Halloween is here, and with it comes jack ‘o’ lantern making and trick or treating. Once the hullabaloo of Halloween is over, the question is, what to do with the leftover pumpkins?
I’m taking the horror out of your carved to perfection creations with some not so scary repurposed pumpkin recipes.
At midnight your cinderella coach can be transformed into the crunchiest crisps, spiced up porridge, raspberry studded pie, golden loaf or a hearty salad for the whole family.
And if you’re keen for more recipes and ways to understand your pumpkins better, read my spotlight on pumpkin here.
Here are five delicious tricks for pumpkin treats! Let me know how you chose to repurpose yours?
Golden Gut Pumpkin and Nut Loaf
Lamb and Spiced Pumpkin Salad
Warm salads are colourful, packed with nutrients and wonderful for digestion. The slow-roasted baby tomatoes and spiced pumpkin can be prepared in advance and warmed prior to serving to allow for quick assembly. For a dairy-free option, omit the goat’s cheese.
- 150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) cherry tomatoes
- 1 butternut pumpkin (squash), skin on and cut into small wedges
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted, plus extra for pan-frying
- Celtic sea salt and freshly ground
- black pepper
- 3 large handfuls of mixed baby mesclun
- 250 g (9 oz) lamb backstrap
- 1 handful of basil leaves
- 60 g (2¼ oz/½ cup) goat’s cheese
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- juice of ½ lemon
- good pinch of Celtic sea salt and freshly
- ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2).
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a jug. Whisk thoroughly, gradually adding a little warm water until the dressing is smooth, thick and creamy.
Place the tomatoes on a baking tray and cook for 2–3 hours, turning every hour or so, until they are shrivelled and bursting with sweetness. This step is best done ahead of time to allow for a very quick assembly. Reheat the tomatoes slightly before serving.
Increase the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Place the pumpkin, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and ginger in a bowl and use your hands to mix well. Place the pumpkin on a baking tray, drizzle with the melted coconut oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
Season the lamb. Add the coconut oil to a frying pan over medium heat and pan-fry the lamb for 3 minutes on each side (it should still be pink in the centre). Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing into 5 mm (¼ inch) pieces.
To assemble the salad, make a bed of salad leaves and top with the warm pumpkin, lamb and tomatoes. Drizzle the tahini dressing generously over the top, scatter with the basil leaves and goat’s cheese and serve warm.
A Supercharged Tip
Lamb backstrap is a tender, grade-A cut of lamb that can be prepared simply and easily. Try pan-frying, searing, grilling (broiling), or oven roasting.
Oven-roasted Pumpkin Crisps
The best way to achieve evenly thin pumpkin slices is by using a mandoline, or the slicing blade on your food processor.
- 1/2 small pumpkin (winter squash) extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
Preheat the oven to 150oC (300oF/Gas 2). Cut the pumpkin into two or three chunks, then peel, if desired, and seed each chunk. Using a mandoline or the slicing blade on your food processor, cut the chunks into very thin slices, about 2 mm (1/16 inch) thick. Dry the slices on paper towels. The tail ends and odd sizes can be used for other recipes, such as mashed pumpkin.
Place the pumpkin slices in a single layer on two lined baking trays. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a good pinch of sea salt. The salt helps draw moisture from the vegetables, so let them sit for 5 minutes before placing in the oven.
Bake the pumpkin slices for 25 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
Remove from the oven to cool completely — the slices will crisp up as they cool. The crisps will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
*Supercharged tip: If you’re ever buying commercially prepared veggie crisps, check the packet for added flours such as corn and potato, along with artificial colourings and flavourings.