In Season: Pumpkins

pumpkin

Pumpkins have a bit of a typecasting problem. Though they loom large in America’s cultural consciousness each fall, their starring turns are limited to appearances as jack o’ lanterns on Halloween and in pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving. But pumpkins have so much more to offer: sliced and roasted, they’re a sweet foil for rich, savory dishes such as the Afghani dish kaddo bourani, which pairs caramelized pumpkin with spicy ground beef. When baked and mashed, pumpkin purée can be thrown into quick breads, pancakes, and desserts that in no way resemble pie, like the chocolate cake featured below. How to Choose and Store: Small pie or sugar pumpkins are best for cooking. One five-pound pumpkin will yield about 4 ½ cups of purée. Uncut, uncured pumpkins will keep for a couple of months in a cool, dry place. Cooked pumpkin will last about five days in the refrigerator or up to six months in the freezer. How to Cook: Pumpkin Soup with Gruyère [BA] A showstopping (yet dead simple) centerpiece for a fall dinner party. Pan-Seared Cod with Beet Vinaigrette and Pumpkin–Quinoa Risotto [JBF] Bright cubes of pumpkin add a hint of sweetness to a creamy red and white quinoa risotto. Kaddo Bourani [Habeas Brûlee] A traditional Afghani dish of sweet, caramelized pumpkin topped with savory meat sauce and a swirl of garlic–mint yogurt. Phenomenal. Pumpkin Soufflé with Parma Ham Chips [JBF] Way easier than pie and infinitely more impressive, this pumpkin-flecked dish will help you conquer your fear of soufflés once and for all. Pumpkin Seed Financiers [JBF] This autumn-inspired version of the classic French teacake is made with browned butter and ground pumpkin seeds. Chocolate–Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Ganache [JBF] A scoop of pumpkin purée in the batter keeps this rich cake moist. A cinnamon-spiked chocolate ganache between layers doesn't hurt, either.

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