I never really knew what to do with a pumpkin. Other than providing a good deal of beta carotene and its association with Halloween, pumpkins seemed fairly useless as vegetables. I recently discovered that pumpkins can be rather tasty, and I’m not only talking about the famous pumpkin pie or spiced latte here.
If like me (once upon a time) you are at a loss when it comes to pumpkins, the following recipes should spark some ideas and respect for this once overlooked vegetable.
Here are three very simple yet tasty dishes you can make with our good ol’ friend Mr Pumpkin:
SAUTEED PUMPKIN WEDGES
2 munchkin pumpkins
A sprig of rosemary
Honey or maple syrup
Salt to season
This is probably the easiest way to eat a pumpkin. All you have to do is boil them until slightly tender, slice up into wedges, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary and saute for about 5 minutes until cooked, and you’re done! Transfer onto a plate to serve. It makes the perfect snack or side dish and is Halloween feast approved. Tuck in!
PUMPKIN AU GRATIN
9 munchkin pumpkins (you can also use squash or regular pumpkin for this, cook the flesh and keep the shell to use as serving bowls)
3 medium-sized onions (sliced into big chunks)
3 teaspoons of butter
6 sprigs of thyme
Grated cheese (as little or as much as you like)
3 plain cracker or breadcrumbs
3 cups of milk
3 tablespoons of single cream
3 sprigs of parsley (to garnish)
Salt and pepper (to season)
Who knew you could make gratin with pumpkin?! Start by boiling the pumpkin. When soft enough, remove from heat and mash up. In a separate saucepan over low heat, place the butter and allow to melt. Add the chopped onions and let cook slightly (careful not to overcook). Turn the heat to medium, then add the fresh thyme and pumpkin flesh, stirring well. Pour in the milk and cream, and allow to cook. Next up, add the parsley and seasoning. Stir everything together. When all the water has been evaporated, remove from the pan. Finally, add a layer of cheese followed by a layer of crumbled crackers over the top. If you like, bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the top layer becomes golden then remove. Otherwise, serve as is. Pumpkin gratin looks especially pretty stuffed inside munchkin pumpkins.
POTATO, CARROT & PUMPKIN SOUP
1 small potato (diced)
1 carrot (diced)
1 munchkin pumpkin (diced)
1/4 cup celery (or spring onions)
Few sprigs of parsley (chopped up)
1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter
6 cups of water
A warm and soothing soup, perfect for the chilly weather. Toss the potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, celery (or spring onions) and parsley into a large pot of water. Boil for around 1 hour or until the vegetables are soft. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of olive oil. Remove from heat and pour into bowls, serving immediately.
For these dishes, I have specified using munchkin pumpkins but feel free to use a normal pumpkin or squash. The first recipe was created by me while the second and third were taken from my mother’s recipe.
Thanks for reading. I hope you try out these recipes. What’s your favourite way to eat pumpkins? Let me know in the comment section.