Cooking with Pumpkins

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by Rita Calvert, the Local Cook

Okay, now let’s stop talking and get cooking with all of that great produce just singing the fall song and calling your name. Scroll on down the post a bit and you’ll see a very informative pumpkin primer that Michelle (The Pumpkin Pro) put together for Homestead Gardens. When I chatted with her she educated me about the “Long Necks” and that you get the most bang for the buck because all of that neck is treasure without any seeds.

 

First start with this scrumptious salad; unique and so satisfying. Carry on through your pumpkin cookery with a very cool and simple bread that makes use of a seasonal beer and adds flax seeds for extra fiber and nutrition.

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Warm Pumpkin and chickpea Salad with Tahini

This warm salad has lots of textures and tastes bouncing off each other. Tahini is an oily paste made from pounded sesame seeds. It has a rich, nutty flavor and is used throughout the Middle East. 

2¼lb pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp ground allspice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ small red onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tahini sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed to a paste with salt
3½ tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini paste
2 tablespoons water, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
 

Preheat the oven to 425F.
Toss the pumpkin with the garlic, allspice, olive oil and some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on a tray in the oven for about 15-25 minutes or until soft. Remove and cool. While the pumpkin is cooking, make the tahini sauce. Mix the crushed garlic with the lemon juice and add the tahini. Thin with water and olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. You should taste a balance between the nutty tahini and lemon.

To assemble the salad, place the pumpkin, chickpeas, red onion and coriander in a mixing bowl. Pour on the tahini sauce and toss carefully. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.

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Pumpkin-Honey Beer Quick Bread

2 loaves, 14 servings per loaf 

Give the second loaf away, or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two months. Ground flaxseed and water add moisture to the batter for a smooth-textured bread.

14.6  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 3 1/4 cups)
2  teaspoons  salt
2  teaspoons  baking soda
1  teaspoon  baking powder
1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
1  teaspoon  pumpkin pie spice
1/2  cup  water
1/3  cup  ground flaxseed
2 1/2  cups  sugar
2/3  cup  canola oil
2/3  cup  honey beer (at room temperature)
1/2  cup  egg substitute
2  large eggs
1  (15-ounce) can pumpkin
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, salt, and next 4 ingredients (through pumpkin pie spice) in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk.
Combine 1/2 cup water and flaxseed.
Place sugar and next 4 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well blended. Add flaxseed mixture and pumpkin; beat at low speed just until blended. Add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Divide batter between 2 (9 x 5–inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

from Cooking Light

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