A two-fer: shelf life of roasted veggies and edible pumpkins
For Thanksgiving, I'm planning to make a roasted veggie stew (for the vegetarians in the family -- though no doubt the meat eaters will like it too) and serve it in a roasted pumpkin. Two questions: if I roast the veggies today, four days before Thanksgiving, will they be okay to put in a stew on Thursday? Or is it best to roast them closer to eating time?
Also, the pie pumpkins that are meant for eating are too small to act as a serving bowl for the stew (large family). I was thinking I'd roast a larger pumpkin and then when folks scoop out some stew they can also scoop out some of the pumpkin meat, but it I use a larger pumpkin will the meat be too fibrous for eating?
While certain types of roasted veggies keep well, some fade away pretty quickly and don't look so perky after hanging out for a few days. So, it depends on what you're roasting. I'd roast them as close to your meal as possible, to keep the color and texture fresh. If you're roasting them and then stewing them, well, I assume you won't stew them for very long, but you still want color and texture, not mush or discoloration.
If you have purchased a variety of pumpkin for eating or pies, it should be fine for a serving vessel, possibly a bit fibrous after cooking but that's ok, it's fiber. If you're in the market for a pumpkin, be sure it get a culinary variety of pumpkin, not a carving or decorative cultivar.
Good advice. I might even consider using something other than a typical "pie" pumpkin, perhaps something like Calabaza or even an Acorn squash. A healthy amount of mixed mushrooms roasted with a heavy drizzle of olive oil, chopped garlic and herbs of your choice combined with the roasted veggies just before serving (or floated on top of the stew) might be something to consider.