They make cute decorations in your office or home, but have you thought to eat them? For this festive side dish that would be perfect for Halloween or Thanksgiving, we used “Jack Be Little” pumpkins grown at Mariquita Farm in Watsonville, CA. Their flesh was so sweet and flavorful. Dressed up with butter, maple syrup, cardamom, and orange juice, they were the perfect thing to eat after a day at the pumpkin patch.
One of these things is not like the other … The pumpkin on the far left is a “Sugar Pie” pumpkin. We roasted one of these as well, but the flavor wasn’t as sweet as the four Jack Be Little pumpkins.
Roasted Jack Be Little Pumpkins:
1 Jack Be Little Pumpkin (or Sugar Pie Pumpkin) per person
coarse salt & pepper
Cut the tops off the pumpkins as you would a jack-o-lantern. Using a metal spoon, remove the seeds and scrape out the fibers. Place the pumpkins on a baking sheet or in a pie pan.
In the bottom of each pumpkin, place a small pad of butter. Then add some maple syrup, a splash of orange juice, a sprinkle of cardamom, and some coarse salt & pepper. Put the tops back on the pumpkins.
The pumpkins can bake in a 350 to 400 degree oven (depending on the temperature of whatever is roasting with them). Just stick them in the oven alongside your main dish. We baked ours at 400 degrees next to a chicken. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the pumpkins slides through easily. Remove the pumpkin tops just before eating and scoop out the tasty flesh with a spoon!
We enjoyed our Jack Be Little pumpkins with a roasted chicken, and sautéed brussel sprouts that we bought at the pumpkin patch in Davenport.
Note: If you happen to have leftover pumpkins, scoop out the seasoned flesh and use it in your favorite fall baked goods in place of canned pumpkin (or you can freeze it for later).