“To dream of pumpkins is a very bad omen.”
(Richard Folkard in 'Plant Lore' (1884))
I have been dreaming of pumpkins. I'm not sure what Freud would have to say. As with the Daikon, the giant radish, I feel at this time of year that there is a never-ending supply of pumpkin flesh to consume. Fortunately, Freddie sees the pumpkin as a friendly vegetable and is willing to try out different dishes. Even with a modest-sized pumpkin you need several recipes up your sleeve. So I have teamed up with some good friends and we are all posting on pumpkins today. Do pay a visit to our good friend David Hall at Book the Cook who is offering an irresistible and delicious Spiced Pumpkin, Bacon and Mussel Conchiglie. David has a wonderful taster in chief at home, his little girl Cerys. Now if you want to learn how to cook a WHOLE pumpkin then you have to visit our friend-in-vegetables, the wonderful Alanna Kellogg in Missouri with her pumpkin recipe at A Veggie Venture. For a beautifully sweet and indulgent pumpkin cake recipe, try Hannah at Hannah's Country Kitchen who has baked some exquisite Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. And then to top it all you cannot miss the talented chef Amanda Darrach who lives in New York and who blogs at Figs Olives Wine . She has made a Provencal Pumpkin dish which looks like a work of art and I can only imagine tastes superb. Please visit my pumpkin pals across the globe and leave your comments.
As for Freddie, well he wants you all to try this dish. My stepson Leo came over for the night and we had a pumpkin feast. The main course was Pumpkin and Smoky Bacon Risotto. The combination of flavours is delicious. We sprinkled roasted spiced pumpkin seeds on top. Freddie gave it 9 out of 10. Maybe because he knows it is just a few days away from Halloween but he is being generous with his scores. How do you all like to cook Pumpkin?
Pumpkin and smoky bacon risotto
320g Arborio rice
2 onions, chopped
400g pumpkin flesh, skinned
150g /12 thin rashes of smoky bacon
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
2-3 tbsp oil
Freshly grated Parmesan
Peel and finely dice the pumpkin flesh into small cubes. Bring a pan of water to boil and steam the diced pumpkin for about 10-15 minutes, until it is softened. Chop the bacon and onion into small pieces. In a large pan, heat up the olive oil on a gentle heat and sauté the onion and bacon for about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir round until the grains are transparent. Stir in the pumpkin. Then add the stock, one ladle at a time. As it is absorbed, gently stir and add more stock. This should take about 20 minutes. The rice should be creamy in texture but not sticky. Stir in some freshly grated parmesan, season with salt and pepper and serve