I love October, with all its orange glory, but if there is one thing that bothers me is those who think that big pumpkins can’t be eaten and so they carve them instead and waste ten pounds of food! So for this Pumpkin Tuesday I will show you how to roast a pumpkin. It’s so easy and you will have so much pumpkin on your hands you may turn orange with all the vitamin A you are getting!
Start by heating your oven to 400 degrees.
Begin by cutting a hole in the top of your pumpkin.
Scoop out all the seeds and loose fibers. Make sure to save those seeds for roasting. Jump down to the end if you already know how to roast a pumpkin and want the recipe for making roasted pumpkin seeds.
Cut the pumpkin in half and then half again to make quarters. Place the quarters on a baking sheet. At this point some people will say to put salt and olive oil on the pumpkin but I leave mine plain because I always turn it into a purée and want to leave it without salt for making sweet things like pumpkin pie. Place the pumpkin on the baking sheet into the oven and roast for one hour.
At an hour check to see if the pumpkin is very soft; we’re talking cut it with a spoon (or better yet, a silicone spatula) soft. If your pumpkin is done, take it out and let it cool enough to handle. Now you can process it anyway you want. I usually do a purée and freeze it; to do that just remove the skin (which should come off no problem) and place pumpkin flesh into a food processor and blend until smooth. From this pumpkin I got 4 quarts of purée!
Roast Curry Pumpkin Seeds
pumpkin seeds from your pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt or to taste
When you take your pumpkin seeds out of the pumpkin place them in a large bowl. Fill the bowl with enough water that the seeds float and have room to move around.
Now comes the fun part, especially for little hands, which is removing the pumpkin fibers. With your hands remove all the clumps of pumpkin fiber from the seeds. You need to pluck out seeds from the fibers as well.
Once you have removed as many of the stringy fibers as you can, remove the seeds using a slotted spoon and place them on a towel to dry. This may take an hour or two depending on your climate. Once the seeds are dry place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Toss them with all the seasoning and drizzle some olive oil or pumpkin seed oil over the top and mix again. Place in the over at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Watch the seeds as they will burn easy. In fact my oven doesn’t heat evenly and I burned the back half of the batch! When the seeds are done they will be crunchy and slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool, then place in a bowl and enjoy. They won’t last long!