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Walnut Creek Magazine

What's In Season: Pumpkins

Sep 27, 2017 03:23PM ● By Cale Finta



From Asia to the Middle East, Mexico to the United States, cuisines the world over use pumpkin in a dizzying variety of ways. Pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin chili — the options are endless. Save the large ones for carving; use the small sugar pumpkins for cooking. They’re sweeter and fleshier. For many recipes, canned “solid pack” pumpkin works just as well as fresh.



When you carve your pumpkin in October, rather than tossing the seeds, roast them for a tasty, nutritious snack. Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Baked, roasted, or eaten raw, they’re low in calories and rich in proteins. Rather than roasting on an oven tray, try pan-frying. The hot skillet puffs up and browns the seeds. Add sweet or salty seasonings, depending on your craving.

Roasting Directions:

Separate seeds from pulp; rinse and drain.

Heat a skillet on the stove for a few minutes, until it feels hot.

Add a little olive or vegetable oil.

Place pumpkin seeds in heated skillet.

Stir continuously until they start to brown.

Place in a bowl and toss with desired seasonings—sea salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, paprika, cinnamon or a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!






By Chef Alison Negrin

A wonderful accompaniment to a fall feast, this sweet stew pairs well with roast chicken or brisket of beef.


1/3 cup olive oil

2 1/2 cups chopped onions

8 large carrots, sliced

2 1/2 cups pumpkin, peeled and diced

3 large apples or pears, cored and sliced

3/4 cup chopped dried apricots

1 1/4 cups orange juice

1 T. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. salt (or to taste)



Preheat oven to 350º F. Heat oil in a large skillet. Sauté onions over medium heat until translucent.

Add carrots and pumpkin. Continue to sauté until golden.

In a mixing bowl, combine onion-carrot mixture with all remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

Transfer mixture to a large, oiled, shallow baking dish.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top begins to turn slightly crusty.




By Monterey Bay Certified Farmers’ Markets

This healthy vegetarian dish is beautiful to serve and delicious to eat.


Curry Sauce:
3/4 can coconut milk (reserve remaining 1/4 can)
3 cloves garlic

1 thumb-size piece fresh ginger, sliced
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 T. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. sugar


1/2 cup water

Vegetable oil, as needed
1 large sweet potato or yam, cut into chunks (2-3 cups)
3-4 cups peeled pumpkin, cut into chunks
1/4 can coconut milk
2-3 whole kaffir lime leaves (available at Asian stores)
Handful fresh cilantro
1 cup chickpeas
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional lime juice, soy sauce and sugar, if desired
1/2 cup dry roasted cashews, chopped coarsely
Cooked jasmine rice



Place curry sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth and well combined.

Coat a medium sized saucepan with a little vegetable oil, then pour in curry sauce.

Add 1/2 cup water plus lime leaves, stirring to combine. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add pumpkin and sweet potato chunks. When curry starts to bubble, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add chickpeas and simmer a few more minutes. Adjust seasonings, add lime juice, soy sauce, and sugar to balance flavors. Ladle into bowls, drizzle with coconut milk and sprinkling of fresh cilantro and cashews. Serve with jasmine rice.



A hearty and satisfying Meatless Monday meal. Serve with salad and cornbread.


1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium yellow pepper, chopped
2 T. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 T. chili powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. ground cumin


In a large pot, sauté onion and yellow pepper in olive oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.

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