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.