Off the Menu with Dara can be heard every Saturday from 11:00-Noon on News Radio 830 WCCO! See all of Dara’s Top 5 lists here!
Happy Halloween! The greatest day of the year for pumpkins, and guess what? Now that they don’t need to be on the windowsills looking decorative, we can eat them! Or wait. Is that cannibalism when all those Jack O’Lanterns are staring at us? Don’t answer that! They are just squash after all, full of vitamin A and potassium, and it’s good and right for us to eat them. Here are my Top 5 Pumpkin Recipes.
Ruth Reichl’s Pumpkin Soup
This is the craziest recipe. You hollow out a pumpkin, fill it with cheese and bread and cream and broth, and then bake the whole thing. Then pull it out of the oven—it’s crazy! Crazy good. Insanely rich, but such a showstopper. As French onion soup is to onions, so this pumpkin soup is to pumpkins. You could make an annual tradition out of this thing. When you put the whole pumpkin on the table it is startling!
Pumpkin Sage Bundt Cake
A pumpkin cake for the savory crowd! It’s full of walnuts and sage, which you’ll want to get out of your garden before the real snows come. I love a good Bundt cake! And this one pairs well with a good smoky Scotch, which is unusual in a Bundt cake.
Paleo and Gluten Free Nom Nom Paleo Pumpkin Coconut Custard
I got an email last week reminding me that there are Gluten Free listeners, you know. Good point! Pumpkin Flan is the classic option for a gluten-free pumpkin-pie-like recipe, but I thought I’d throw this Paleo one in the mix. Pumpkin and coconut are truly a beautiful mix.
Nigella Lawson’s Vegetarian Pumpkin and Chickpea Stew
Throughout Africa and Asia people use pumpkins in all sorts of savory ways: in pepper stews, curries and chili-based fiery entrees. This fast crockpot perfect pumpkin and chickpea stew by Nigella Lawson is a great way to wade into that kind of pumpkin cooking—and it’s a great thrifty lunch. She puts it in a pita bread for lunch! I like it over rice. Just saying.
The Barefoot Contessa’s Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream
People ask me all the time for the very best pumpkin pie recipe – as far as I’m concerned, the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe is the absolute top of the heap. I think one of the things that makes it so good is grating your own nutmeg, and not relying on a pumpkin pie spice blend which gets stale. Thank you Ina Garten! I don’t know what more I can say about it except it’s perfect. So much spice, so much cream, and a little rum whipped cream to tip it over the edge into fabulous.