Squash, along with corn and beans, are believed to have originated in Mexico and Central America where they were eaten 7,500 years ago. American Indians shared many varieties of squash with the European settlers, who took the seeds back to their countries. Today, squash and pumpkins are grown all over the world, and are wildly popular in many Eastern European countries. But getting a pumpkin in Ukraine is not something to be desired! Here is more about squash in general, and some of my favorite Eastern European pumpkin recipes are listed below.
Traditional pumpkin soup doesn't use the herbs and spices found in many contemporary versions. This is pure pumpkin flavor with the richness of chicken stock. Drop Potato Dumplings -- Kartoflane Kluski - add another flavor layer to this smooth puree.
This flaky Croatian strudel features a pumpkin and curd cheese filling. It's a surprising taste treat perfect for fall and winter holiday entertaining.
My mother made her pumpkin soup differently than traditional Polish recipes. She used rice as a thickener instead of a roux or heavy cream. Many classic bisque recipes use rice this way so I guess she knew what she was doing. The flavor certainly speaks for itself.
This recipe combines three ingredients Eastern Europeans love -- pumpkin, raisins and sauerkraut! It's a good way to get the kids to eat their fruits and vegetables and, if you add 1 cup chocolate chips, they're bound to love them.
Pumpkin is one of the most popular fruits / vegetables in Eastern Europe, especially when cooked with cream and herbs. This recipe for Creamed Pumpkin calls for onion, sour cream and parsley or dill.
These versatile pumpkin-filled pierogi can be eaten as an upscale main course with a white-wine or sage cream sauce and toasted pecan garnish, or as dessert with melted butter and a dusting of granulated or confectioners' sugar.
Bulgarian pumpkin banitza (or banitsa) is a dessert version of savory cheese banitzi made with flaky filo dough and either fresh or canned pumpkin. Other sweet fillings include apple and walnut. This is a popular dessert served with strong Turkish coffee.
Potica (po-TEET-sah), also known as povitica (po-vee-TEET-sah), is a yeast-raised dough rolled around a variety of fillings -- sweet or savory. Here, pumpkin seeds are used. Its name derives from the Slovenian word poviti, which means "to wrap in." Every family has its favorite recipe and a walnut potica, the most popular kind, can vary from one household to the next.
This Polish pumpkin casserole recipe features potatoes and cheese and is known as dynia zapiekana z serem i ziemniakami (DIN-yah zah-pyeh-KAHN-ah z SEHR-em ee zhyem-nyah-KAH-mee).