Of all of the traditional desert dishes we enjoy at Thanksgiving, pumpkin is the only one that was also served at those first meals European colonists shared with Native Americans.
According to historic records, there was no pumpkin pie. It was more of a custard made in pumpkins baked on hot coals full of honey and spices.
In honor of those first baked pumpkins, I tried this healthier recipe with some minor adjustments. I added sea salt to balance the spices and honey. If using brown sugar, I might not add the sea salt.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar or a drizzle of *honey
(*not too much, remember honey is twice as sweet as regular sugar)
Heat oven to 400F.
Keep a dish towel handy to pick up any messes, pumpkin seeds can be slippery. Using a large spoon, scoop out the seeds and pumpkin insides. Save seeds for roasting or share with your outside wildlife. As if we all don't have "wildlife" inside, too, but that's a whole different story.
Cut pumpkin slices about 1-inch thick. Leave pumpkin shell on so you can easily scoop up the slices.
Place slices on baking sheet. Rub olive oil into both sides. Sprinkle with spices, salt and honey, or go light with the salt if using brown sugar.
Roast for 20-25 minutes, depending on pumpkin slice thickness. Test with a fork to make sure it’s tender. Let rest in pan for a few minutes after removing from oven.
Serve as is or with a dollop of whipped cream on the side.
This may become one of my new Thanksgiving favorites. It was easy to make and even better the next day cold. It could be served as both a main side dish or dessert, and would fit right in with other updated favorite recipes.
Maybe I should make another one and see if I can decide...