Chef Pumpkinhead presents ...
Have you ever enjoyed the taste of roasted pumpkin seeds? Pumpkin seed oil has a similar flavor, rich, nutty and delicious. Use it as a flavoring oil in salad dressings, eggs, vegetables and for dipping bread. It has a real affinity for corn and can be used in many recipes from popcorn to adding a special note to canned or frozen corn. In her gorgeous and encyclopedic book, "The Compleat Squash" artist, author, gardener and botanist, Amy Goldman describes the taste of pumpkin seed oil as "delicate and strangely familiar". It is unique, special and you are going to love it too.
2009 Christmas Pumpkin Seed Meal Bars
1 ¾ cups old fashioned oats
1 ½ pumpkin seed meal
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries or craisens
4 ½ Tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup honey (used just a little less)
1 ½ Tablespoons molasses
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
1. Line a 4½ by 9 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 1 inch overhang on each long side.
2. Measure pumpkin seed meal and craisens into large bowl. Toast oats in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often until they turn golden brown about 5 minutes. Combine with meal and craisens.
3. Add butter, sugar, cinnamon, honey, molasses and salt in the skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until butter melts and mixture bubbles, 2-3 minutes. Pour hot mixture over oats, pumpkin seed meal and craisens and stir to combine.
4. Press mixture into the plastic lined loaf pan. Chill 30 minutes then remove from pan, discard plastic and cut into bars or slices.
2008 Christmas Pumpkin Seed Brittle Bars - these are easy!
1¼ cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (or whatever you came up with)
1½ oz (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1. Line a 4½ by 9 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 1 inch overhang on each long side. Toast oats in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often until they turn golden brown about 5 minutes. Transfer into a bowl.
2. Add butter, sugar, cinnamon, corn syrup, molasses and salt in the skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until butter melts and mixture bubbles, 2-3 minutes. Pour hot mixture over oats and pumpkin seeds (whatever seed) and stir to combine.
3. Press mixture into the plastic lined loaf pan. Chill 30 minutes then remove from pan, discard plastic and cut into bars or slices.
Pumpkin Seed Oil Salad Dressing
- use a nice vinegar, balsamic is great with pumpkin seed oil, so are rice and apple cider vinegars
- use a small jar you can shake or put ingredients in a bowl and whisk
- add a tiny amount of maple syrup, like less than 1/8 teaspoon per 1/2 cup of dressing
- add a small amount of Dijon mustard, around 1 teaspoon per 1/2 cup of dressing
- adventurish folks can add garlic or herbs as dictated by those pesky inner voices.
Tropical Fruit Salad with Pumpkin Seed Oil Dressing
Our friend and neighbor, Sue West concocted this tasty salad
1 red grapefruit
1 pink grapefruit
Separate and peel segments
Combine with 2 clementines or 1 can mandarin oranges with juice
2 sliced ripe bananas
1 mango cubed
2 Tablespoons plump organic raisins (soak briefly in hot water if necessary)
Drizzle with 1 teaspoon pumpkin seed oil and 1 tablespoon maple syrup or brown sugar
Toss and serve with yogurt or chopped walnuts
Makes 5 cups fruit salad
Scrambled Eggs with Pumpkin Seed Oil
Wild Rice with Vegetables and Raisins
"Ruby is all about her cooking. ...the nutty-smelling wild rice with raisins and vegetables is cooling in the sink. A Ruby original. Nothing can drive a hungry person crazier than yummy food smells."
About 7 one cup servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup brown rice
1 cup wild rice
1 cup chopped hazelnuts (any kind of nut is fine, including pumpkin seeds)
3/4 cup shallots (quantity approximate, onions or leeks fine too)
1 cup raisins (any variety)
2 cups chopped mushrooms, any variety
1 cup chopped parsnips (quantity approximate, ok to mix in carrots or celery)
2 14.5 oz cans broth, chicken, vegetable or beef
1 tablespoon oil or pumpkin seed oil to drizzle
Bring broth to boil, add rice, reduce heat, simmer 45 minutes and cover, checking occasionally to make sure there is adequate moisture . Sauté shallots and vegetables till almost tender, cover and hold. Combine rice, vegetables, nuts & raisins, lightly drizzle with olive oil or pumpkin seed oil then season to taste with salt & pepper and toss before serving.
1 butternut squash (approximately 1 lb.)
3 green apples, peeled & coarsely chopped
1 onion, peeled & chopped
1/4 tsp. rosemary OR marjoram
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 (10 1/2 oz.) cans chicken broth
2 soup cans water
1/4 cup heavy cream (OR half & half)
1 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil
Peel squash and seed. Cut into chunks. Combine squash with apples, onions, rosemary, salt and pepper, broth and water in large heavy saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
Puree soup in blender or food processor. Return mixture to saucepan and bring just to boiling point, then reduce heat. Before serving add cream. Slowly drizzle pumpkin seed oil over the top of each bowl.
Pour oil on plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fly to Paris and purchase the perfect baguette. Return home and voilà, dip in oil.
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil
1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
1/4 cup honey
1 cup pumpkin seeds, dried and toasted
Butter and 11" x 17" baking sheet, set in oven turned to 350°. Melt butter and stir in honey, sugar and pumpkin seed oil. Cook till candy thermometer reads 280° and add pumpkin seeds. Cook till the mixture is 300°. Pour out on a hot baking sheet, brittle will not cover entire pan. Let cool completely then break into pieces.
Note about pumpkin seeds. It would be the best if you could find some of the raw, naked seeded pumpkins that we use to make the oil. Sometimes they are available in natural grocers, sold under the name "Styrian" or "Naked Seeded" pumpkin seeds. The smaller Mexican pepitas will work too but sometimes they can be very salty, maybe rub off some of the salt. You can also use just regular pumpkin seeds left from Halloween. When toasted, the white shells are crunchy and the fiber is good for you.
Note about using pumpkin seed oil with the butter. It will give some darker flavors that we think are delicious. If you'd like a lighter taste, just use 4 tablespoons, or 1/2 cup of butter instead.
Organic Green with Pumpkin Seed Brittle, Blue Cheese and Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette
Inspired by the blog, The Gourmand Syndrome, where an an entry was posted about a fantastic (but fast) meal in New Orleans at Restaurant August, we present this idea:
Take organic baby greens, crumble a small amount of blue cheese, toss with the above Pumpkin Seed Oil Salad Dressing and top with bits of the Pumpkin Seed Brittle above. The fresh bitterness of the greens with the rich pungency of the blue cheese with the nutty sweetness of the brittle and the vinaigrette - how can you go wrong? We served it for New Year's Eve dinner (pictured right) and it was delicious.
Notes on presentation:
1. When you make the pumpkin seed brittle for this salad, use less pumpkin seeds and work to spread it as thin as possible. You want the brittle to crumble with a touch of a fork.
2. Use a ring mold or even just a narrow piece of paper curled into a circle to make a low cylinder. Place the salad tossed with dressing and blue cheese into this form to create a neat ring of greens. Ideally, the brittle should almost cover this circular shape.
Rare Roast Beef
A traditional Austrian favorite is to drizzle pumpkin seed oil over rare roast beef to enhance savory flavors
Vanilla ice cream with pumpkin seed oil and salt.
For years we've had this serving suggestion on the recipe page but unlike all the others, had never actually made it. It seemed a little strange. Well, we finally tried it and it is our new favorite dessert. Different, super easy and really good. Vanilla ice cream sprinkled with pumpkin seed oil and just a little bit of salt.