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Pumpkins: The fall fruit you can eat as well as carve (recipes included!)

Pumpkins: The fall fruit you can eat as well as carve (recipes included!)

Autumn is here, and the pumpkins are piling up outside of supermarkets -- ready to be carved into a poor excuse for a face. But before you grab that knife, consider all the culinary delights this fall fruit can be used for -- besides that old-fashioned pumpkin pie. Because let's face it: You used the canned stuff for.

Safeway has been getting pumpkins from Star Farms in Commerce City for fifty years, and has put together a couple of recipes that highlight pumpkin in new and creative ways. Keep reading for those recipes.

See also: Ten autumn-inspired desserts to fall for

Jeff Anderson, executive chef of the Safeway Culinary Kitchens.
Jeff Anderson, executive chef of the Safeway Culinary Kitchens.
Safeway

Roasted Pumpkin Risotto with Prosciutto and Sage

Ingredients:

1 (2 pound) Sugar Pie pumpkin

3 tbsp. O Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ oz Primo Taglio prosciutto, cut into slivers

12 O Organics sage leaves

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 cup Safeway medium grain white rice

½ cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

4 cups O Organics chicken broth

¾ cup Safeway SELECT Primo Taglio shredded asiago cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut stem off pumpkin. With a sharp, heavy knife, carefully cut pumpkin in half vertically. With a metal spoon, scrape out seeds and strings.

2. Cut half the pumpkin into 4 wedges. Rub all 5 pieces (including the half) with 2 tablespoons oil and place in a large rimmed baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast pumpkin until tender when pierced, 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat, frequently stir prosciutto in remaining tablespoon oil until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Add sage and cook until leaves turn bright green and are crisp, about 1 minute more. With a slotted spoon, lift prosciutto and sage onto paper towels.

4. Add onion to pan and stir often until tender, about 3 minutes. Add rice and stir often until it begins to turn opaque, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; stir often until mostly absorbed. Add 3 cups broth and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes over medium heat.

5. When pumpkin is tender, peel the half-pumpkin piece, then cut flesh into ½-inch cubes. Keep wedges warm.

6. When rice has cooked for 20 minutes, add remaining broth, cheese, and pumpkin cubes. Stir gently until cheese melts, pumpkin is hot, and most of broth is absorbed, about 3 minutes. On plates, spoon risotto next to pumpkin wedges and top with prosciutto and sage.

Notes: You can use traditional Italian arborio rice or domestic medium-grain rice; both give the chewy, distinctive texture you want in a good risotto. Gently frying fresh sage leaves with the prosciutto heightens flavors.

Roasted Pumpkin Wedges with Minted Yogurt

Ingredients:

1 cup plain Lucerne whole milk yogurt (do not use low-fat or nonfat)

2 tbsp finely chopped O Organics

Mint leaves, plus additional leaves for garnish

¼ tsp ground coriander

1 clove garlic, minced

½ tsp O Organics extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (3 pound) Sugar Pie pumpkin

¼ cup canola oil

¼ cup O Organics granulated sugar

Directions:

1. For minted yogurt: Place yogurt in a colander lined with a paper towel or cheesecloth. Set in sink to drain for 30 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk thickened yogurt with 1 teaspoon water, chopped mint, coriander, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Let stand at room temperature, covered, while pumpkin bakes.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking pan with foil.

3. For pumpkin: With a sharp, heavy knife, carefully cut pumpkin in half vertically. Use a metal spoon to scrape out seeds and strings. Put each pumpkin half, cut side down, on a cutting board. Using the pumpkin's natural lines as a guide, cut each half into 8 equal wedges. Peel the pumpkin with a vegetable peeler; place in a large bowl.

4. Drizzle pumpkin with canola oil and evenly rub with sugar and ½ teaspoon salt. Turn into prepared pan, scraping sugar mixture onto pumpkin. Cover tightly with foil and bake until very tender when pierced, 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Broil pumpkin about 5 inches from heat until wedges turn deep golden brown in spots (watch to prevent burning) 3 to 5 minutes. On plates, spoon minted yogurt over pumpkin wedges. Garnish with additional mint leaves if you like.

Notes: Lightly coated with sugar and salt, these pumpkin wedges take on a delicious, nutty sweetness. A dollop of yogurt creates luxurious texture and flavor. It's fine

to prepare yogurt sauce in advance, but keep it chilled, then bring to room temperature before serving.



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