Halloween’s over and we’re all stuck with a doorstep full of pumpkins. Instead of just throwing them away, turn them into one of these delicious dishes:
1. Roast Pumpkin: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut around the stem of the pumpkin and remove the top (see above), then scoop out the seeds and drizzle the inside with olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Replace the top and put the whole pumpkin on a foil-lined baking sheet. Rub the outside of the pumpkin with oil so that it doesn’t burn, then roast it for about an hour, or until the pumpkin has some give when you touch the outside, at which point the flesh should be tender.
2. Pumpkin Soup: Follow this Curried Pumpkin Soup recipe, only use fresh pumpkin in place of canned. For a different take on pumpkin soup, replace the curry powder with 1 tsp each of cinnamon and ginger plus 1-2 Tbsp brown sugar. Then add a few peeled chopped apples in with the pumpkin. If you’re having company, make a killer presentation by serving this soup inside of roasted small pumpkins.
3. Pumpkin Fondue: I can’t get enough of this fantastic dish, my friend Kari’s take on Ruth Reichl’s amazing idea. Sage, cheese, cream, and pumpkin, all melted together in a perfect goo that was just made for slathering on a hunk of bread. YUM.
4. Pumpkin Mouse Pie. If you’d rather wait until Thanksgiving to make this dessert, simply roast your pumpkins using the directions above (but skip the salt & pepper), then scoop out all the pumpkin flesh and freeze it in an airtight container for the next few weeks. You can then turn it into this frozen pumpkin mousse pie, pumpkin pudding, or your favorite classic pumpkin pie.
5. Pumpkin Smoothie. Roast your pumpkins using the directions above, but use canola or another flavorless oil and skip the salt & pepper. Let cool, then place 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin in a blender with 1/2 cup low-fat milk, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1 Tbsp honey or agave syrup, a pinch of cinnamon, a dash of vanilla extract, and a cup of ice cubes. Blend until smooth.
**Pumpkin Mousse Pie image taken from www.eatingwell.com**
**Kari Lauritzen, who introduced me to Ruth Reichl’s fondue in a pumpkin, is my friend and fellow personal chef in Los Angeles**