What says Halloween more than a Jack o lantern?
Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without carving out a pumpkin but once turned in to Jack o lanterns a pumpkins life is often cut short.
Pumpkins are not just for Halloween, they’re pretty good the day after too so rather that throwing old Jack Pumpkin Head out, one thing you could do with him is turn him in to a delicious pesto.
Pumpkins don’t tend to last too long once they’re carved and out of the fridge though, as I found out one year after a particular Halloween. I’d thrown a dinner with a pumpkin carving competition in the interval between mains and dessert. The carved pumpkins were then added to my Halloween decor and lived on my stairs for a few days, I thought they looked cute – that is until I was sitting at my table downstairs and found out pumpkin mush was dripping through the holes (I have weird metal stairs). Cleaning that up wasn’t my most enjoyable moment let me tell you so make sure you don’t leave it too long between carving and cooking!
I’ve made this recipe with a new pumpkin rather than one that’s already carved so if you are using your old jack o lantern, you can skip the gutting step . . .
1/4 medium pumpkin (keep an eye out for more pumpkin recipes for ideas of what to do with the rest )
1 clove garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (you could wash and roast the ones from your pumpkin but I used from a pack)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup grated vegan cheese
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp chilli powder or 1 red chilli (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 200°C
Cut your pumpkin in half and remove the pumpkin guts.
Cut one quarter of the pumpkin in to pieces. (wrap the rest in cling film and put in the fridge to use for something else)
Brush pumpkin flesh with olive oil and place on a flesh side down on a baking tray.
Cover with foil and place in the oven for 1 hr.
Remove and let cool.
Once cool, scoop pumpkin flesh from skin.
Blend pumpkin flesh, garlic, sun dried tomato, pumpkin seeds, vegan cheese, coconut milk, sage, salt and optional chilli together to form the pesto cream.
.Serve with gnocci (alternatively you could use pasta) I garnished with some extra chilli and pumpkin seeds.
Remember to double ingredients if cooking for 4 as the gnocci recipe is for 2