I was given three pumpkins yesterday, and I already had an uneaten quarter in the fridge. Is it pumpkin season perhaps? Autumn?
What to do with pumpkins?
Pumpkin soup of course and Cousin Rosa's Braised Pumpkin. There are also many variations on pumpkin pie (check out Kurma's no egg pumpkin pie), pumpkin bread, pumpkin gnocchi, Indian dishes with pumpkin, a northern Italian pumpkin and chocolate cake (Torta), a Greek pumpkin and carrot pie with Kefalgraviera (recipe needs improvement) and many more..
What do look for in a pumpkin?
I always go for a rich yellow-orange pumpkin that's ripe, preferably a Queensland blue (that's me) or a Kent (Mark's favourite). I would prefer a quarter of a large ripe pumpkin than a small pumpkin. Not a big fan of the Japanese pumpkin, but this is all a matter of taste. I am sometimes tempted by a butternut. There are other varieties available in Australia such as: dumpling, jarrahdale and golden nugget. This is a good website to go to for more information:
http://www.taste.com.au/how+to/articles/455/pumpkin. There seems to be many more varieties in the US, check out this site: http://www.allaboutpumpkins.com
I lived in a Paris for almost a year in my mid 20's, and began craving pumpkin after 6 months. I located one in a shop and promptly bought it, cooked it up according to Cousin Rosa's recipe, only to be bitterly disappointed at the flavour - there was none. I like this story, because with all the wonderful food in Paris, I could still not buy a decent pumpkin.
Tonight I made pumpkin soup, and it was delicious. This recipe (previously below, now moved to May 2010) may seem a long winded approach, and by all means, throw everything in together and boil away for a half hour if you're not in the mood. But for something special, this approach is well worth the effort.