Gourmet Ideas for Your Pumpkin Guts

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If you haven’t already, in a few days you will likely join the millions of Americans who’ll showcase their artistic prowess via a giant orange squash. There were 47,800 acres of pumpkins harvested last year, and while most of those ended up in cans, several million ended up on the front porch set aglow with a candle that replaced those sloppy innards.

Like hooking a worm on a family fishing trip, extracting that slimy gunk is a necessary evil at Halloween. Gross and unpleasant, the surgery still needs to be done before the real fun of carving can begin. But to a few local chefs, a pumpkin’s insides are far from a nuisance; they are simply another ingredient worthy of our taste buds and culinary care. Take a look at their ideas for adding some gourmet to your glop:

Gabrielle Arnold
Co-owner, La Empanada Food Truck
I posted a recipe for a Cheesy Stuffed Pumpkin a few years back on Honest Fare.com that’s been pretty popular. Basically you sauté the pumpkin guts with fall herbs (like sage) and garlic, and stale bread (from a good baguette) and then stuff the pumpkin with that mixture and some cheese layered in. It’s quite wonderful. You could do a variation of that recipe where you follow all the steps but don’t stuff the pumpkin and instead just bake the mixture in a baking dish so it’s more like a cheesy pumpkin stuffing. Yum!

Frank Brough
Chef de Cuisine at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
I’d make Pumpkin Risotto.

1. Separate the “guts” from the seeds. Puree the guts. Blend into the risotto during the last few minutes of the cooking process.

2. Then take the seeds you removed from the pumpkin guts and dry them and make a nice pumpkin brittle.

Don’t forget you can purchase locally grown pumpkins at Florida Farmer’s Markets and at Long & Scott Farm.

Kathleen Blake
Chef/Owner at The Rusty Spoon
I’d make a roasted pumpkin hummus with tons of roasted garlic in it.

Sean Woods
Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
I dry the seeds, toast them with salt and cayenne and turn them into snack.

Steve Saelg
Chef/Owner at The Crooked Spoon
I like to make pumpkin cannoli, then candy the seeds as a garnish. My Italian roots run deep!

Cory York
Chef at deep blu seafood grille
I like to use the seeds of a pumpkin. I roast them at low heat to dry them out. Then mixing egg white and sugar into the seeds and baking them gives you a sweet crunchy garnish for your pumpkin pie!

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