My backyard grown sugar pie pumpkins are finally ripening up in spite of the steady rains we've been experiencing here in the Pacific Northwest. A few of the pumpkins ended up being somewhat small and weren't worth the effort to process into pumpkin puree. So, what to do with these little guys? I wanted to do something new and, not having grilled pumpkins before, I was quite excited to give it a try.
During grilling, the sugars in the pumpkin caramelize. The combination of sweet and salty, coupled with crisp rosemary, will give you a different way of thinking about pumpkin. After trying this, you just might find yourself dreaming of expanding your pumpkin patch next year.
Make sure you use sugar pie pumpkins or the equivalent for this recipe — you really don't want to eat a jack-o-lantern type pumpkin as they are stringy. If you aren't growing your own sugar pie pumpkins you should be seeing them available in stores and farmers markets this month or, better yet, make a fun trip out of it and head out to a U-pick pumpkin farm. Don't forget to pick up a few extra for making your own pumpkin puree for pies and breads later in the year.
Sugar pie pumpkins (preferably on the small side)
Fresh rosemary, chopped
1. Heat grill to medium-high.
2. Wash and cut the pumpkins vertically into 3/4 inch slices. Remove the seeds and stringy parts. Brush both sides of each slice liberally with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary.
3. Place the slices on the grill for about 5 minutes a side or until dark grill marks appear. Turn and grill the other side until you can easily pierce the pumpkin slice with a fork. You want to make sure that the pumpkin is tender.
4. Since some of the salt tends to fall off during the grilling process, serve with a small dish of additional sea salt.