By guest blogger Pat Nogar
Autumn is my favorite time of year! It brings crisp, clean air that beckons us to roam spacious places like farmers markets in the search of fresh fall produce. After all, Halloween and Thanksgiving are almost here, and we want to be ready with special treats for our families and friends.
The Ardmore Farmers Market is such an amazing place. That’s why I stopped by there recently to stock up for the dishes that I’m sharing with you today. Of course, the first thing that caught my eye was the beautiful pumpkins at Ardmore Produce.
Pumpkins come in a myriad of varieties, but not all are great for eating. So, with the help of the knowledgeable vendor, I chose two varieties: Hubbard and Pumpkin Pie. Other varieties that you can find at markets include Cinderella, Long Island Cheese, and Sweetie Pie.
One thing that all pumpkins have in common is that their seeds make a delicious, nutritious snack. After cleaning it out, wash the seeds to free them from the “meat” of the pumpkin. Toss them in melted butter and salt, spread on a baking sheet, and roast in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
I also shopped other favorite vendors such as Stoltzfus Homestyle for Italian sausage, DiBruno Brothers for cheeses, and the Ultimate Bake Shoppe for dessert ideas. Using everything I bought, I prepared Pumpkin and Sage Flatbread, Roast Pumpkin Salad, and Autumn Pumpkin Soup. Keep reading to find out how!
Pumpkin and Sage Flatbread
- Naan flatbreads (4 if using oval, 8 if using round)
- 1 2 lb. pumpkin (I used Hubbard for this dish)
- 2 oz fresh prosciutto
- 30 fresh sage leaves + two sprigs
- 4 TB olive oil
- 1 cup shaved parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup honey
- ½ chipotle pepper
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut pumpkin in half, seed, and clean. Prepare a baking sheet with foil. Salt and pepper pumpkin halves and place a sprig of sage leaves in each half. Place halves—skin side up—on baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Let cook and remove peel, keeping pumpkin flesh intact. Cut into thin slices and set aside.
- Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves and cook for 30 seconds or until lightly crisped. Remove from oil, place on a paper towel to drain, and season with kosher salt.
- Add chipotle pepper and honey to a small food processor or blender and mix until smooth.
- Place naan bread on a baking sheet topped with parchment paper. Layer pumpkin pieces and torn pieces of prosciutto on bread and drizzle with reserved olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or until bread and pumpkin is warmed through. Remove from oven, brush with chipotle honey and top with shaved parmesan cheese, crispy sage leaves and sprinkle with additional kosher salt.
Roast Pumpkin Salad
- 1+ lb. pumpkin cut into 1 ¼” cubes
- 1 ½ TB olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 ½ TB olive oil
- 2 TB balsamic vinegar
- 1 TB honey
- Salt and pepper
- 5 oz baby spinach leaves
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced and halved
- 2 oz feta (I used a French feta from DiBruno Brothers that is absolutely fabulous)
- Preheat oven to 430 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Toss cubed pumpkin with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip, then bake for an additional 7-10 minutes until golden. (Caution: Don’t let it get mushy!) Remove from oven and—using a spatula—loosen pumpkin cubes from tray. Let cool.
- Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey to a jar with lid. Seal and shake. Add seasoning to taste.
- Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until light golden and fragrant. Remove from skillet as soon as you start to smell them.
- Place spinach and red onion in a bowl. Drizzle with a small amount of dressing and toss.
- Add pumpkin and half of feta and pine nuts and gently toss.
- Transfer salad to serving plate. Add remaining feta and pine nuts. Just before serving, drizzle with the remaining dressing.
Autumn Pumpkin Soup
Note: This recipe uses canned pumpkin puree. Make sure to buy pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling!
- 1 lb. Italian sausage (casings removed)
- 1 cup Baby Bella mushrooms (feel free to substitute other mushrooms, if you prefer)
- 1 cup parsnips, cut into 1” chunks
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 carton (32 ounces) unsalted chicken stock
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 TB cold water
- 1 TB cornstarch
- 2 cups shredded smoked colby or gouda cheese (I used a cup of each, and it made a great combo)
- Crisp bacon, crumbled
- In a Dutch Oven, cook sausage, mushroom, parsnips and onion over medium-high heat until sausage is no longer pink, and vegetables are tender, 8–10 minutes. (Note: the parsnips may not be quite tender, but they will continue to cook as you finish the dish.) Add garlic; cook one minute longer. Add stock, pumpkin and seasonings. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10–15 minutes longer.
- Stir in cream. In a cup, mix water and cornstarch until smooth. Stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened (1–2 minutes).
- Fill individual bowls with warm soup. Generously add shredded cheese on top, then add crumbled bacon. Serve!
Pat Nogar, founder of “Living Well with Pat Nogar”, is an accomplished cook, event planner, designer, master gardener, and maven of all things lifestyle. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook to see all of her ideas. Also, catch her on Facebook Live every Saturday Morning at 11 a.m. for “Saturday Morning with Pat” where she showcases the latest in food, entertainment, and just good talk!
Photos of Pat Nogar, courtesy of Marikate Venuto.