It would not be unusual to see me unloading a trunk full of pumpkins in front of my house this time of year. To say I love pumpkin would be more than an understatement. I love squash. I adore pumpkin. Now I know everyone loves a good pumpkin pie, maybe some pumpkin waffles or pumpkin donuts even. All deliciously sweet ways to enjoy a pumpkin. I don’t know very many people who will roast a whole pumpkin though, and that’s a shame. You don’t know what you’re missing out on! When I bought the first sugar pumpkins of the year I couldn’t wait to get home and make some roasted pumpkin slices.
Roasting a pumpkin is pretty much like roasting any other squash. You want to start out with small pumpkins. Some places call them sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins, and they’ll typically weigh between 1 and 3 pounds. The very large pumpkins we use for carving are not typically the best kind to cook with. When picking sugar pumpkins I like to go for the smaller ones – they’re easier to cut and cook a little faster too.
Once you have your pumpkin you’ll want to wash it and dry it well. Grasping the pumpkin firmly cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise. I don’t bother trying to cut off the stem, just leave it there, it’s not hurting anyone.
Next we’ll scoop out the seeds and pulp. If you have a pumpkin scoop laying around from previous jack-o-lantern escapades, now would be a good time to get some use out of it. If not, just use a large spoon. Whatever you do – do not throw out those seeds! We’ll separate them from the pulp and roast them separately later on, making a quick and extremely delicious snack.
You can roast the pumpkin in two halves at this point. Just lay them cut side up on a baking sheet and season. I prefer to cut the pumpkin into one inch slices though. It takes a little longer to cut, but cooks faster and looks pretty when served. To do this I just lay the pumpkin cut side down and make 1 inch thick slices. Then I place the slices skin side down on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. I seasoned one sheet with salt, pepper and cumin and the other with salt, cinnamon and brown sugar.
Place the baking sheets in the oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Once your kitchen is filled with the irresistible aroma of roasting pumpkin, remove them from the oven.
I serve them just like this and eat them with the skin on. The skin is chock full of nutrients and, with small pumpkins, is usually tender. It crisps up a bit in the over and adds a great texture to the pumpkin. If the skin is not your thing, or if it is too tough on your pumpkin, just eat the pumpkin off of the skin!
Now obsess over pumpkin like I do so I don’t feel so alone in my adoration of savory pumpkin dishes. Oh and check out some more delicious pumpkin recipes!