How to Work with Whole Pumpkin

We love to play with pumpkins in our kitchen..from the moment they show up in the grocery stores/farm stands all the way through the discount post-Halloween ones. They are fun, delicious, versatile, and inexpensive. While not all pumpkins are created equal from a taste standpoint (we prefer the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin for its thick, meaty flesh), they are all edible (and all orange on the inside)…and with the right spicing are sure to delight!

Since we cook with enough pumpkin, I wanted to make a post for general steps on how to prep pumpkin for ease of reference moving forward and to spread the word on these amazing squashes. Once you master this, you’ll be able to make any variety of Pumpkin Recipes. You can Puree and use in Indian or Thai Curries, Chilies, or Veggie Burgers, cut it into chunks for Gratins, Risottos, or French Fries…roast, boil, fry…the uses are nearly endless!

Don’t forget to keep your seeds to roast to put on salads or just have as a great afternoon snack!

What you will need:

  • Large cutting board
  • Sharp Knife (We used a paring knife and a large knife to get the job done)
  • Metal spoon
  • A Pumpkin (fresh…not one that you had sitting outside as a decoration)
  • A bowl to collect your seeds
  • Recommended: Kevlar gloves

Method:

  • If your pumpkin can’t sit flat when right side up, slice a little piece off the bottom so that it can.
  • Once your pumpkin is standing upright, carefully cut around the stem at an angle with the tip of your knife facing inward.
  • Once you’ve cut around your stem, pluck that part out, and discard.
  • Cut your pumpkin in half from top to bottom.
  • Use your hands to scoop all of the seeds out of each half of your pumpkin, and set them aside for roasting later!
  • Use your spoon to scrape the inside cavity of your pumpkin to remove any remaining stringiness.
  • Place your pumpkin halves skin side up on your cutting board, and cut into wedges. From this point, you can either:
    • Roast your wedges and peel the skin away from the roasted pumpkin flesh
    • Cut the skin off your raw wedges and boil.
  • Use in your favourite pumpkin recipe(s)!

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