Now's the time to gather all your small pumpkins and roast them up.
Somewhere between Halloween and Thanksgiving, the small pumpkins littering my house seem to lose their appeal. So I gather them up, slice them, toss them in a bit of olive oil, maple syrup, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and roast them. They're tender and browned in about 35 minutes, and ready for pizza and a gratin.
Roasted pumpkin is earthier and denser than sweet potatoes or butternut squash, making them a rich substitute in most any dish that uses winter squash. This weekend, I smashed the roasted wedges and tossed them onto pizza dough. I topped the pizza with slices of fresh mozzarella, chopped kale, and a grating of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Next, I used the roasted wedges in place of my go-to potato gratin. You can layer any cheese with the pumpkin, but I like a strong Cheddar to offset the sweet, sultry pumpkin. Yum. Perfect for a Thanksgiving side.–JIll Melton, Editor
1 (3-pound) pie or cooking pumpkin
2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey or brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper and garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds. Cut halves in to 1-inch wedges. Toss with remaining ingredients. Bake 30-45 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender.
Fall Pumpkin Pizza
1 (8-ounce) ball pizza dough
6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/2 small Roasted Pumpkin, in chunks
2 cups chopped kale
1 cup roasted tomatoes, or drained, chopped canned tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes
3 ounces grated Parmagiano Reggiano
1. Preheat oven to 450F. Press out the dough on a pizza pan or baking sheet to a 12-inch circle. Top with sliced fresh mozzarella, pumpkin, kale, tomatoes and grated cheese. Bake 12 minutes, or until crust is browned and cheese is melted.
Roasted Pumpkin Cheddar Gratin
Roasted Pumpkin (from a 3-pound pumpkin)
6 ounces shredded aged Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup hot milk
In a shallow gratin dish, layer roasted pumpkin wedges with cheese. Pour hot milk over gratin. Cover and bake 25 minutes at 350.
—By Jill Melton, Editor
Try using sugar (or pie) pumpkins instead of winter squash.