Every year, for the past five years, we've headed to the not-too-distant wilderness for an annual Halloween camping trip. Sugar-Nazi that I am - notice the witch costume which isn't too far from the truth most days of the year! - this camping trip is a way to ensure that my kids get to enjoy Halloween festivities such as trick-or-treating (just the sites for the families who have joined us) but we aren't bombarded with a bunch of stuff we aren't going to eat.
We have a pumpkin carving contest, we potluck, we trick-or-treat, we camp, and we have a blast. We all bring appetizers, whatever we want to toss on the grill, and shared potluck dishes for an evening feast. I won't tip my witch's hat before the trip, but I'm excited about the dishes I've picked as my contributions this year.
pumpkin-ginger truffles. But my favorite dish was a Pumpkin Pâté.
2 C pumpkin puree
2 C raw cashews (soaked and drained)
1/2 C water (use soaked nut salted water)
1/4 C organic maple-agave syrup (sweeten to taste)
3 T pumpkin seed oil
1/2 t pink Himalaya salt (salt to taste)
1/4 C tangerine juice (use lemon juice for a more tart flavor)
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 t ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne
1. Soak the raw cashews for 30 minutes in salted water. Drain, but reserve the water for use in the dip.
2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
3. Add the drained cashews, pumpkin, maple-agave syrup, tangerine juice, oil, salt and spices to a food processor or high speed blender.
4. Add the water in a few splashes at a time. Process until the desired texture is reached.
5. Season to taste. Add in more spices/salt/sweetener/tangerine juice as you wish. You can also add in additional flavor changers like harissa for a smoky, spicy taste; or crushed sage for a warm herb flavor; or extra black pepper for a little kick.
6. Pour your pâté into your baking serving dish. Shallow dishes will result in a firmer/drier end product. Deep dishes will keep your smooth creamy texture.
7. For a shallow dish, bake at 250 for 50+ minutes. For the deep dish where you only want to warm the center and crisp the top you only need to bake at 250 for 20-30 minutes. The pâté will dry out the longer you bake it.
8. Plating. Serve warm or chilled. You can also add a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil and/or maple-agave syrup over top.