How to cook Pumpkin! Our 4 favourite Recipes July 31, 2017
From Kents to Butternut squashes, there’s a wonderful glut of these orange delights around at the moment. In honour of that plentiful bounty here’s how to cook pumpkin in four completely different ways!
As far as veg goes, the pumpkin is a pretty lovely little offering. Their magical ability to grow huge amounts overnight was enough to spark imaginative fantasies of bewitched carriages ferrying deserving young women the balls, or green curlicues adorning a patch of Halloween ready potential jack ‘o’ lanterns.
Not only do they pop up overnight and grow to enormous proportions, but pumpkins have cannily versatile properties as well – being just as at home in a sweet spiced pie as they are in a roast dinner. Now, enough chatting, let’s get to the cooking (and eating)!
Gluten Free Pumpkin Tart
- 3/4 cup almond meal
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbs macadamia or coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup water
- 260g Swiss brown mushrooms
- 3 cups cubed pumpkin
- 1 handful fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbs feta or cashew cheese
- 3 medium sized eshallots
- sea salt
- black pepper
- macadamia or coconut oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
- Place the pumpkin in a baking tray and drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and cook for 30 minutes until tender.
- Meanwhile, begin on the crust. Mix all the crust ingredients together in a bowl. Kneed the dough then transfer it to a well greased 8 inch loose bottomed tart case. Place it in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
- Start on the filling by cutting the mushrooms into thick slices and peeling then cutting any eshallots bulbs that are on the big side into bite sized pieces. Heat a good swig of oil in a frying pan, crush in the garlic and add the eshallots, sage leaves, mushrooms and a good pinch each of both salt and pepper. Cook on a medium to high heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Take the tart case and the pumpkin out of the oven, transfer the pumpkin to the pan with the mushrooms.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper, then add half the pumpkin/mushroom mixture. Pour it into the tart then top with leftover mix and the cheese. Turn the oven down to 180°C and cook in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the egg is set.
Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Pecan Croutons
This soup is so tasty and indulgent. With caramel notes of roasted pumpkin and pecans, you’ll be thinking you skipped mains and headed right for dessert. Luckily, it’s hearty and filling!
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 800 g peeled pumpkin
- 2 brown onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 bunches thyme
- 2 small sourdough rolls
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1 tbs sweet mustard spice blend
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cube vegetable stock
- 140g baby spinach leaves
- 200g Greek yoghurt
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced.
- Dice the peeled pumpkin into 1 cm chunks.
- Place the pumpkin chunks on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Coat in a drizzle of olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until soft and tender. Remove and set aside. Roasting the pumpkin will add an incredible sweet and nutty flavour to your soup.
- While the pumpkin is cooking, put half a kettle of water on to boil. Finely dice the brown onion. Crush the garlic. Pick the thyme leaves. Slice the sourdough into 1 cm cubes.
- Place the sourdough and the pecans on the second oven tray lined with baking paper and sprinkle over the thyme. Drizzle with olive oil, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and place in the oven to bake for 5 minutes, or until golden and toasted. Watch to make sure they don’t burn! Remove from the oven and set aside.
- While the croutons are cooking, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the brown onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the crushed garlic and the sweet mustard spice blend and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the roasted pumpkin and boiling water (check ingredients list for amount) and crumble in the vegetable stock cube. Stir to combine and dissolve the stock cube, then remove from the heat. Use a stick blender to pulse the mixture until thick and creamy. If you don’t have a stick blender you can use a potato masher, fork or blender.
- Remove from the heat to cool slightly then blend the soup in batches until smooth. Put the soup back over the heat and stir through the baby spinach leaves until wilted. Add a dash of boiling water if you prefer your soup slightly thinner and season to taste with a pinch of salt and pepper (if needed).
- Divide the roasted pumpkin soup between bowls. Top with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and a spoonful of pecan and sourdough croutons. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
This recipe is gluten free and relies on pumpkin puree for its amazing flavour. Pumpkin puree needs a little prep, but can made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a week or the freezer for up to 3 months, so its a great solution if you’ve got a lot of squash you need to use up!
How to cook Pumpkin Puree
To make pumpkin puree, place chopped pumpkin pieces on a lined baking tray with a little olive oil. Roast until the pieces are softened and a little browned. Then, blitz in a food processor while the pieces are still warm (this will help them break down easier). You can also buy tinned pumpkin puree, or prepare the pumpkin by boiling for 20 minutes, but we love the caramelised flavour you get when the pieces are roasted.
- 160g white rice flour
- 200g caster sugar
- 60g cornflour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cardamom seeds, without the shell
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 170g pure pumpkin puree
- 90ml vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 60ml orange juice
Cream cheese icing
- 100g very soft butter
- 100g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp orange juice (optional)
- 200g full fat cream cheese
- Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 muffin pans (24 cupcakes total) with paper liners.
- Whisk together white rice flour, granulated sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, ginger, and xanthan gum in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, eggs, and orange juice. Add pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
- Fill the prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake until cupcakes are golden brown and spring back to the touch, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with any remaining batter.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or handheld electric beaters, beat together cream cheese and butter until softened and creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip until light and smooth. Spread on cooled cupcakes (if you ice warm cupcakes, the icing will melt – trust us.) Store cupcakes, covered, on the bench or in the pantry for up to three days.
Tah-antilising Butternut Tahini Salad
Without tahini there would be no hummus (Nightmare!). But tahini has lots of other uses, it is often mixed with honey and spread on toast for a delicious breakfast! But here we are mixing it with lemon juice and a glug of olive oil to make a deliciously creamy dressing. Combined with the deliciously sweet butternut squash and a whole host of mouthwatering ingredients, this really is a winning recipe with pumpkin as its star.
- 1 Butternut Squash
- 1 tsp Chilli Flakes
- 2 sprigs Thyme
- 2 tbsp Tahini
- 1/2 Lemon
- 1 tbsp Sunflower Seeds
- 150g Fetta
- 5 tbsp Dried Cranberries
- 300g Watercress
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Slice the butternut squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Slice it widthways so it’s about 1cm thick (we want to be able to cook this nice and quickly).
- Place on a baking tray, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, the chilli flakes and the leaves of two sprigs of thyme (discarding the stalks). Season with ¼ tsp of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Place in the oven and cook for about 20 mins, or until the squash is cooked through (you can easily skewer it with a fork) and crisp on the outside.
- In the meantime get your delicious dressing and salad ready. Mix your tahini with the juice of half a lemon and 4 tbsp of olive oil. Season with 1/4 tsp of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Feel free to adjust to your own taste. It should have a wonderful deep nutty flavour.
- Pop your sunflower seeds into a pan (without any oil) and put on low heat for about 5 mins, moving the pan every now and then to turn them. You want to toast these to make them extra tasty. Watch them like a hawk – the last thing we want is for them to burn!
- In a bowl, crumble your fetta over the cranberries, add the watercress, toasted sunflower seeds and cover with three quarters of the tahini dressing. Give this a good toss.
- Plate up by placing the warm butternut squash over the watercress and cranberry salad. Drizzle the remaining dressing on top.
And there you have it! Our four favourite things to do with pumpkin. Which recipe will you be trying first?