Although prettier than your average halloween pumpkin, these little blue treasures are much more than ornamental. Heirlooms, these pumpkin seeds have been passed down for generations because of their fine flavor and cooking qualities. To begin with, many cooks are familiar with following a pumpkin recipe that starts with “open a can of pumpkin puree.” If you want to use your pumpkin, you’ll need to back up one step and make your own puree. It’s not complicated. Smash your pumpkin (don’t try this on your countertop; I give this job to one of my kids: take it outside and throw it down on the sidewalk or driveway. ) Once opened, remove seeds and bake at 350 until soft. Scoop out meat of pumpkin, and throw away the outer skins. You can now put in a blender or cuisinart to perfect your puree. From here, you can follow any pumpkin recipe. This pumpkin makes a fine pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffin, pumpkin pie or pumpkin gravy. A winter squash, you can enjoy the ornamental qualties of your pumpkin today, and eat it a month or two down the road if you’d like. Unlike summer squashes, winter squashes, particularly the heirloom varieties, can be stored.
Here’s the super easy soup recipe:
Directly from the shell of the pumpkin, place cooked pumpkin in Vitamix or other blender with a clove of garlic, very small amount of grated Jalapeno, a few macadamia nuts, milk, dash of olive oil, salt to taste. Blend. Adjust thickness with more milk if necessary. Heat, and pour into separate bowls. Crumble a few macadamia nuts on top of each serving if you’d like.