The Pumpkin, a Saw and a Few Good Cooks (Guest Bloggers)

There’s really only one way to handle this 25 lb. pumpkin. I attempted to open up the beast with a chisel and hammer first – too tedious – so out came the saw. This exquisite specimen is called Rouge Vif d’Etamps, a French heirloom squash variety sometimes known as Cinderella pumpkin. Its squat shape and deep orange wonderfulness decorated our living room and dining table for a few weeks before execution.

The saw worked wonders and quickly.
Like our friends who shared this delight with us, we shared pieces of the pumpkin with other friends and avid cooks, Morna and Guin. The stipulation was that they share their culinary findings, guest blogging if you will, which I’m going to share with you.
I was up first,  and I roasted some pieces until tender for a soup, and later roasted apples to join in.
Then a saute of celery, onions and thyme in olive oil. Add the roasted apples and squash (peel removed) and stir to combine. Add chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer until all the flavours meld and marry.
Blend until smooth. A hand blender is best. Adjust seasoning. Top each bowl with a bit of cream or creme fraiche and top with fried sage leaves.
Guin approached part of the squash as a “purist.” She ate half of it as a main course along with corn bread. “I just wanted to taste it all by itself before I did something more elaborate. I roasted the chunk at 375, tossed in olive, s and p, until the skin was a bit crispy. I put butter on it and ate it, ” she said. ” Sensational!”
Her plans for the other half is soup with leeks, carrots, celery, thyme, apples, apple cider and chicken stock. Sounds fabulous, Guin!
Morna prefers lusty, hearty flavours and her dish, Lumocotti with Pumpkin and Sage Brown Butter, is no exception. “It was just delicious,” said Morna, ” lovely textures and aside from all that butter, probably quite healthy. Super prosaic and easy – nothing fancy, but damn, it was good!”
Take it away Morna.
” A bunch of pumpkin, peeled and cut. A bunch of baby sage leaves, washed, dried and browned in butter.

With butter in another pan, add half a sweet onion and the pumpkin. Go for caramelization, nice and slow. Once they’re starting to brown up a bit, toss in two teaspoons of propolis honey – it has a nice resiney quality which seemed to fit nicely with the pumpkin – and two tablespoons of creme fraiche. Let that get brown on the edges and toss in 1/2 cup of chicken stock.

Slice a bunch of Swiss chard from the garden. (The chard goes in with the pasta water, when the noodles reach al dente).
Drain and toss all the ingredients together. Serve and drizzle with sage butter (with the crunchy leaves of course), sprinkle with Maldon sea salt and fresh pepper.”
Stellar, Morna! Great photos, too!


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