Pumpkin possibilities

Colette Ernst

Halloween is almost here and in our family that means lots and lots of pumpkin!

With two kids, the Pumpkin Patch Party and Halloween photo booths we end up with from five to ten pumpkins by the end of October – some carved, some decorated and some just as props.

At the Community Kitchen, one of our main focuses is on reducing food waste – which means all that pumpkin has to be preserved either by freezing, drying or turning into baked goods – if I am to be a good example. Pumpkin is actually pretty easy to turn from orange globe into bags of frozen goodness to use in baking, soups and other delicious dishes later in the year. The key? For baked dishes where you need rich flavour and low water content, roast the pumpkins then freeze them.

Roasted pumpkin is also amazing as vegetable dish, add a little roasted garlic (or a lot) and you get a rich intense flavour to add to soups, casserole or dips. This weeks recipe gem came from merging the ideas from the recipes we explored in our group with the concept of roasted vegetables. The result is a marriage of roasted onion and pumpkin with the strong flavours of parmesan cheese and roasted garlic for a sensational dip.

Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Parmesan Dip

Ingredients:

2 heads garlic, peeled

1 onion, quartered

2 cups pumpkin (or other squash), peeled and cubed

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Directions: Set oven to 400 F. place garlic, pumpkin, onion in a heavy casserole dish or dutch oven. Drizzle olive oil onto the vegetables and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to one hour (until pumpkin is soft). Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place in blender and puree the vegetables until smooth. Add parmesan cheese and puree until blended. Serve hot or cold with tortilla chips, crackers, bread or veggies.