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Which Pumpkin?

Filed under Ford On Food

May 29, 2015

by Jason Ford
Ford on Food

The Goomeri Pumpkin Festival will be entertaining thousands of festival-goers on Sunday, May 31, and I’ll be there performing cooking demonstrations.

It’s critical that I select the right pumpkin for each recipe, because each species has its own unique qualities.

Texture, flavour, colour and moisture content can vary considerably.

If you ever find yourself in the same boat, here’s a quick guide to the most popular Australian pumpkin types:

  • Jarrahdale has a hard grey skin, which should be peeled. The moist bright orange flesh is not suitable for baking and is best boiled, steamed or pureed.
  • Butternut are an elongated pear shaped fruit (yes, pumpkins are fruit) with a creamy brown coloured skin. The dry flesh is sweet and nutty in flavour, which makes it ideal for soup; however it is versatile enough for most cooking methods.
  • Queensland Blue looks a bit like Jarrahdale, but is generally a bit larger and has deeper grooves. It has a smooth texture when steamed and pureed, it’s great for using in desserts and scones.
  • Golden Nugget are a smaller pumpkin with a bright orange skin. The flesh has quite a bland flavour. For this reason, they are often hollowed out and stuffed with ingredients such as feta and spinach, then baked.
  • Kent are also known as ‘Jap’ or ‘Kabocha’, they have a dark green skin covered with blond coloured freckles. They have a fluorescent yellow/orange flesh that is great for roasting because it is soft, dry and easy to cut into chunks. The skin is tender enough to be left on when roasted.

* * *

Roast Mushroom And Pumpkin Salad

Ingredients:

  • 500g jap pumpkin, cut into 1cm thick slices
  • 200g chickpeas, canned
  • 200g flat mushrooms, 1cm thick slices
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1cm thick slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • rocket leaves

Method:

  1. Combine oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar and seasoning together
  2. Drizzle over vegetables and roast at 200oC for 20-30 minutes
  3. Serve warm, on a bed of rocket and sprinkle with fresh tarragon leaves

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