Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkins are good for so much more than just slicing into scary or cute faces. Chockfull of vitamin a, beta carotene, fiber and potassium, it's also quite low in calories, making it an excellent addition to any meal. Pumpkin is a versatile vegetable, showing up in such diverse offerings as stews, muffins and biscuits. I've put together an interesting roundup that includes all sorts of dishes, with the exception of pumpkin pie. I figured those are pretty easy to come by so the space would be better spent on something more unusual like risotto.

This first recipe no doubt takes the longest to prepare, but probably also lasts the longest. The brew site posted this recipe for pumpkin ale. The author, Jon, says it's important to use fresh pumpkin instead of canned, but then goes on to clarify in the comments that ale from canned pumpkins can still taste good, it's just going to be quite a lot messier than fresh. (He also says he doesn't have sparging equipment. I've no idea what that means but I think any hobby that calls for sparging equipment is a hobby to be considered.)

This Caramelised Roast Pumpkin Risotto recipe is absolutely gorgeous. It's a vegetarian recipe, but does contain dairy so you'll want to make adjustments if you're looking for vegan dishes. The author links to a page with risotto basics so if you're new to fixing this delicious rice based dish don't worry; it's all very simple and clear.

This recipe is for Spicy pumpkin idli (Kumbalkayi idli). There is also a link on the page to a Konkani pumpkin idli(dudde kadamb), which is more sweet and less spice. There are some good tips in the comment thread, including a link to a page with pumpkin peeling tips. Shilpa, the author, points out that you don't have to peel the pumpkin at all. Once you slice it up you can hold it by the side with the peel and grate the flesh. So simple and so smart.

This recipe for Japanese-Style Pumpkin with Ground Pork calls for a Japanese pumpkin called a kabocha, which isn't just high in the nutrients I listed above, it's also got loads of delicious, life giving iron. If you can't find kabocha you can substitute either a regular pumpkin or butternut squash. A recipe for perfect Japanese rice follows the ground pork and pumpkin recipe.

Gingerbread is delicious. Pumpkin is delicious. Therefore, mathematically speaking, shouldn't Pumpkin Gingerbread be delicious squared? The author of the blog, Jen, describes the different results she attained by adding an acidic ingredient and alternating between baking powder and baking soda. By using one she ended up with more of a cake texture, while the other gave her a more traditional bread density. Both recipes plus the powder/soda discussion are found on the link above.

This traditional recipe for Pumpkin Filled Tortelli has masses of carbs, which makes it great for runners and terrible for adherents of the Atkins eating plan. One of the odder ingredients, in my opinion, is macaroons, something I don't recall eating in ravioli before. This recipe is classified as difficult but how hard can it be when the macaroons have already been made? It can't be any harder than say, rebuilding an engine or designing a sweater, can it?

Here's an intriguing recipe from Jim (who also knits, go Jim!) for pumpkin bacon cream pasta. My first reaction to this dish was "These ingredients must never be combined." But then I thought why not? If you can have bacon and cream in your pasta, which is perfectly acceptable in many carbonara sauce recipes, why not add pumpkin? If I can make beef stroganoff with mushrooms instead of beef then surely a little pumpkin in your pasta sauce is no great sin.

To my surprise I realized I found so many interesting recipes that if I include them all in this one column it will be ridiculously long. Therefore I'm going to split it into two and continue with the pumpkin dishes when we reconvene next week. Until then, happy cooking.

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