What to do with pumpkins other than pie? Roast wedges, cook soups, use in stews and curries, bake pumpkin bread. Here’s another idea to use up a pound or so of pumpkin. Make hummus.
This smooth whipped hummus is our Waste Not recipe this week. To save time we started with canned chickpeas, but gave them an extra simmer until they dropped their skins. Pure chickpea creaminess. We roasted chunks of pumpkin to concentrate their flavor, until soft enough to spoon off the skin. Here’s a baseline recipe that you can adjust to your taste, with more or less garlic, lemon and tahini.
1 16-oz can chickpeas (liquid saved)
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1lb. – 1 ½ lbs. wedged pumpkin
1 Tbs. olive oil
scant ¼ tsp. cumin seeds
4 Tbs. tahini
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. saved chickpea liquid, chilled
2-3 cloves garlic, mashed or microplaned to a paste
To serve: olive oil, paprika (or a mix of paprika and smoked paprika, or Nobska Farm’s chipotle seasoning) a few leaves of parsley or cilantro, and roasted pumpkin seeds, if you like.
Drain canned chickpeas; save and chill their liquid. Put chickpeas in a pan with plenty of fresh water, plus ¼ tsp baking soda and a little salt. Bring to boil, then simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes –or until you see skins floating off, and chickpeas are very creamy, almost falling apart. (Time may vary with chickpea brand.)
Take pan to the sink, fill almost brimful with cold water, and stir vigorously. Pour off water, and most of the skins will float off with it, leaving behind mostly skinless chickpeas. Repeat a few times if you’re compulsive. Drain skinned chickpeas and cool.
Meanwhile cut pumpkin wedges into large 3 to 4-inch chunks. Line a baking tin or sheet with parchment. Toss pumpkin with salt, 1 Tbs. olive oil and sprinkle with cumin. Roast at 375 F, turning slices several times, for 45 minutes or until flesh can be scraped from the skin with a spoon. Scoop flesh into a bowl, mash, and measure 1 cup for the hummus. (Any leftover can be frozen for another time – say, to liven up plain store-bought hummus.)
To make hummus: Combine lemon juice, tahini and garlic in a food processor. It thickens fast as you start processing. Dilute with 2 tablespoons of chilled chickpea water, and process again, stopping to scrape around sides as necessary. Add chickpeas and process till very smooth. Add a cup of mashed pumpkin, a bit at a time, processing until hummus is light and creamy. (It will firm up when chilled in the fridge.) Adjust seasoning and texture to taste, adding salt, more lemon, garlic, an extra spoonful of tahini, if you like. Transfer to a lidded container and chill for at least a couple of hours.
To serve: spoon hummus onto a plate, spreading it with the back a spoon to make a central depression. Trickle in olive oil, sprinkle over paprika, a few green leaves of parsley or cilantro, and roasted pumpkin seeds, if you like. Serve with toasted pita, naan, or whatever you like for scooping hummus .
Roasted seeds for pumpkin hummus:
Soak 1 Tbs. cleaned pumpkin seeds in ½ cup water with 1/4tsp baking powder for about an hour. Drain and towel-dry. Coat lightly with oil and salt well. Roast about 15 minutes in a 425 F. oven (after you’re done roasting pumpkin.) Stir occasionally; watch seeds don’t burn. Take out when crisp and deep-mahogany in color and let cool in a wire sieve. Store in a small airtight jar.
*correction posted 9/29/16, original posted recipe had baking powder rather than baking soda listed in the ingredients section