Pumpkin is a winter squash, closely related to butternut and acorn squash. They mature during the summer months and are harvested in the fall — just in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
While pumpkins come in all sizes, the smaller ones are best to cook with. They are a great source of vitamin A and work well in both sweet and savory recipes. While most people think immediately of pumpkin pie or roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin also works well in soups, stews and risottos.
Just Food’s | Pumpkin Fondue
Makes 8 to 10 servings
- 3 to 4 cups whole wheat or whole grain bread chunks, lightly toasted or dried in the oven
- 1 4-pound pumpkin
- 1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg, plus extra
- 1 ¼ cup grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the top off the pumpkin and remove the stringy pulp and seeds. Combine the half-and-half, chicken stock, and grated nutmeg in a bowl.
To assemble, place a layer of bread chunks inside the pumpkin. Add 1/3 of the cheese and 1/3 of the liquid. Repeat with two more layers, pressing and compacting the ingredients in the pumpkin shell. Place the top back on the pumpkin and brush the outside of the shell with the olive oil. (Can be prepared a few hours in advance and refrigerated.)
Place the pumpkin in a shallow baking dish or on a sturdy baking tray to catch any drips. Bake for about an hour, more or less time depending on the size and thickness of the pumpkin. If the pumpkin gets too charred for your liking, reduce the heat to 350°F.
The pumpkin fondue is done when the pulp on the inside is soft and buttery yet the shell is still intact. Before serving, grate additional nutmeg over fondue. Scoop out portions with a large spoon into small bowls, making sure to get some of the pulp.
Adapted from The Locavore’s Kitchen by Marilou Suszko, (c) 2011. Published by Swallow Press, Ohio University Press, OH.
With over 200 recipes highlighting the best foods of every season, The Locavore’s Kitchen is the perfect kitchen companion and harvest guide. Author Marilou Suszko carries you through the year– each chapter exploring a different season– and explains what to look for in fresh produce, how to store it, and what techniques can be used to draw out the most flavor. The recipes are bold with imaginative combinations (like pumpkin fondue or rhubarb potato salad), yet simple to prepare.
In addition to her recipe collection and produce guide, Suszko shares a number of essential locavore resources including books, websites, and organizations focused on local food. Chapter 5 focuses solely on preserving, with canning and freezing techniques to help prolong the season’s harvest. Scattered throughout the book are simple Make Your Own sections, with instructions for making common and artisanal food items like yogurt, infused vinegars, stocks, and oven-dried tomatoes, allowing you to rely on your kitchen rather than the grocery store for some staples. The Locavore’s Kitchen is a must have companion for anyone looking to explore local, seasonal cooking.
–Melissa Brody, Community Food Education Intern
This review is meant for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment. Any dietary decisions should be based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. The opinions expressed are those of author.