Pumpkin is a Winter Squash

Though most famous as potential jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins are thoroughly edible and come in two basic types: cooking pumpkins, and “field” pumpkins which are less sweet, stringier and therefore better suited for carving than eating. The curried pumpkin recipe below is best with a cooking pumpkin, naturally.

Varieties of cooking pumpkins are quite vast and range in color from green to pale beige and in size from 1 to 220 pounds and larger. The most common type of cooking pumpkin is the sugar pumpkin, which is smaller and heavier than the carving variety.

Pumpkins are indigenous North American members of the Cucurbita genus which includes gourds, squash, cucumber and melon. They are in the squash family culinarily speaking as well, in that they can be interchanged with many other winter squash for most recipes. The recipe for curried pumpkin below would be equally delicious with butternut squash or acorn squash.

Sautéed Curried Pumpkin

1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 lb pumpkin cut into ¼ inch cubes
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp chopped mint leaves
few drops of red wine vinegar
salt to taste

1. Heat butter or olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan.

2. When butter is melted or oil is hot, add honey and cubes of pumpkin.

3. Cook pumpkin until it begins to brown and is softened.

4. Toss cooked pumpkin cubes with allspice, curry and mint. Taste for sweetness, and add vinegar one drop at a time until sweet and sour flavors are balanced.

5. Salt to taste and transfer squash to serving dish.

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