Jap pumpkins, also known as Kent pumpkins, have bright green skin, mottled through with yellow or brown patches. Inside, the yellow-orange flesh is soft and dry and features a nutty flavour. This pumpkin cuts easily and can be grilled, roasted or steamed. They are available all year-round.
Choose Jap pumpkins that are firm and brightly coloured. Good quality pumpkins should be free from cracks, soft spots or excessive scarring. Uncut pumpkins can be stored for several months in a cool, dry, dark place. Once cut, however, they should be wrapped in plastic and stored in the fridge.
Serving suggestions: Jap pumpkins work well in both sweet and savoury dishes. To start, drizzle large chunks of pumpkin with olive oil and roast until soft to caramelise the flavours. Toss with sage, thyme and rosemary and top with blue cheese for a savoury dish. For a sweet flavour, toss roasted pumpkin with maple syrup, brown sugar and a pinch of nutmeg. Top with ricotta and enjoy.