Monday, October 16, 2017

ChezCindy: Roasted Pumpkin Squash

Roasted Pumpkin Wedges

Pumpkins can be roasted in the same manner as any other squash, such as butternut or acorn.  The exterior pumpkin skin is such a vibrant orange color, yet when the skin is peeled away, the interior flesh is surprisingly pale in color.  You will want to choose small pumpkins, often named as Sugar or Pie pumpkins.  The larger pumpkins used for jack-o-lanterns are too tough and fibrous.  If you are lucky enough to find the heirloom variety pumpkins at a farm market, look for Long Island Cheese pumpkin, with pale yellow-orange skin, or the Cinderella pumpkin, more squat in shape resembling the carriage in the Disney story Cinderella. 

To roast the pumpkin, wash the pumpkin and dry it well.  Working on a stable cutting board that will hold its place on the counter, lay the pumpkin on its side; cut across the top about an inch away from the stem to remove the top.  The top can be roasted for presentation, but I usually toss it out.

Cut the pumpkin into quarters, remove the seeds and fibers.  The pumpkin quarters can be roasted with the skin on, or cut away the skin and cut the quarters into large 1-inch cubes.  Place the pumpkin onto a large rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil, rubbing the oil over the pumpkin flesh to coat lightly with the oil.  Season with salt and pepper, adding herbs as desired.  Pumpkins go well with fresh sage, rosemary and thyme.

Have the oven preheated to 375 degrees.  Place the sheet tray into the hot oven, roasting the pumpkin for 45-55 minutes, stirring once during the cooking time.  The pumpkin should be tender when pierced with a fork and lightly browned.  Remove the sheet tray from the oven, allow the pumpkin to cool on the tray.  If you have not already removed the skin prior to roasting, remove it when cool enough to handle, as the skin is not meant to be eaten.

The roasted pumpkin can be served as a side dish tossed with butter and salt.  Puree the pumpkin for making ravioli filling, or cube into small bite-size pieces adding to grains or soups.  Below is a link for roasted pumpkin with quinoa and kale. 

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