Pumpkins are one of those satisfaction crops. Like a bowl of apples or a vase of herbs, pumpkins mean contentment.
Then the day comes when you have to break them down or you have to compost them. Breaking down a pumpkin is harrowing, cumbersome and messy. This method doesn’t save you much time because the cook time is longer, but it does save you Band Aides and hassle.
If your pumpkin can fit in the oven, why not just roast it whole?
WHAT TO DO
Heat your oven to 350°F.
Rinse the pumpkin and let on the counter to dry and warm to room temperature.
Make 4 to 6 deep slits in the top.
Place it on a sheet pan and into the oven.
Cook it until your knife easily slides into it (about 2+ hours)
Remove the pumpkin from the oven and let it cool. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, slice it into quarters and remove the seeds and pulp.
From here, you can easily scrape the flesh away from the skin. Let it cool and then store it in sealable bags.
You can slice it into smaller sections, rub it with olive oil, salt and pepper and stick it back into the oven to brown.
Put the skinless flesh into a food processor and puree. Thin the mash by adding water or stock (start with 1/2 cup at a time) to the processor to make it easier to baking with or make sauces.
The seeds are still roast-worthy!
All squash are pumpkins. Kind of like there’s no difference between a black lab and a dog. Some squash tastes better than others but there is no reason why you shouldn’t treat pumpkin and a squash the same.
It’s just a sane idea to have a quart bag of roasted pumpkin in your refrigerator. If you cook on a regular basis, it’s an essential fall ingredient for mashes, soups, baking and, of course, pies.