I have an abundance of self-sown pumpkins growing right next to the cow paddock and I need to use them up.
Pumpkin soup is an obvious choice, but what else can you do with pumpkins?
You can roast them covered in maple syrup and put them into salads. Grate them and make fritters, put roasted pumpkin into a risotto, puree steamed pumpkin and fill ravioli or layer in between lasagne with a pureed spinach or rocket to make a vegetable lasagne or roll them up in fresh lasagne sheets to make cannelloni.
Of course there are always pumpkin scones, pumpkin and pecan pie and left over roasted pumpkin fried up with any other left over vegies to make bubble and squeak for a weekend brekkie
Enjoy these quick and easy pumpkin recipes and I would love to hear from you if you have any other ideas to use up pumpkins or any feedback on the recipes.
If you are in the far north coast of NSW tune in to 94.5FM ABC Northcoast radio tomorrow morning from 8.30am to 9.30am. I will be cooking in the studio on Graeme Stuarts Saturday morning programme with Phil Dudman the Garden Guru. If you have any questions on growing pumpkins or any other garden queries you can go to Phils website thegardenguru.com.au
Pumpkin and fennel soup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon green curry paste (optional)
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, deseeded and finely chopped
1 large fennel, trimmed and finely chopped
1 kg pumpkin, peeled and chopped in 1cm pieces
1 litre chicken stock
200gms natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon basil pesto
Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat, add curry paste (if using), stir and cook for 1 minute.
Add the vegetables and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.
Add stock, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
Combine the yoghurt and pesto. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and swirl through yoghurt pesto. Serve with garlic bread.
Tips: if not using green curry paste add 1 clove crushed garlic with the vegetables.
Vegetable stock can be used instead of chicken stock
You can swirl through any style of pesto, rocket, coriander, and capsicum, whatever you have on hand.
Choose thick and creamy natural yoghurt.
Middle Eastern pumpkin and sweet corn fritters with avocado salsa
This is a simple meal or lunchbox snack for the kids.
1 cup coarsely grated pumpkin, skin and seeds removed
1 cup fresh corn
Olive oil for frying
Greek style yoghurt to serve
200g besan flour (available at health food shops)
1 teaspoon bi-carbonate soda
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch cayenne pepper
Freshly ground pepper
1 avocado, peeled, seed removed and diced into small cubes
Juice of a lime
1 tomato, deseeded and finely diced
1/2 red onion, peeled and finely diced
1 tablespoon coriander leaves, finely chopped
In large bowl place flour, bi-carbonate soda and spices, make a well in the flour mixture and slowly add milk. Whisk with a fork until you have a smooth batter.Combine the grated pumpkin and corn and add to the batter mixture.Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Place a tablespoon of the fritter mixture into the frying pan being careful not to overcrowd the pan and cook on medium to high heat on each side (3-4 minutes) until golden and crispy. Serve with the avocado salsa and a dollop of Greek style yoghurt.For the Salsa: In a non-metallic bowl gently combine all ingredients, being careful not to mash the avocado, and serve with fritters.
Roasted pumpkin, pecan and couscous maple-syrup salad
2 tablespoons maple-syrup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sumac
1kg pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, cut into bite size pieces
1 red onion, peeled, halved and sliced
75g pecan nuts cut in half lengthways
1 cup couscous
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (extra)
150g feta, crumbled
90g kalamata olives
100g baby spinach leaves
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 220C.In a large bowl combine maple syrup, olive oil, salt, sumac, pumpkin, onion and pecans and place onto an oven tray in a single layer. Cook in a preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until pumpkin is tender.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.Meanwhile, place couscous in a bowl and pour over 1 cup of boiled water. Add extra olive oil and stir with a fork. Cover with cling wrap and set aside for 10 minutes. Remove wrap and stir couscous again with fork making it light and fluffy.In a bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, set aside.
To assemble salad; combine couscous, cooled pumpkin, feta, olives and spinach. Toss with red wine vinegar dressing and serve.