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Thursday, October 22, 2009

how to roast a pumpkin

Many people are asking me how to roast a pumpkin and some are asking "why cant i just use a can".

Take a small orange pumpkin. Large jack o lantern pumpkins are not for eating, besides the seeds. The large ones are bitter, stringy and are not terribly desirable except for carving and designing. Most farmers and stores refer to the small orange pumpkins as "sugar pie" pumpkins, quite easy to find all over the US in the fall as well as in many other countries.

Cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds (save them, clean them and roast them for more delights) and scoop out the stringy, gooey part.

Rub the inside of the pumpkin with a very small amount of sea salt (this helps the vegetable to caramelize). Place face up in a roasting pan, add a half cup water to the bottom of the roasting pan, and cover the pan tightly.

Place in preheated 425 oven and roast for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool and peel the skin. The pumpkin can now be mashed with a potato masher or put in a food processor to puree.
Now you have roasted pureed pumpkin, ready to go into a slew of amazing fall dishes such as gnocchi, breads (savory and sweet), pie, cookies, and whatever else your culinary imagination can conjure up.

Now for the seeds!
After removing the seeds, you will want to rinse them and dry them off. Then pay them on a small baking pan in a single layer. sprinkle sea salt on them and a very small amount of safflower oil. Roast at 400 for 5-10 minutes, watching them to make sure they do not burn. These are a great snack by themselves or you can further season them. Or you can grind them down to use in a variety of dishes as well

Of course you can use a can; assuming you prefer bad flavor and have an insatiable desire to create as much pollution and use as much energy as possible every time you eat. If those are your priorities, head to your local megamart and stock up on cans. For those who prefer better flavors, less support of the corporate structure and having their daily lives have less impact on the world, simply follow these easy instructions and you will have some amazing pumpkin to work with to feed your friends and family.

Food comes from the earth, not a box or can!

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