Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pumpkin Shortage?

I became so alarmed after hearing numerous reports about a pumpkin shortage on the East End that I hurried over to the one place I usually avoid at this time of year, Pumpkintown (the traffic!) to grab what I could grab. I was prepared to knock down a few preschoolers if I had to, but there was no need. There were fields full of giant pumpkins, and a cart filled with small sugar pumpkins for $3 apiece. I cut up one of these small pumpkins when I got home, and roasted the pieces with a little maple syrup. Here is the recipe:

Maple-Glazed Pumpkin
Serves 6

Smaller pumpkins are easier to cut up than larger ones, and yield a manageable amount of flesh. First, use a sharp, heavy chef's knife to cut around the stem to remove. Scoop out the seeds (you can rinse them and roast them if you'd like). Then cut the pumpkin into wedges, following its natural grooves. Use a paring knife to remove the skin and any remaining stringy pulp from each wedge before cutting into pieces.

1 small sugar pumpkin (about 4 pounds), stemmed, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the pumpkin with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until pumpkin pieces are just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss with the maple syrup, return to the oven, and roast an additional 2 minutes.

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