Home to Somerset’s only Spookley Pumpkin Festival, Farrington’s Farm Shop knows a thing or two about pumpkins. We asked them what makes pumpkin such a ‘gourd’ ingredient…
Think beyond the traditional jack-o-lantern for your pumpkin this year. There’s plenty of fun to be had by preparing pumpkins and squash for eating, plus you get to enjoy a delicious meal too. These beautiful fruits – that’s right, pumpkins are fruit – make warming seasonal dishes when paired with delicate spices. When it comes to pumpkins, bigger doesn’t mean better. Although most people like to choose the biggest pumpkin for their Halloween displays, more petit pumpkins are actually better for eating and have a richer, sweeter flavour. Although often overlooked as an ingredient, every part of a pumpkin is in fact edible, from the seeds and pulp, right down to the skin and flowers – which incidentally are pretty impressive when stuffed.
Preparing pumpkins to eat can seem like a bit of a tough job, so here are some ways to make it easier:
- Like a butternut squash, you can simply cut pumpkins in half, roast them and scoop out the soft sweet flesh to add to your dishes.
- If you want to neatly dice your pumpkin, cut it like a melon to get a wedge. This makes it easier to then remove the skin and cut, as you’ll have a flat edge to place it on.
- Alternatively, one of our favourite ways to serve a warming pumpkin soup is in the pumpkin itself. Rather than chopping your pumpkin, hollow out the middle. Not only does this provide some dinner table theatre, but it also keeps the soup surprising warm as well.