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Walnut Creek Magazine

What's In Season: Pumpkins

From Asia to the Middle East, Mexico to the United States, countries the world over use pumpkin in a dizzying array of dishes—pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin risotto, and pumpkin chili. Save the large ones for carving; use the small sugar pumpkins for cooking, they’re sweeter and fleshier. These hearty fall vegetarian dishes are beautiful to serve, fragrant to smell, and delicious to eat.


By Monterey Bay Certified Farmers’ Markets

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 markets)
Handful fresh cilantro
1 cup chickpeas
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper chili flakes to taste
Additional lime juice, soy sauce, and sugar, if desired
Directions: Place curry sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth and well combined. Coat a medium-sized saucepan with 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 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 a sprinkling of cilantro and chili flakes. Serve with jasmine rice, if desired.


By WCM Reader

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
Garnish with chopped green onions and shredded cheddar cheese. 
Directions: In a large pot, sauté onion, and yellow pepper in olive oil until tender. Add garlic; cook one minute longer. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve with garnish. 


By Chef Alison Negrin
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)
Directions: 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. 



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