…What I’m talking about is fruit that’s not quite at the point where it’s totally spoiled, but it’s not really enjoyable to eat out of hand anymore. The kind of fruit that looks past its prime; sort of wrinkled and worn. There’s more life in that produce than you might expect, so step away from the compost bin!
It’s really not that much more work to make your own, homemade pumpkin puree. Cut the pumpkin in quarters, scrape out the guts, roast for ~1 hour. Peel the skin off the flesh and toss it into the food processor with the rest of the ingredients.
Sweating your veggies is easy: simply put your prepped vegetables in a pot on low heat. Keep the lid on, and let them cook slowly. By keeping the lid on, you use their own liquid to “sweat” (aka steam) them. The technique is called à l’étouffée in French cooking, and it leads to soups and bisques with depth of flavor. You can also apply this to purees that are part of other dishes—like mashed potatoes, for example.
The fact that microplaned garlic is more pungent than minced isn’t particularly shocking in and of itself. We all know that garlic’s intensity in a dish isn’t just dependent on how much garlic there is, but also how it’s been prepared: a single whole clove will deliver less intensity than a crushed one, a crushed clove will be milder than a sliced clove, and a sliced one isn’t as pungent as a chopped or pureed one—the more cells we rupture when cutting garlic, the more potent it is.