Being part of a CSA has so many benefits… supporting and connecting with local farmers while picking up my weekly share under a tent in a field is far more interesting than maneuvering the aisles of the grocery store, and enjoying veggies that were literally just picked earlier that day, they don’t get any fresher and more delicious! Because the nature of a CSA promotes a “you get what you get, and you don’t get upset” mentality, another benefit is that I’m challenged to finds ways to use vegetables that I normally would pass by, as well as the ones that I don’t care for (I’m talking to you zucchini).
Each fall, sugar or pie pumpkin make appearances in our CSA pick up. At first I was intimidated, my hands on experience with pumpkin was limited to a once a year carving for Halloween, followed by roasting the seeds. The only other pumpkin I had ever used in the kitchen came from a can. But stretched to do something with this new addition to the weekly pick up, I found myself roasting pumpkins. It couldn’t be any easier. Lately, more and more sugar and pie pumpkins are showing up at the grocery store, so I can’t be the only one using them. And while definitely not necessary because canned pumpkin is so good (though it may not be all “pumpkin”), roasting your own pumpkin is fun to try.
***Important note- Do NOT use jack-o-lantern pumpkins, they are far too watery! Instead, look for small sugar or pie pumpkins, usually in the 3-6lb range.***
Roasted Pumpkin Purée
1 sugar or pie pumpkin, 3-6lbs
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
Remove stem and cut pumpkin in half. Scoop out seeds (save and roast later) and using a spoon, scrape out stringy pulp. Cut each half in half, so that you have 4 quarters.
Transfer pumpkin quarters to lined baking sheet. Roast until fork tender, about 45 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and purée in a food processor or simply mash it.
Use in any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin or pumpkin purée. This purée also freezes well.