How to Get the Most Out of Fall Produce
So you’ve got your pumpkin artillery…now what? Local experts share their tips for preparing pumpkin, squash and other autumn gifts.
Use acorn squash or small pumpkins as serving bowls: Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut off top of squash/pumpkin, remove seeds, rub exterior with olive oil and place on cookie sheet. Fill with hot soup, stew or chili, and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. “It makes a nice presentation,” says Eric Aber, chef/owner of Home Grown Café in Newark.
Bulk up your everyday salad, vegetable stir-fry or stews with roasted winter squash.
Spaghetti squash makes a nice substitution for carb-heavy pasta.
Make your own roasted pumpkin seeds: While carving your Halloween pumpkin, set aside the seeds. Rinse until clean. Let dry completely. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly toss the seeds with melted butter or olive oil, or spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt or seasonings of choice. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring after about 5 minutes.
- When buying a pumpkin, make sure to select a “pie” variety if you plan to use it for cooking, instead of the “carving” pumpkins commonly sold in grocery stores. “Carving pumpkins are thin-fleshed and don’t have much flavor,” says Toby Hagerott, owner of Bayberry Farm in Middletown.