You can use pumpkin for every meal of the day, from a lovely soup for your lunch to roasted seeds as a snack. There are plenty of ways to cook pumpkin this autumn that will take you back to childhood.
Sometimes I have this overwhelming feeling of wanting to go back to my childhood and just get stuck there. And this feeling grows stronger during autumn. When this happens, I feel like I’m in my parents’ yard and I’m smelling the chrysanthemums. The sun is going down and spreading an orange light. It’s a little cold, so I get into the kitchen, where my mom is cooking. It smells like roasted pumpkin, it’s warm and comfortable.
I guess now, that I’m a grown-up, I am the sum of my memories. That’s why I try to create the same comfortable feeling for my daughter. So, each fall I love to make roasted pumpkin, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin soup. We also carve pumpkins for Halloween, but that’s another story.
There are many ways to cook pumpkin so we suggest you try each of them and to enjoy fall flavors!
5 simple ways to cook pumpkin
1. Roasted pumpkin
My mom would cut the pumpkin into large slices and scoop out the seeds, rinse and let them dry. Then she preheated the oven and just threw the pumpkin slices on a baking tray. That was all! No spices, no sugar, no vegetable oil, nothing!
You can roast pumpkin many ways. Cut thin slices or medium cubes – in this case, you should peel the pumpkin –, and rub them with some olive oil. For a salty touch, you can add sea salt, Garam masala, cumin powder, curry powder, or garlic. If you want a sweet snack, add brown sugar and cinnamon.
2. Classic pumpkin pie
The hardest part when making pumpkin pie is the crust. Still, we suggest you don’t buy it, but make it at home. You’ll only need a few ingredients that are not expensive at all: all-purpose flour, butter, vegetable shortening, water, some sugar, and a pinch of salt. The rest is history: grate the pumpkin flesh and cook it along with brown sugar and cinnamon. If you want, you can also add nutmeg or crushed walnuts. Then assemble the pie and bake it!
3. Pumpkin soup
Boiled pumpkin blends perfectly into a thick, orange soup. Of course, you can experiment with many recipes, but you can also make it the simple way, with onion, heavy cream, and stock. Choose the spices to taste. Be brave and try a lemongrass and ginger combo. You can serve the soup with croutons, seed mix, blue cheese, parmesan, or pancetta.
4. Warm salad
Basically, if you know how to make roasted pumpkin – and now you definitely do! – and you are a creative person, you can make an amazing warm salad! Roast the pumpkin, then play with ingredients: combine warm pumpkin with pine nuts, feta and spinach; bocconcini, rocket salad, prosciutto, and croutons; baby spinach, shallot, blue cheese, walnuts, almonds, and peanuts, or choose your personal combo!
5. Roasted pumpkin seeds
Remember how my mom scooped out the seeds from the pumpkin, rinsed them and let them dry? To roast them you can toss them with a few drops of vegetable oil and salt, spread them out on a baking sheet, and then place them in the oven, on low heat, for about 45 minutes until they are crisp and golden brown. You can also simmer them first in salted water, then let them dry and roast. Other spices that work are pepper and paprika powder. Or just skip the salt and simply roast them. Pumpkin seeds make a great snack!