Friday, October 31, 2008
The simple beauty of the pumpkin. The color, the shape and the whimsy it evokes this time of year makes the big gourd a great looking decoration inside or out. After the Halloween party, think green and turn your pumpkin into an edible treat like pumpkin bread or pumpkin soup or pumpkin pie or pumpkin mousse or pumpkin pasta sauce or pumpkin compost!
And, when you carve your pumpkin, don't forget to pull out the seeds for roasting. This works best as soon as you've removed them. Rinse the seeds in cold water and pat them dry. Place the seeds in a single layer on a well-oiled baking sheet. Toss the seeds to coat then. Sprinkle with salt and bake at 325 degrees until toasted (about 30 to 40 minutes). Check and gently stir the seeds at 10 minute intervals. Allow to cool and serve to your carving party or store in an airtight container.
From Radio Kitchen, broadcast by an NPR affiliate, here are instructions to help transform your pumpkin:
To use the pumpkin, you'll want to make a puree. Cut the pumpkin in half, and scoop out the seeds and membrane. Place face down in a baking dish in about 1 inch of water. Bake at 350 for up to 90 minutes, assuring meltingly soft flesh. Scoop out the flesh and put it in a food processor with a little butter. Puree until smooth. You'll get about one cup puree for each pound of flesh.