I’ve never met a pumpkin I didn’t like

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Dinner Belle Calling: It’s October and that means pumpkin season! And I love all things ‘pumpkin’ – picking, breads, muffins, pies – you name it; I’m sold. I’ve never met a pumpkin I didn’t like and this year I’ve started a collection of baby pumpkins. While baby pumpkins are adorable as fall decoration, here’s an idea from the great Ina Garten on how to put ’em to work once the hay rides have ended.

roast-pumpkin-seedsphoto, weelicious.com

Roasted Baby Pumpkins

Ingredients: (serves 6)

  • 6 baby pumpkins
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup applesauce
Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Cut off and reserve the tops of each pumpkin by cutting around the stem in a circle.  Scoop out the seeds with a small spoon and liberally sprinkle the insides with salt and pepper.  Place the pumpkins on a greased baking sheet and fill each one with applesauce.  Place the tops back on and roost them for 45 minutes to 1 hours, or until the pumpkins are tender but no mushy.

Serve with roast chicken or turkey as a festive side.  Ina suggests choosing pumpkins that are similar in size so they will all roast in the same time.

And what to do with all of those unwanted seeds?  Toast them up!
Here’s the correct way to toast pumpkin seeds:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spread about 2 cups of raw pumpkin seeds (washed from the inner pulp) on a medium baking sheet.  Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted.  Remove from the oven and coat the seeds with several dashes of soy sauce.  Put the seeds back into the oven and continue roasting for 10 more minutes, until soy sauce bakes onto the seeds.Toasted pumpkin seeds make a great snack alone, or can be added to salads and soups as a crunchy twist on the standard crouton.

Source: Roasted Baby Pumpkins recipe – The Barefoot Contessa by Ina Garten, 1999. Page 152 & 153.  Toasted pumpkin seeds – Allrecipes.com

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