This week, Anna Lamotte from Guardswell Farm in Perthshire shares her alternatives to traditional pumpkin recipes.
Anna, who runs runs Guardswell Grows with her sister Kirstin is no stranger to seemingly endless varieties of pumpkins that can be found locally at this time of year.
Read on to discover more of her tips … and Happy Halloween!
The old traditions
A chiselled-out neep in hand, plasters wrapped around your fingers after you accidentally took a chunk out of them too, the wick inside your brassica flickering from a precarious angle – the candle sitting jauntily on the base – blackening the neep lid.
The door opens and you burst into song… a riddle… or poem. Perhaps a little tune on your comb and paper.
The Scottish tradition of guising is slowly being overshadowed by the plastic ghouls and trick-or-treat of our transatlantic neighbours – but perhaps this is the year to bring back the old traditions? Maybe with a more contemporary twist.
Joys of picking your own
A less dangerous neep alternative, of course, is the pumpkin! And something that Scottish farmers have truly grasped with both hands when it’s come down to agritourism diversification.
Wonderful “pick your own” pumpkin patches have popped up, tickets selling out within hours, children piling out of cars ready to muddy their wellies and pick a pumpkin as heavy as themselves.
Our absolute favourite way to cook any pumpkin or squash is to roast until soft, unctuous and with a bit of charring around the edge.
I’d personally leave the skin on to roast as it softens right down and is equally as delicious as the innards.
Cut in half, scoop out the innards (you may want to keep them for roasting and spicing later on) then slice into smiley faced wedges – assuming you’re cutting up a round pumpkin.
Drizzle over olive oil and then simply season –or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous – try sprinkling a liberal amount of Za’atar over your squash before popping into a hot oven.
Depending on how sweet your tooth is, you may want to drizzle some honey on to it after you remove from the oven.
Serve over salad leaves for a warm wintery salad, atop your favourite homemade warming curry sauce or alongside your Sunday roast.