- Our farmers refer to all the winter squash they grow as pumpkins—no matter the variety
- Winter squash (though grown in the summer) is a squash that is eaten after having matured and formed a protective skin
- This thick rind helps to preserve the squash so that it can be eaten through the winter—some varieties store longer than others and some are more delicious when eaten right away, while others are more delicious when eaten after at least a month of storage
- Most Asian pumpkins are members of the Cucurbita maxima species, also known as kabocha type squash.
- Winter squash are nutritional powerhouses—loaded with vitamins and minerals and fiber—many claim that they are ‘nature’s prozac’, designed to keep us happy and well nourished during the winter
- Some of the pumpkins we grow on the farm are HUGE—the ones you’ve been getting in your shares are tiny in comparison. Sometimes a farmer will cut one in half and give it to a member. Don’t worry—they keep well, as long as they’re wrapped and refrigerated.
HOW TO TACKLE A PUMPKIN: Don’t let them intimidate you—-all they need is a sharp knife and a hot oven. I start by cutting off the top and then I flip it over so it can rest on that flat surface. Then I carefully use some brute force to cut the whole thing in half. Scoop out the seeds, rinse them and save them for later—-either roasted and eaten (so delicious and good for you) or planted next year. I usually leave the skin on (perfectly edible and nutritious on most kabocha type squashes). And then cut the pumpkin into wedges or cubes depending on how I’m using it. To roast, I bring the oven to 400 or 425, toss the wedges with some fat (typically coconut oil or lard—lends itself to high heat better than olive oil) and salt and roast til tender (for 30-45 minutes).
Tri Sa’s Thai Pumpkin Coconut Curry
NOTE: the bumpy pumpkins some of you’ve gotten in your boxes are Thai Pumpkins. Not ready for winter squash yet? Just set them out on your counter. They keep for a very long time. If you want to try this recipe and didn’t get a pumpkin in your box, come by the Wednesday market to get your own.
– 1 Thai Pumpkin, chopped into 1 inch cubes, skin on
– 1 can coconut milk
– a cup or so of water
– several cloves garlic, minced
– 2 inch knob of ginger, minced
– 2-3 Tbsp oil, olive or coconut
– salt to taste
– 2 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced
– several Lime leaves or Thai Basil
Heat a pot over high heat, add oil. Toss in minced garlic and ginger, stir. Pour in a cup or so of the coconut milk, stir. Toss in pumpkin cubes, stir. Add the rest of the coconut milk and enough water to almost cover pumpkin. Not too much or else it’ll be watery. Add a generous pinch of salt.Cover and turn heat down to medium. Simmer until pumpkin is tender but not mushy. Turn heat to low and add lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaves or thai basil. Take off heat and serve warm with rice.