Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween -- Cooking with Pumpkins (and their seeds)

Happy Halloween everyone.  I thought you would appreciate these Halloween inspired food links and a great new recipe from Nikki.  Enjoy!

Food52 Homemade Halloween Treats

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds from Maria's Country Kitchen

101 Cookbook's Toasted Pumpkin Seeds Three Ways

Food52 6 Drinks for after Trick-or-Treating

Notes From Nikki
Pumpkin Lasagna
Happy Halloween! I thought it would be appropriate to share a pumpkin recipe as it is Halloween. A frosty, snow-covered Halloween, but Halloween nonetheless. This recipe includes chicken apple sausage. Feel free to omit it for a vegetarian version. It will still be delicious. You can also substitute the chicken apple sausage with your favorite chicken or turkey sausage or ground turkey (cook the ground turkey or any bulk sausage along with the onions, garlic, and sage before you add the chard). Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a photo. You'll just have to make it yourself to see how pretty it is. ;-)


1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs sage, stems discarded, leaves minced
2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
3-4 C cooked pumpkin (I halved, seeded, and roasted two of the pumpkins from our Inverbrook share, the oblong one and the orange and green sugar pie pumpkin; both boast tremendous flavor)
2 bunches chard, tough stems removed, chopped
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1- 1 1/2 lbs cooked and sliced apple chicken sausage (enough slices for two layers of the lasagna)
1 box no-boil lasagna noodles (feel free to use your favorite cooked lasagna noodles; the no-boil noodles are just a convenience)
1/2 C fresh shredded parmesan
3 C shredded mozzarella
1/4-1/2 C ricotta cheese (I used whole-milk for maximum flavor)
Splash of milk
Butter for greasing the bottom of the lasagna pan

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Saute the onion, garlic, and sage in a large skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
3. Toss in the chard and continue sauteing until the chard is wilted.
4. Add in the cooked pumpkin and another dose of sea salt and pepper, stirring well to incorporate. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
5. Grease the bottom and sides of a lasagna pan with a bit of butter.
6. Add a splash of milk to the bottom of the pan, and then top with your first layer of lasagna noodles.
7. Top the noodles with the pumpkin/chard mixture, a layer of sliced sausage, close to half of the mozzarella (keep in mind that you'll just need to reserve some [less than 1/3] for the very top), half of the parmesan, and 1/2 of the ricotta (tiny dollops spread fairly evenly apart), in that order.
8. Add another layer of noodles, pumpkin/chard mixture, sausage, mozzarella, parmesan, and ricotta.
9. Top this second layer with a final layer of noodles, the remainder of the mozzarella, and a drizzle of milk over the top.
10. Tent with foil and bake until bubbling (about 30 minutes).
11. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes or so until the top is golden brown.
12. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a good 10-15 minutes before slicing.

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