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Unusual Pumpkin and Squash Recipes

By Kim Robson:

Looking for some different and unusual recipes using pumpkin and/or winter squash? I have personally made and tested all three of these recipes, and can vouch for their deliciousness!

Roast Pumpkin with Cheese “Fondue”

As the pumpkin roasts, its skin becomes dramatically burnished, while inside, slices of baguette and cheese melt into a concoction that’s best served with a scoop of tender pumpkin flesh. A great presentation piece to wow a crowd.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-inch) baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 (7-pound) orange pie pumpkin
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 TB olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange rack to lower third of oven.

Toast bread slices in oven until crisp.

Remove top of pumpkin and scrape out seeds and fibers, including top. Season inside of pumpkin with 1 tsp salt.

Whisk cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl.

Put a layer of bread slices in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about 1/2 cup cream mixture. Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from the top. (There may be some mixture left over.)

Replace pumpkin top and place in an oiled pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until tender and filling is puffed, about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours.

Serve warm in bowls, making sure to include scoops of pumpkin flesh. As the pumpkin cavity is excavated, the skin will just fall off.

Butternut Squash and Cheddar Bread Pudding

This is a perfect side dish to bring to holiday meals with vegetarians. But I guarantee even the meat-eaters will be taking seconds of this healthy, savory dish!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, & cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 TBSP olive oil (divided)
  • 1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2-1/4 cups half & half
  • 6 TBSP dry white wine
  • 1-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 day-old baguette or other crusty bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash in 1 TBSP oil on rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle w/ salt, and bake until tender, turning with a spatula occasionally, about 20-25 minutes.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add half & half, wine, mustard, and 1-1/2 tsp salt and whisk to blend. Fold in bread pieces and let soak for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat 2 TBSP oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté shallots until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add kale. Cover and let cook 2 minutes. Uncover and stir until kale is wilted but still green, about 5 minutes.

Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 13x9x2-inch casserole dish. With a slotted spoon, transfer about half of the soggy bread from the egg mixture into the dish, arranging it to cover most of the bottom. Top with half of the kale/shallots. Add half of the squash. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layering with remaining bread, kale, squash, and cheese. Pour the remaining egg mixture over everything.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until custard is set and bread feels springy, about 20 minutes longer.

Preheat broiler. Broil pudding until cheese browns nicely, about 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve.

Pilgrim Pie in a Pumpkin

The “original” pumpkin pie the colonial pilgrims made didn’t look at all like a modern pie as we know it. Instead, the pie filling was baked inside of a pumpkin and the whole thing sliced for a gorgeous presentation!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large orange pie pumpkin
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 (12-oz) cans evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove top of pumpkin and scrape out seeds and fibers. Discard top. Cover pumpkin loosely in foil and bake until fork tender. (Baking time will vary with size, but a 15-lb pumpkin took 2 hours.)

Combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and evaporated milk in a large bowl and whisk to blend.

Using a large spoon, ladle out any liquid from the pumpkin cavity. Pour in the custard mixture.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour or until custard is firm.

[insert “pie in a pumpkin” image here]

Let cool for 10 minutes and slice just like a pie. The white pumpkin-spice-flavored custard, layered against the creamy orange pumpkin flesh, makes a show-stopping visual presentation.

About Kim Robson

Kim Robson lives and works with her husband in the Cuyamaca Mountains an hour east of San Diego. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, cooking, and animals. She has written a blog since 2006 at kimkiminy.wordpress.com. Her interests include the environment, dark skies, astronomy and physics, geology and rock collecting, living simply and cleanly, wilderness and wildlife conservation, and eating locally.

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