Searing sweet-fleshed pumpkins seemed like a good idea, after the fennel. I told Kathy about my plan, and she agreed they’d be delicious, and recommended a splash of balsamic vinegar at the end.
I found a baby sugar pumpkin that weighed a pound and a quarter:
I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, and sliced it into thin wedges, only about 1″ thick at the fattest part. I tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and seared them in a hot skillet (arranged all pretty):
for four or five minutes on each side, until they got nice and brown. I added a quarter cup of balsamic vinegar,
and watched it bubble and hiss as it reduced and eventually coated the pumpkin slices with a deep mahogany crust of flavor.
I tried one, I really did. I liked it at the time.
But by the time our friends came over for dinner, and I’d reheated the pumpkin in a 400 degree oven for a few minutes, the pumpkin had lost whatever pizazz I thought I’d recognized earlier, and we all played with them, pushing them around our plates, focusing things we liked better, coating it in the sauce from the pork, for more flavor.
Maybe they weren’t meant to be reheated. Maybe they were meant to be deep-fried, like the gorgeous kabocha tempura I had with Sarah and Hilary in Japan. Or maybe they just weren’t meant to be.
Finally, someone said it out loud. This pumpkin isn’t my favorite.