutes or until soft and slightly browned. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
SAVORY PUMPKIN SOUP
Cut a small pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Wash the seeds thoroughly and dry on paper towels. Toss seeds with olive oil and salt and roast in a 350 degree oven until fragrant, 10 minutes or more.
Place the pumpkin halves skin side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet with 6 unpeeled garlic cloves (placed under the pumpkin halves) and bake until soft and easily pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes.
While pumpkin bakes, sauté 2 finely chopped onions in 3 tbsp olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat until soft. Add 2 tbsp fresh sage (or 1 tbsp dried), 1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried) and 1/4 cup chopped parsley and cook a minute more. Let cool.
Scoop the flesh out of the pumpkins halves (after they are cooled slightly) and purée in a blender or food processor with cooked onions and herbs.
Squeeze the roasted garlic from the skins, add to pumpkin and purée until smooth.
Return to the soup pot and gradually stir in 6 cups broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Season with salt & pepper and serve topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.
ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS WITH CUMIN
Break the stem off and insert the point of a chef’s knife into the soft flesh beneath. Using the heel of your hand or a rubber mallet, tap the knife to work the blade around the pumpkin to cut it in half. Remove the seeds and the stringy flesh attached and rinse them clean in a colander. Dry off and toss with olive oil, ground cumin and sea salt. Arrange on a baking sheet and place in a 300 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until fragrant and slightly browned.
2 WAYS TO MAKE PUMPKIN PURÉE:
Place pumpkin halves skin side up on an oiled baking sheet and bake until soft and easily punctured with a fork. Allow to cool for 20 minutes, then scoop out flesh with a spoon and blend until smooth in a blender. Place in glass jars in the fridge if you will use within a week or freeze for future use. Or… Peel away the tough skin with a knife or a vegetable peeler and cut pumpkin into 2 inch chunks. Steam in an inch or two of water until soft. Place pumpkin in a blender and purée until smooth.
PUMPKIN CUSTARD: In a blender, mix together: 9 egg yolks 2 cups puréed pumpkin 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1 tsp cinnamon pinch of sea salt 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 cup sugar 2 cups heavy cream Pour into 6 ceramic baking cups or a soufflé dish and bake on a baking sheet (pour water around cups) at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
ROASTED PUMPKIN: (instead of potatoes) Peel pumpkin, remove seeds and chop into 1 inch chunks. Toss with olive oil, chopped fresh sage, dried red pepper flakes to taste and sea salt.Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until soft and slightly browned.