CHARCUTERIE // How I Use Gourds on My Fall Grazing Boards! Easy Tips & Tricks
Hello Gourdgeous! We are talking all about gourds, pumpkins, and squash today. These are a must-have for all things fall. I love to cook, roast, and decorate with these fall beauties. There is such a wide variety, and they are so diverse in how you can use them.
Oh, my gourd! You know it’s pumpkin season when they start to catch your eye and are stacked a mile high at the grocery store. I love driving with my kids to the many pumpkin patches near me. We enjoy picking out the unique and uncommon varieties you can’t find at the store. And my kids love exploring the pumpkin patches and choosing a pumpkin of their very own.
Looking Gourd! Okay, I promise that’s the last pun! I love all the mini and small varieties of pumpkins and squash to help decorate and peak appetites. I have lots of ideas for you. Keep reading below!
TYPES OF GOURDS
Gourds and pumpkins can range from mini to massive and anywhere in between. They also come in various colors: orange, white, blue, green, yellow, and red. There are a variety of gourds at the grocery store, farmer’s markets, and pumpkin patches. Most gourds are edible, some are ornamental, and many are both. Here are some of my favorite mini gourds that are edible and decorative.
Sweet Dumpling Squash - This squash is green and cream-colored. This squash tastes sweet and delicious when roasted with maple syrup.
Mini Pumpkins - You can find these at your local grocery store. They are cute and tiny and work as ornaments and serving bowls.
Mini Tiger Pumpkin - These pumpkins are cream-colored with orange stripes. These unique gourds look great as a serving bowl.
Sugar Pie - This pumpkin is excellent for baking and roasting. They have a smooth texture and are delicious in desserts.
Baby Boo Pumpkin - These tiny adorable white pumpkins make great ornaments. They also look pretty sitting next to other colorful pumpkins.
Kabocha - This squash is great for cooking. Kabocha has a sweet flavor that works for roasting and soups.
Acorn - This squash is also great for cooking. They are a wonderful treat cut in half and roasted with butter and sugar.
Butternut - This variety is super popular, and you can find them in any store. These are perfect for soups and roasting. They are low-calorie, have amazing flavor, and are packed with healthy nutrition.
Patty Pan - Also known as Scallop squash because of their curvy edges. These tiny squash look adorable on a grazing board and don’t overwhelm the other ingredients.
How to Use Your Gourds
Once you have decided which pumpkins to use, there are many ways to display them on your Fall grazing board. You can leave them whole and let them shine like a star, slice them, dice them, roast them or puree them.
I like to slice acorn squash and stack them off-centered for a more artistic display. You can cut the squash into rings and roast them to add creamy and warm flavors to your charcuterie boards.
Mini gourds make the perfect bowl. It’s easy to cut a mini pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, place sauces and dips in the pumpkin, and then place the top back on but a little to the side.
Don’t forget other Fall fruits that compliment your gourds. I like to include figs, pomegranates, persimmons, and pears. Also, save those pumpkin seeds for roasting, which can be a nice addition to your board. Or keep them to plant in your garden the following spring.
How to Cut Your Gourds
If you are having trouble cutting your gourd for cooking or making a bowl. Here are a few easy tips. If you are cooking the squash, put it in the microwave for a few minutes first to help soften the skin. Also, make sure your cutting board and squash are stable. One way to do this is by cutting off the end of the squash, so it doesn’t roll around. Butternut squash can be awkward to cut, so it can help to cut the squash into many sections.
One More Pun - Gourd Vibes Only!
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Stick around! The next blog is about my favorite Candy Fall Grazing Boards, which are so sugary and sweet!