pumpkinA harvest symbol, the nutritionally robust pumpkin boasts loads of fiber, potassium, and iron. Choose firm-all-around pumpkins (check stems and bottoms); 3- to 8-pounders are sweeter and best for cooking. Store at room temperature for a month, refrigerate for three to four months, or place in a cool pantry or root cellar for six months or more. Convenient canned pumpkin contains less fiber but more bioavailable beta-carotene than fresh.

Spread

Blend pumpkin purée with cream cheese (dairy or vegan), pumpkin- pie spice, and agave. Smear on whole-grain or cinnamon-raisin bagels or toast.

Baked

1. Salt and fill a hollowed pumpkin with cubed stale bread; your favorite crumbled cheese; chopped herbs and onion; and chopped kale, chard, or apples.

2. Moisten thoroughly with milk (or cream, if you’re feeling wicked).

3. Cap, place on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees until tender when pierced, about 2 hours for a biggish pumpkin.

Pasta sauce

1. Sauté chopped shallot in butter until tender; stir in pumpkin purée, evaporated skim milk or broth, and chopped sage and thyme, plus salt and pepper to taste.

2. Cook over low heat until thickened to desired consistency. Stir in grated Parmesan cheese. Serve over ravioli with toasted pine nuts.

Pumpkin Recipes

 RPNPumpkin Ginger Pudding

Serves 6 / A vegan dessert on the lighter side of pie. If you’d like, replace the ginger with pumpkin-pie spices (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg). View Recipe

Pumpkin Cilantro Stew

Serves 4 to 6 / With so many tasty varieties of squashes and pumpkins available this time of year, experiment with something new when you make this recipe. Choose orange-skinned Red Kuri squash for a savory stew or go sweeter with a sugar pumpkin. View Recipe

Gratinéed Pumpkin Soup

Serves 6 / Anything gratinéed (topped with broiled cheese) is headed for success. As creamy and delightful as this soup is, it’s also nutritious, with healthy doses of fiber, beta-carotene, and numerous vitamins. Prep tip: If pumpkin is not in season, try other squashes, such as banana, butternut, or table queen. View Recipe

Pumpkin-Walnut Bars

Makes 24 / Reminiscent of pumpkin pie, with a delicious ginger crust. Serve at room temperature with fresh whipped cream or vanilla frozen yogurt. Test kitchen tip: If these get too soft after storing, just pop them in the oven on a baking sheet for a few minutes. View Recipe

Pumpkin Roll with Goat Cheese and Date Filling

2008 Delicious Living Reader Recipe Contest: FIRST PLACE, Desserts
Serves 12 / Delicious--and surprisingly easy to make! The autumn-harvest flavors make this a perfect addition to a holiday table (or anytime). View Recipe

Pumpkin and Lemon Creme Brulee  

Serves 10 / A light, fresh, easy-to-make version of the classic dessert. This can be cooked in a single serving dish or in individual ramekins. The pumpkin also sneaks in some beta-carotene and vitamin C. View Recipe

Curried Pumpkin Dahl 

Serves 6 / Pumpkin and black-eyed peas are widely used in South Indian cooking. We've combined them here in a spicy dhal stew. For a traditional Indian meal, serve the dhal warm or at room temperature over basmati rice. Accompany with chapati or papadam (Indian flatbreads). Prep Time: 25 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes. View recipe

Pumpkin Risotto with Asiago Cheese

Serves 4-6 / This colorful risotto, created by Chef John Crossley-Hall of Cassis Bistro in Victoria, serves as a festive entrée or side dish. The freshly squeezed lemon juice is key to bringing out the risotto's flavor. Vancouver Islanders take their gourds seriously; pumpkin patches dot farmland throughout the Saanich Peninsula, and prize pumpkins can top the scales at around 350 pounds. View recipe