The summer is gradually coming to an end, September has started and with that, the time to harvest has begun. The season of gathering all the lovely fresh produce from the fields, of picking the trees, the bushes and the vines. September is the time of abundance, the time for mankind to collect nature’s gift.
For me September means fresh pumpkins! For decoration but even more so for preparing delicious food. There are so many different ways to use pumpkin such as: cakes, brownies, ice-cream, pumpkin-spread, chutneys, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin-soup… the list is endless.
I mentioned before that I live in a village known for its cabbages that have been growing here for decades. We do however also have a pumpkin-farm, literally a few hundred meters from my doorstep. They also grow sunflowers and do lots of other great things, but for me they are the Pumpkinfarm.
Every year in September they organize a weekend where they display and sell the various kinds of pumpkins. I always try to visit before those days start, enabling me to pick the best pumpkins, both for decoration as for preparing food.
However I needed to buy a present for relatives the other day and really did not know what to bring them. Then I remembered the lovely pumpkin wine that I had bought previously on their farm, so I decided to pay them a visit. They were getting ready for the “Open Weekend” so there were already lots of pumpkins waiting to be displayed.
I got greedy and wanted to buy not only a present, for my relatives, but for myself as well. The present being pumpkins to cook with. We (the owner and me) started talking about the various pumpkins and what to do with them…. To make a long story short, she handed me two pumpkins, a Kabucha pumpkin and a small Hokkaido pumpkin and told me to prepare them and then maybe write about them.
I gladly accepted. I have written about and posted pumpkin recipes before, so I challenged myself to try something new. With great succes I might add.
The first thing I tried was Tempura fried Pumpkin OMG, that was so lovely. It was met with great enthusiasm by the entire family!
You start by washing the Kabucha pumpkin, slice them in +/- 1 cm thick slices, leaving the skin on.
Make the tempura batter. ( I used prepared batter bought in a Toko, only needs adding ice cold water) and drench the pumpkinslices in it.
Fry the slices in vegetable oil of your choice until they start to turn golden brown and crispy, turning halfway. Depending on the size of your frying pan ( I used a wok) and the amount of oil using at once, it takes approx. 10 minutes.
Serve with a dip sauce of soy-sauce seasoned with grated ginger and chives.
The second thing I tried was preaparing a Smokey Pumpkin- vinaigrette. Oh my word, that was so lovely. I am happy I prepared enough so there is something left for a nice salad at lunch for instance.
I started by roasting a few pumpkin slices (of the Kobucha pumpkin) until soft. When cooled, peel of the skin. Then place them in a food processor together with:
- ½ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic ( I used black garlic)
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp freshly chopped sage
- handfull of pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp cuminpowder
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (nutmeg, clove, ginger, cinnamon)
- ½ tsp sea salt
Mix everything and adjust seasoning too taste!
I poured this vinaigrette over cooked Puy lentils. That proved to be an excellent combination.
Since half of the Kabucha sits in my fridge and the Hokkaido pumpkin waits in my cellar there is enough left to explore further. And the season is only just beginning!
If you are looking for more inspiration with pumpkin check the Recipes section for my previous posted pumpkin recipes.
In the meantime have yourself a great weekend!