All things pumpkin.....
First lets learn a bit more about the humble pumpkin…..
1. The word ‘pumpkin’ comes from the Greek word, pepon, which means large melon
2. Pumpkins originated in Central America and are actually a fruit
3. Native Americans grew and ate pumpkins long before the pilgrims arrived and taught the pilgrims how to grow and prepare them
4. Pumpkins grow everywhere except Antarctica
5. They are nutrient rich, low calorie and contain lots of anti-oxidants
6. The yellow-orange pumpkin flowers are edible – like zucchini flowers
7. Pumpkins were once considered a remedy for freckles and snakebite
8. No matter what type you grow they will never ever turn into a Cinderella coach
We had pumpkin plants dotted around everywhere this year at the chateau which resulted in a bumper crop of all shapes and sizes. There are big ugly warty looking ones, smooth green skinned ones and cheery orange ones and I’m still working out whether it makes a difference which type of pumpkin you use for a particular recipe.
Many pumpkin recipes use canned pumpkin which is often made with squash but its not hard to make your own delicious pumpkin puree. The secret is to extract as much water as possible. First wash and cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and roast in the oven @ 180oC until the flesh is soft. Then remove the cooked flesh from the skin and drain it in a colander overnight. You will be amazed at how much liquid comes out. If it still looks a bit watery or runny you can put the puree into a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until you get the consistency you want.
-- FINISHED PUMPKIN GNOCCHI WITH TOMATO SAUCE --
Whilst I love roast pumpkin and pumpkin soup, one of my favourite things is pumpkin gnocchi. It’s easy to make and freezes well. One of those fab things to have in the freezer as you can cook it straight from the freeze and make a sauce with whatever you happen to have on hand.
With Thanksgiving around the corner we also thought it might be fun to experiment with some fun dessert options. So whether you have a plethora of pumpkins or a single one hiding in the vegetable drawer here are some delicious recipes to try. Don't forget to share some pics of your pumpkin creations. Bon Appetit!!!