In the past few years, the American consumer knows that Autumn is here by the number of pumpkin-flavored food items that become available. Starbucks has led the charge with its pumpkin-flavored lattes and now (delicious, trust me) pumpkin frappucinos. There are also pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin cereal, and pumpkin M&Ms. But all this obscures the true nature of the pumpkin: it’s a respectable food on its own merits, never mind the spicing and sweetening.
Looking for a pumpkin flavored dish? Here are some random ones.
|New York-style pumpkin chowder
Paella with chicken livers and brown rice cooked in a traditional Peruvian pumpkin pan
Stir-fried beef tenderloin and fish in a spicy Szechuan pumpkin sauce
Casserole of layered pumpkin and gelatinous sea cucumber
Pumpkin noodles topped with ground goat, served in a pistachio nut-pumpkin gravy
Basic rolled crepes, filled with breaded, toasted pumpkin
Creamy pumpkin cheesecake flavored with red wine syrup
Stir-fried duck and clams served with 100-year-old pumpkin
Omelet made with mashed beef brisket, pumpkin, and wheatberries
Pumpkin-infused turkey prepared whole with fresh cherries
Pumpkin and broad bean ice cream
Chicken breasts stuffed with bleu cheese and pumpkin, slow-baked in a clay oven
Sandwich of thin-sliced prawns on a crusty roll with southwestern pumpkin mustard
Basic Cooked Pumpkin
Butter or olive oil
Quarter pumpkin and scoop out seeds and stringy pulp. Place skin side down in a baking pan lined with aluminum foil. In each hollow place a generous pat of butter, or olive oil if you prefer a more savory taste. Sprinkle with salt. Roast at 400 degrees to desired level of softness, using a fork to test. Usually takes 40 minutes.
Pumpkin is a good side dish served hot. You can also make tacos out of it or even use cold and sliced in salads. If mashed for baking use, use butter instead of olive oil.