Harvest Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
1 baking pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 ½-inch -thick slices
¼ cup melted butter
1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 shallot, minced
6 cups salad greens
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup toasted pecans
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Place the pumpkin slices 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and garlic powder; evenly coat pumpkin slices with the butter mixture. Roast pumpkin for 20 minutes, or until tender.
Using a food processor, mix together the oil, vinegar, remaining salt, remaining pepper, bacon, and shallot until well blended.
In a large bowl, toss the salad greens with ¾ cup of the vinaigrette. Mound the greens on a serving plate, and top with roasted pumpkin. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the pumpkin, and top with the Parmesan cheese and pecans.
Yield: Makes 6 servings
Curried Pumpkin Hummus
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon curry
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Garnish: pepitas, (pumpkin seeds), paprika, olive oil, and fresh thyme
In the work bowl of a food processor, combine pumpkin, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Pulse until smooth. Add curry, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper; pulse to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with pepitas, paprika, olive oil and thyme, if desired. Serve immediately with toasted naan or pita chips or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Yield: Makes 10 servings
Pumpkin Chai Pots de Crème
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
6 large egg yolks
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup canned cooked pumpkin
⅓ cup strong brewed chai tea
2 teaspoons grated orange peel or Meyer lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pumpkin seed brittle
Preheat oven to 325˚F (convection not recommended). In a 2-to3-quart pan over medium heat, stir cream, milk, and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a bowl, whisk egg yolks until light yellow. Add granulated sugar and whisk until blended. Gradually whisk a fourth of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. Then slowly whisk in remaining cream mixture and the pumpkin, chai, orange peel, and vanilla.
Divide mixture among six ramekins (¾ cup). Set in a 12- by 16-inch roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Set pan in oven and pour in boiling water to halfway up sides of ramekins.
Bake until custards barely jiggle when gently shaken, 45 to 50 minutes. Lift ramekins out of water and let cool on racks for 30 minutes, then chill until cold, at least 1 hour. Cover when cold.
Shortly before serving garnish with shards of pumpkin seed brittle.
Yield: Makes 6 servings
Pumpkin Seed Brittle Recipe
1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo® light corn syrup
2 cups raw, shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp baking soda
Butter for the baking sheets (about 2 tbsp)
Prepare cookie sheets and measure all ingredients before starting to cook. You will not have time to measure ingredients in between steps. Butter two cookie sheets and place on a heat-resistant surface. Combine pepper, cinnamon, salt and baking soda and reserve in a small bowl. Once the sugar mixture is ready, you have to work quickly, so keep these readily accessible. A wooden spoon is best for this recipe.
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, syrup and pumpkin seeds and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Clip the candy thermometer in place and continue to cook, stirring frequently to keep seeds from burning on the bottom of the pan. Watch carefully when mixture turns light amber and you can smell the sugar starting to caramelize.
When the temperature reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), or a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads, work quickly. Add the spice/baking soda mixture and stir to combine (mixture will foam up). Pour the mixture immediately onto the two cookie sheets, put the pan aside, and spread with the wooden spoon to distribute the seeds and foaming syrup. Continue to spread until the syrup is no longer foaming. Some recipes say to use two forks to further thin and stretch the mixture, or if desired you can wait a few moments for it to cool and use buttered fingers to stretch the candy slightly. Please use caution! This requires perfect timing. Too soon and you’ll burn your fingers. Too late and the candy will already be set, which simply results in a thicker brittle and does not affect the quality of the candy.
When cool, break into pieces and immediately store in an airtight container.
Maple Sweet Potato Bread Pudding
1 ½ pounds small sweet potatoes, or 3 large sweet potatoes
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 cup maple syrup, plus additional for serving, warmed
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 (1 pound) loaf challah bread, cut into 1 ½- to 2-inch cubes (12 packed cups)
Ice cream or whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Wrap the sweet potatoes in foil and bake until tender when pricked with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. Carefully unwrap the foil and let them stand until they are cool enough to handle. Remove the skins and place the cooked sweet potatoes in a bowl. Mash coarsely using a potato masher. Lower the oven temperature to 375˚F.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Whisk in the cream, milk, the 1 cup maple syrup, the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir in the sweet potatoes. Add the bread cubes and stir to mix thoroughly. Let stand for 15 minutes for the bread to soak up the liquid, stirring occasionally. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Pour the bread mixture into the dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake until the pudding is set in the center, 50 minutes to an hour. Uncover the baking dish and cook until browned on top and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Serve warm, drizzled with the warm maple syrup and topped with ice cream or whipped cream
Yield: Makes 9 to 12 servings
Pictures by Linda and Starla Willis