Pinch, punch, first of the month and no returns! (If you have no idea what that’s all about then you probably didn’t grow up in the UK…)
The first of November is here and as we move from one month to the next, out goes all of the Halloween decorations, the fake blood and the carefully carved pumpkins. Most people just chuck their pumpkin in the bin but this is such a waste! Whether you dice up the flesh and chuck it in a curry, purse your jack-o-lanterns insides and use it in a sweet pie, or simply roast the seeds there is a lot you can do with the humble pumpkin.
One of my favourite things to do with an unwanted Halloween pumpkin is to roast it with some spring onions, blitz it up, and mix it with a combination of soft cream cheese and sharp red Leicester, season well and DIP.
After a night of over indulging on fun size sweets, popcorn and more, on the 1st of November all I want is a big bowl of cheesey pumpkin dip, some crudités and some crackers. I’ll stick on A Nightmare Before Christmas, snuggle up on the sofa and I am truly happy!
But less about me being a lazy glutton…it’s actually horrifying how many pumpkins get chucked away in the UK each Halloween when they are a perfectly good food stuff! Would you buy a steak, cut it into weird shapes, look at it for an evening then throw that in the bin? No! I thought not…
On average, 18,000 tonnes of edible pumpkins end up in landfill each Halloween, that’s the same as 1,500 double decker buses! Just think how many hungry people you could feed with that. So step away from your rubbish bit and lets get cooking that pumpkin….
- 1 medium edible pumpkin
- 4 spring onions
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 300g soft cream cheese
- 125g red Leicester (grated)
- 0.5 tsp cinnamon
- Dice the pumpkin, skin and all, into 1 inch cubes.
- Roughly chop the spring onions (saving a few pieces for garnish) and place on a baking tray with the diced pumpkin.
- Drizzle the pumpkin and spring onions with the olive oil and season generously.
- Roast in the centre of the oven at 180C for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and caramelised.
- Transfer the pumpkin and spring onions to a food processor and blitz until it is smooth and silky.
- Place the pumpkin purée into a small pan and add the cream cheese and red Leicester and the cinnamon.
- Heat gently until the cheese is melted and fully combined with the pumpkin.
- Serve with an extra sprinkle of cheese and some sliced spring onion.
This dip tastes great hot or cold. Serve with french stick, crackers or vegetable sticks.
This year Hubbub have been creating noise about the plight of the poor pumpkin and have been encouraging people to cook with their pumpkin for the first time this year – #pumpkinrescue.
If you come up with a great pumpkin recipe, then the guys at Hubbub are running a competition where you could win a signed copy of the much anticipated book, Love Your Leftovers, just visit the website to find out how to enter. I’ll be entering my Cheesey Pumpkin Dip!