For the last couple of weeks, Sainsbury's supermarket has been selling "carving pumpkins" for Hallowe'en - not with the rest of the vegetables, but with all the other Hallowe'en paraphernalia. They were remarkably cheap, so I asked if they were suitable for cooking as well as for carving into lanterns, and was told that they were perfectly edible, but had been selected because they were a regular shape and even colour.
So I bought one, and have cooked several meals from it:
- 20% went into a North African Pumpkin and Chick pea dish from Claudia Roden's Tamarind and Saffron. Pumpkin with chickpeas sounds a little bland, but it was actually very tasty. (4 portions)
- 20% made a pumpkin risotto, based on the recipe from Valentina Harris's Risotto! Risotto! I left out the pancetta, because we hadn't got any, and it was fine without. (2 portions)
- With the rest, I made two batches of the delicious Pumpkin and Sage soup from Susan Crawford's blog. (approx. 8 portions).
And the pumpkin which made all these dishes cost me £1.50 - remarkably cheap. I'm sure that's less than the usual price when it's not Hallowe'en. Jane Grigson, whom I trust completely on cooking matters, says in her Vegetable Book that whole pumpkins will keep for months, so I bought three more to keep for later. Nice for us, though I don't see how anyone can grow pumpkins and make money, when the supermarkets sell them for only £1.50.