I read in the newspaper today that enough pumpkins will be bought in the UK in the week running up to Halloween to provide two bowls of pumpkin soup for every man, woman and child in the land.
Sadly though, most of these gorgeous courges are thrown away after the 'celebrations' - and not eaten at all.
Well, it's time to tempt people to use up those pumpkins before they rot in the dustbin.
I've updated my cucurbit repertoire to try and do just that.
Roasted pumpkin/squash/courge is always a good place to start so, put a tray of sliced squash in the oven at 200 degrees to roast with any other veg you like- onions, garlic, parsnips, tomatoes, peppers etc- a good glug of olive oil, salt, pepper and plenty of herbs- and after 40 minutes or so you have a tray of delicious, caramelized veg to go with any meat dish as a side.
|Prepare your squash for roasting|
The leftovers mash up nicely with a bit of potato to top a Parmentier (Shepherds, Cottage, Duck confit or Haggis- you can find the recipes on the blog using the labels or search button or click on these links)
If you are clever, you can roll them up into these spirals and serve them as a veggie alternative to sausages on Bonfire Night. Just keep brushing them with melted marge or butter to keep them easy to shape.
|Butternut Catherine Wheels|
(Photo courtesy of Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook)
Talking of sausages, this traybake is a simple and substantial family meal:
|Sausage and Squash Traybake|
To bring the pumpkins up to date- try roasting them with miso paste to give them a rich, umami flavour:
|Miso roasted Squash|
1kg of squash- peeled and chopped into chunks
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp mirin (or dry sherry)
2 tbsp miso paste
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp golden caster sugar or honey
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper
2. Spread the chunks of veg out on the tray evenly and bake for 20-25 minutes
3. Mix together the mirin, miso and sugar or honey and add in the sesame oil
4. Brush over the squash with a pastry brush until well coated and all the mixture used up
5 Bake for a further 10 minutes until golden brown and bubbling
6 Scatter the sesame seeds over just before serving.
This is nice served with greens, plain rice and salmon.
And finally, I was served this Thai-inspired Butternut soup last week. It is simple- but beyond delicious:
1 kg chopped squash
1 large clove of garlic
3 cm piece of root ginger
300ml coconut milk
12 cooked prawns
2 tsp sesame oil
1 bunch spring onions
1 finely chopped chilli
1. Peel and slice the squash into cubes
2. Reserve some of the green parts of the spring onions for decoration- and chop the rest.
3. Place in a heavy saucepan and soften in some vegetable oil over a moderate heat
|Gently fry your squash|
5. Grate the lemon zest, lime zest and ginger and add to the mix
|Grate your ginger, garlic, lime and lemon zest|
7. Add 700 ml boiling water and leave to simmer
8. Peel the prawns and place in a marinade of lime juice, half the chopped chilli and the sesame oil
|Marinade those prawns!|
10. Adjust seasoning and then pour into bowls
11. Decorate with the prawns, chopped spring onion, chopped chilli and the remaining marinade drizzled over.
|Thai-inspired Prawn and Buttenut Soup|
|Please enjoy your pumpkins responsibly!|