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Uses for Pumpkin?

Asked by CMS. Answered on 30th October 2011

Full question

I have just bought a big pumpkin for carving on Halloween and I was wondering if I can use the flesh for anything?

Our answer

Unfortunately most large carving pumpkins have flesh that is slightly unpalatable, it can be stringy and slightly watery. However if it is a mid-sized pumpkin with firm flesh than you may be able to cook with the flesh.

The flesh can be roasted or steamed and pureed. To roast, preheat your oven to 200c/400F and cut the pumpkin into roughly 2 1/2 cm/1-inch pieces. Toss the pumpkin with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper (and a few chilli flakes/red pepper flakes if you like) and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, turning the pumpkin pieces over halfway through. To steam the pumpkin cut the pumpkin into roughly 3cm/ 1 1/2-inch cubes and steam for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.

You could use the steamed pumpkin to make a puree for Nigella's Pumpkin Scones from Kitchen (p452). The roasted pumpkin is better for most other dishes, such as Thai Pumpkin and Seafood Curry in Nigella Bites (p69, though as the pumpkin is already cooked it can just be added with the pak choi and heated through) or used instead of butternut squash in Butternut Squash with Pecans and Blue Cheese in Express (p333).

Dreamy, Creamy Peanut Butter Pasta

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