From soup to nuts, pumpkin fits into many menus.
Breakfast on a chilly morning could be hefty pumpkin-walnut muffins or a dish of warm pumpkin pudding.
A Mexican-themed lunch might include pumpkin blossom soup, tamales in a chili sauce thickened with pumpkin seeds, or a pumpkin empanada for dessert.
Dinner could feature fusion fare: curried pumpkin bisque or ravioli with a pumpkin filling, and for the finale, frozen mousse, ice cream, pie, torte or tart - made from pumpkin, of course.
For late-night noshing there's pumpkin-raisin cookies or protein-rich pumpkin seeds.
To make pumpkin puree, peel pumpkin with a sharp knife. Remove seeds and fibers. Cut into 2-inch chunks, reserving seeds for roasting. Place peeled pumpkin in a vegetable steamer and steam until tender (20 to 30 minutes). Puree in food processor or blender. Drain puree well in a fine-meshed sieve. Four cups pumpkin puree yields about 2 cups well-drained puree.
Sweet and moist with raisins and brown sugar, this quick bread is good with main-dish soups or baked beans.
Cole Publishing Group
Pumpkin Harvest Bread
Makes 1 loaf
2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon each: salt, baking soda, ground ginger and ground cloves
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) cooked pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter (melted and cooled) or canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves and granulated sugar. Mix in walnuts and raisins.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs to blend yolks and whites, then beat in brown sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and butter. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Spread in a greased, lightly floured 4 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch loaf pan. Bake until loaf is well browned and a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean (50 to 55 minutes).
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Pub Date: 11/15/98