You can use your pumpkins in the kitchen after Halloween. Here are two recipes.
Did you know that those pretty pumpkins on the porch are also delicious?
While the average Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin has edible but bland, stringy flesh, the interesting and colorful pumpkins found at markets and roadside stands in the fall are, for the most part, old heirloom varieties that were bred for flavor and storage qualities.
Don't let them go to waste.
Here's a recipe for roasted pumpkin and one for spicy and highly nutritious pumpkin and lentil soup. Once you roast the pumpkin and remove the flesh from the shell, pack extra away in freezer baggies to pull out for pies and soups all winter. You may substitute roasted pumpkin for roasted butternut squash in any recipe.
1 medium heirloom pumpkin
1-2 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half vertically and remove the seeds. Quarter if large. Rub the cut surfaces with oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, and place on a sheet pan in the oven, cut sides up, for 45 minutes to hour or more, until the edges are caramelized and the flesh soft when poked with a knife. The amount of time this takes will depend on the size of your pumpkin.
- Permit to cool slightly, then scoop the soft flesh out of the skin. Use in any recipe requiring pumpkin or butternut squash.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced, seeds removed if desired
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic, more or less to taste
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 ¼ cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
2 cups roasted pumpkin, lightly mashed
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven. Sautee the onion, celery, jalapeno and garlic until very soft but not brown. Stir in the ginger and curry powder. Cook, stirring, over medium heat for two minutes or until fragrant.
- Add the broth and lentils. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. Add the8 brown sugar and pumpkin and heat well.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup in the pot. Finish with the lemon juice, then taste and adjust with salt and pepper as necessary.