Festivals are held in their honor and farmers truck in their prize specimens to compete for the largest, weightiest, and mightiest of them all! I love to decorate the table with the tiny ones…such perfect little replicas with all of the detail and such vibrant color!
I love the Fall Season! The weather changes, although arguably not much here in California and we begin to anticipate the family gatherings and events associated with harvest time! I am old enough to have been young enough to really appreciate and look forward to the annual Charlie Brown story of the Great Pumpkin by Charles Shultz! It is such a charming story and one that I looked forward to watching on TV with my own children!
On one Halloween evening, while watching the program we were gathered in the living room with the fireplace insert ablaze. We became aware of a wonderful aroma of something baking! I was confused as I was the only baker in the family and I wasn’t responsible for this enjoyable treat … soon it became evident that our carved pumpkin having been placed on display on the unlit insert earlier in the day was now baking nicely!
Baking or roasting is the preferred method of cooking pumpkins which pare naturally with a lot of my favorite ingredients; apples, bacon, cinnamon, onions, mushrooms, thyme and walnuts. Although pies and baked goods are most commonly associated with pumpkin recipes there are also many other ways to use the colorful flesh of the great pumpkin in the kitchen!
Imagine how wonderful Chefs George Germon and Johanne Killeen’s Pumpkin and Potato-Filled Free-Form Lasagna with Black-Olive Butter might taste! While not as complex, you may want to try these interesting options for pumpkins:
Black Bean and Roasted Pumpkin Salad
- 2 cups cubed pumpkin
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained rinsed, drained
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup sliced red onion
- ¼ cup sliced cucumber
- ¼ cup sliced celery
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Roast the pumpkin: Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss pumpkin in 2 tablespoons olive oil with garlic and place in a glass baking dish. Drizzle 3 tablespoons water in dish and bake until softened, 20 minutes. Removed and cool.
- Prepare the salad: Combine black beans, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, celery, and parsley in a large bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Add cooled pumpkin, toss gently, and serve.
Author: Kim Stakal
Published: July 19, 2010
Roasted Pumpkin Lasagna
- 2 Cups Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Egg, scrambled
- 1 sugar Pumpkin or Butternut Squash
- ½ medium-sized onion, white or yellow, chopped
- ½ cup vegetable or chicken stock/ water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Sage, dried 1/8 teaspoon or fresh chopped ¼ teaspoon
- ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella
- Olive Oil
- 1 Box of Lasagna noodles
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring water to a boil and then add the lasagna noodles.
- Meanwhile, while the noodles are cooking, peel, deseed, and chop up the sugar pumpkin or squash, half an onion, and coat all with oil, salt, and brown sugar, and ¼ teaspoon sage and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast at 375 degrees F for 10- 14 minutes. When the pumpkin is fully cooked, add the garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Take out and allow to cool a little.
- Scoop the pumpkin into a blender filling half-way each time and pureeing until smooth. Empty the contents into a bowl.
- Separately, combine and stir the two cups ricotta, the mixed egg, ¼ cup parmesan, 1 cup of the mozzarella, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg in a bowl with a couple pinches of salt and a sprinkle of pepper.
- Drain the noodles when done cooking according to the directions on the package.
- Begin layering the lasagna by putting some oil on the bottom of the baking dish. Then add a layer of pumpkin, then add a layer of noodles, then add a layer of the ricotta and mozzarella mixture, another layer of noodles, pumpkin mixture, and so on, alternating ricotta mixture and pumpkin layers. The top should be noodles, cover with the remaining shredded mozzarella and the rest of the parmesan and drizzle with oil. Cover with baking dish with foil.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional five minutes.
Author: Melissa Bump Published August 2011