What do you think of when you think about pumpkins? Jack-o-lanterns? Pumpkin pie? In fact, pumpkins are actually very beneficial, nutritionally, as well as low in calories and very versatile. For October’s Meatless Monday, we will present a selection of recipes featuring pumpkin: an appetizer, a salad and a main course. If you want dessert afterward, you know what to do!
Appetizer: Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Pumpkin Hummus
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2/3 cup of pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- ½ teaspoon finely minced (fresh) rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Roast the garlic by simmering in a small saucepan for 15–20 minutes in olive oil over medium-low heat. (Save the flavored oil for cooking.)
- Puree all the ingredients, except the rosemary, in a blender until smooth. Mix in the rosemary and serve with toasted pita or naan bread, apple slices, carrots or crackers.
Salad: Brussels Sprouts Pumpkin and Apple Hash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 2 cups chopped pumpkin
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, sliced
- 2 cups chopped apples
- ½ cup cranberries
- 1 tablespoon chopped sage
- 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- In a large skillet, sauté the shallot in olive oil.
- Add the Brussels sprouts and pumpkin and cook for 7–10 minutes or until softened and starting to brown.
- Add the apples, cranberries and sage and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Turn off heat, add the vinegar and toss. Serve.
The Main Course: Pumpkin Cannelloni with Sage Brown-Butter Sauce
- ½ pound of pumpkin
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large garlic cloves
- ½ cup ricotta
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 ½ finely chopped sage
- 1 package oven-ready lasagna sheets
- 6 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place pumpkin and ¾ cup of water in a large skillet and cook over medium heat and steam until tender—about 20 minutes. Place in a bowl and mash until smooth.
- Heat 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet and sauté garlic until golden. Transfer to a bowl and smash with a fork.
- Stir the garlic, cheeses, sage and garlic paste into the mashed pumpkin.
- Cook pasta until tender—about 2 minutes. Reserving the pasta water, transfer the pasta to a plate and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Coat a medium baking pan with oil.
- Place a sheet of lasagna on a clean work surface.
- Add 4 tablespoons of pumpkin mix to the center of the pasta and roll into a tube and transfer to the baking dish. Repeat with remaining sheets.
- Pour reserved water over the lasagna and cover tightly with foil.
- Bake until heat through and tender—about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Cook butter and sage leaves in a small skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown. Drizzle over the cannelloni and serve.
So get cooking and enjoy the taste and the health benefits of this vibrant fall vegetable. It’s not just for Halloween anymore!