For the past few weeks we’ve been receiving some delicious-looking pumpkin in the organic box. Until last week, I had no idea what to do with them, so the pumpkins collected on the counter, looking pretty, until one started to pick up a sad hint of mold on its base.
It was time to face the pumpkin.
Not sure what to do with the thing, I cut it in half and baked it face down in a pan in the oven. When it was finished, one half of the pumpkin had oozed out of its shell in a pumpkin puddle, which I scooped into a baggie and put in the freezer. Of course, I couldn’t resist licking the spoon and to my happy surprise, the pumpkin was delicious! Sweet, orange, and not at all watery, sort of like a cross between an acorn squash and a butternut squash.
So I’ve discovered that I love pumpkin. Now what? I turned to my trusty cookbook, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman, and found a recipe for Panfried Pumpkin in Tomato Sauce. I decided to adapt this for my leftover roast pumpkin.
As Bittman says, the sauce is like a “quick mole” – rich, chocolatey and a little spicy with just a nice hint of cinnamon. And it has so many more uses beyond pumpkin. I’m definitely going to try it with some veggie enchiladas. Tim’s been using the leftovers as a baste for chicken, which he says is quite delicious (though he skips on the pumpkin seed garnish – I disapprove but who am I to argue with the taste buds of an omnivore?).
Beyond mole, I’m looking forward to finding more novel uses for my remaining pumpkin. It figures that my love of winter squash should emerge just as we’re leaving winter and getting into spring. But so be it. Alyson at Nourished Fitness is always posting scrumptious looking photos of kabocha squash creations, such as this kabocha quinoa casserole that I’m sure would be delicious with just about any type of sweet winter squash. I’m also considering some sort of pumpkin lasagna creation.
Or perhaps the answer is staring me in the face: pumpkin enchiladas with mole sauce. Bring it on!
Quick Mole Sauce
3 cloves garlic
1.5 cups chopped tomato (canned is fine)
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a median saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft.
- Add the chopped tomato, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper and mix well. Bring to a boil then simmer for about ten minutes.
- Before serving, check the flavor. Does it have enough salt? If the answer’s yes, mix in the cilantro and serve with lots of toasted pumpkin seeds.