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What to do with pumpkin

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Updated: December 21, 2013 6:07AM



No doubt, pumpkin is trending.

Bonefish (15537 S. La Grange, Orland Park) serves delicate pumpkin-stuffed ravioli dotted with crisp sage; Range (1119 W. Webster) is doing deep-fried pumpkin nuggets.

At Red Door (2118 N. Damen), chef Troy Graves serves pumpkin beverages — such as a pumpkin Old Fashioned and beer — as well as meals, including pumpkin seed-crusted hake with pumpkin spaetzle and a fabulous lobster- and mushroom-stuffed pumpkin in a light curry sauce.

“Pumpkin does well with aromatics and bold flavors,” Graves said. “Asian and Indian curries, as well as Mexican moles, all complement the flavor of pumpkin.”

For cooking, make sure you get a pie pumpkin and not a carving pumpkin. Though both types of pumpkins contain vitamins and minerals, a lot of fiber and no saturated fat, pie pumpkins are fleshier and somewhat sweeter.

Pumpkin’s natural sweetness makes it well-suited to spice, so we decided to go with a preparation that uses curry, as Graves suggested, avoiding preparations that require the vegetable to be reduced to a mush. Here’s how to roast pumpkin to deliciousness.

1. Remove stringy pulp and seeds from pumpkin and cut into 1-inch-thick slices.

2. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and give each slice a few shakes of curry powder.

3. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until fork-tender.

Add visual interest to the roasted pumpkin with sauteed sage or roasted pumpkin seeds.

David Hammond



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