Don't just throw that flesh away. Go crazy with orange soups, risottos, pies, curries, cannelloni and even marmalade!
Reports claim that people in the UK aren't too keen on doing much with the insides of their Halloween pumpkins once they've been carved.
A whopping 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin and squash innards are estimated to be thrown away around Halloween every year, says the Pumpkin Rescue campaign. Imagine how many pumpkin pies you could make with that!
Here are some great recipes to make with those innards, abandoned or otherwise.
The vibrant orange colour is one of the best things about Jose Pizarro’s soup (pictured above). Roast your pumpkin chunks with garlic and rosemary first, then puree to a smooth consistency. Ladle into four warmed bowls, and serve with a slice of blue cheese toast on top and a drizzle of olive oil.
An Indo-Iraqi soupy stew, made by veggie brothers Adrian and Michael Daniel. It’s traditionally served for the Jewish New Year, and is brimming with squash, tomatoes, celery, lemons, fresh mint, shelled almonds and root ginger. Serve in big bowls with rice on the side.
A fragrant, creamy risotto flavoured with white wine, goats’ cheese, chopped sage and parmesan. This recipe was created by Head Chef at Fifteen Cornwall Andy Appleton, to celebrate the restaurant’s fifth birthday. Roasting the squash first really brings out the flavour.
A warm and spiced pumpkin pie, made aromatic with ginger, cinnamon, star anise, allspice and, surprisingly, a pinch of black pepper. You can either buy your pumpkin puree, or make your own by baking a small pumpkin, scraping out the sweet flesh, and blitzing.
Use baby pumpkins, or ‘tinda’, in your curry for their sweet, sharp, citrusy taste. If you can’t find it in Asian stores, use tinned tinda instead or young marrows and round courgettes (normal courgettes are too watery). You’ll also need ghee, mustard seeds, dry mango powder and root ginger.
Oranges, lemons, fresh ginger root and, of course, plenty of pumpkin make for an original spread for your morning toast. You could also try it with scones and cream, or use as a flan filling. Pumpkin is particularly good for making jams and marmalades because it absorbs sugar beautifully.
Simply pumpkin cooked with cracked coriander, cumin seeds and a spicy dry masala. Turmeric, ground chilli, and slow-cooked onions are essential, as are tomatoes, garlic and corn oil. Stir through fresh coriander to finish, and serve in warmed bowls with a little yoghurt.
Chef Bill Granger travelled all the way to the Isle of Wight to find the perfect pumpkin for his cannelloni recipe. Fill your pasta tubes with pumpkin infused with thyme and dried chilli, then pour over a rich cheese sauce to complete the dish. Finish with parmesan and bake until bubbling.
This pumpkin risotto is perfect midweek fare – it’s not expensive, yet it’s nutritious and filling with no need for any side dishes. You’ll need thyme, wedges of pumpkin, onions, garlic, marjoram, gorgonzola cheese, red chicory, grated parmesan and broken walnuts.
An interesting risotto recipe, including Jersey Royal Pearl Potatoes and diced butternut squash. Slices of chorizo sausage add intensity and colour to the dish, and you should finish it with chunks of goat’s cheese and toasted butternut squash seeds. Serve with a green salad.
How do you cook your squash and pumpkin? Let us know in the Comments below.
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