It’s always tempting to put that big fat pumpkin in your shopping basket and when in season, it can be incredibly cheap. But the conundrum is how do we use it all?!
Pumpkin flesh has a high-water content so roasting helps dry it out and concentrate the flavour.
Savoury recipes: Peel and remove seeds then cut into chunks. Brush with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place on a large, lined baking tray and roast uncovered at 180°C fan bake until tender, about 30-40 minutes.
Sweet recipes: Place on the tray without oil and seasonings, cover with foil and cook until tender.
Crunchy Cornflake Crumbed Pumpkin Schnitzel: Who says schnitzel must just be meat! Delicious served as a decidedly different take on brunch with crispy bacon, use as a burger filling or a vegetarian option for dinner.
Cut 1 kilogram peeled and seeded crown pumpkin into 2cm thick slices. Combine ½ cup plain flour, 2 teaspoons each smoked paprika and ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and grind of pepper in a shallow dish. Put 2 whisked eggs and 2 tablespoons chipotle or barbecue sauce in another dish and put 2 cups crushed cornflakes and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds in a third dish.
Coat the pumpkin in flour mixture then the whisked egg. Coat in the cornflakes pressing it on so it’s well covered. Place on a lightly oiled baking tray and spray or drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 170°C fan bake for about 20-25 minutes, turning once during cooking until tender and golden. Top with a grating of parmesan while still hot if desired.
Hearty Pumpkin soup: Serve this creamy pumpkin soup with fat fingers of cheese toasties for dipping.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan with 2 sliced onions, 2 grated carrots, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 1 kilogram roughly chopped, peeled pumpkin, salt and pepper. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir in
1 teaspoon each ground ginger, cumin, and curry powder and ¼ teaspoon each ground cinnamon and chilli flakes. Add 400-gram tin crushed tomatoes and 4 cups stock. Bring to the boil, then partially cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Additions: Drained and rinsed tinned beans; Use chickpeas, cannellini, black, red or butter beans. Frozen sweetcorn kernels. Stir in a spoonful of almond butter, peanut butter or tahini. Take out the spices and replace with a good dollop of laksa paste and some coconut cream. Top with roasted sunflower seeds, pumpkin and sesame seeds.
Pumpkin and Cheese Baked Gnocchi: The ultimate comfort food. It doesn’t get much tastier than this little number and it’s super easy to put together.
Peel 800 grams pumpkin, cut into ½cm thick slices and put in a large bowl along with 1 very thinly sliced red onion. Cook 500 grams purchased potato gnocchi, toss with a little olive oil and add to the pumpkin. Whisk together 1½ cups cream, ½ cup stock, 2 cloves crushed garlic, ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg, finely grated zest 1 lemon, 1 cup grated mozzarella, ½ cup freshly grated parmesan, 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary or thyme and 2 egg yolks. Season well with salt and pepper. Pour over the pumpkin mixture and combine.
Tip into a large ovenproof baking dish and spread evenly. Top with a generous grating parmesan, salt and pepper. Bake at 180°C fan bake for about 40 minutes or until golden, bubbling and the pumpkin is tender.
Pumpkin and Spice Hotcakes: These lightly spiced hotcakes could easily become a family favourite. Serve with a generous pour of maple syrup, a dollop of mascarpone and chopped roasted pecans or walnuts.
Combine 1 packed cup mashed plain roasted pumpkin, 1 cup milk, 2 large eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. In another bowl whisk together 1½ cups plain flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon each ground ginger, nutmeg and sea salt and ¼ teaspoon ground allspice. Add the wet ingredients and stir together. Melt a little butter in a pan and cook 1/3 cupful’s of batter for about 3 minutes each side until golden and puffed.
Pumpkin Cupcakes: Top with your favourite cream cheese frosting and candied pumpkin seed brittle then stand aside!
Whisk together 1 packed cup, plain cooked mashed pumpkin, ½ cup each caster sugar and brown sugar, 2 large eggs and ½ cup rice bran oil.
Combine 1 cup plain flour, 1 teaspoon each baking powder and cinnamon, ½ teaspoon each baking soda, salt, ground ginger and nutmeg in a large bowl. Pour onto the wet ingredients and gently fold together. Divide between well-greased muffin tins or line with paper cases and cook at 180°C regular bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool.