Taste of the Week – October 25th-31st

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Roasted Pumpkin

In a technique I learned from Alex & Aki of Ideas in Food, this week I roasted two heirloom pumpkins from Sheldon Farms and used the pulp in a variety of dishes and I am not done yet. One of the dishes was a roasted pumpkin soup with roasted Belle de Boskoop apple, cream, chicken broth, lemongrass (from the Crescent City Farmers Market), garlic and toasted pine nuts. I really liked the blend of flavors, especially the pumpkin and lemongrass. In another dish, I mixed some of the pumpkin with some fresh sheep's milk ricotta from Dancing Ewe Farm and some caramelized pumpkin juice from the roasting process. The pumpkin flesh, just by itself, right out of the freshly roasted pumpkin was delicious too.

As for the technique, it couldn't be easier. Take a fresh, clean pumpkin, place it in an oven-safe pan with sides to support the pumpkin, poke holes in the top and roast for two hours at 350ºF. Once it cools enough to handle, simply take of the stem and peel back the skin, take a spoon and scoop out the flesh. Of course, the seeds can be used as well or saved. Using the seeds may require additional roasting to crisp them.

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4 Responses to Taste of the Week – October 25th-31st

  1. insane photographs! I see a book in your future… keep them coming doc

  2. Lucy says:

    Oooh, John, I will be trying this technique in my wood fired oven next weekend. I wonder if I should add some water to the bottom considering it might be a bit hotter than 350. Thanks for the inspiration on the soup. I just did a roasted pumpkin and beet soup with ginger and leeks, classic method of wedging it all and tossing it with oil and seasonings – lots of pumpkin of all kinds making the rounds in the vanel kitchen at the moment. Home made gnocchi & pumpkin has been my favorite this season.

  3. John Sconzo says:

    Lucy, knowing how well you cook and the quality of food that you have access to, I can only imagine how delicious these dishes must be! Rather than water, you might just put a non-stick coating on the pan. The pumpkin will release a lot of its own water during the roasting and especially when you start scooping. I have used this technique with Alex Aki in a charcoal grill and it worked beautifully there. The woodsmoke will likely add some interesting flavor notes too.

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