Pumpkins are an iconic crop of the autumn months, famous for their decorative use around Halloween. But there is far more to pumpkins than the fact that they can be hollowed out and carved into decorative designs. Pumpkins can also be a delicious ingredient, extremely useful in the kitchen. To inspire you to make the most of this autumnal crop, here are five unique pumpkin recipes that you may like to try:
Quinoa Stuffed Pumpkin
Stuffed pumpkin is a popular and versatile dish. There are a number of different ingredients that you could use to fill your pumpkins. In this recipe, the ‘superfood’ quinoa is used, flavoured with caramelized onions, garlic, parsley, vegetable stock, and raisins or prunes. A few pumpkin seeds roasted on top of the stuffed pumpkin finish this dish off to perfection.
Pumpkin Thai Curry
The soft, sweet flesh of roasted pumpkin goes extremely well with the traditional flavours of a Thai-inspired coconut curry. Roast your pumpkin in a hot oven, drizzled with a little olive oil. Then place in in a large pan on the hob and pour in a tin of coconut milk. Next, blend garlic, chillies, lemongrass, fresh ginger and a dash of soy sauce and add this mixture to the pan with the coconut milk and pumpkin. Simmer for ten minutes or so to allow all the flavours to infuse. Near the end of the cooking time, add a handful of seasonal greens from your polytunnel garden, then serve the curry with some boiled rice.
Pumpkin and Kale Galette
This is a somewhat unusual take on the traditional French galette. Make the galette pastry and allow it to cool in the fridge. Then, once cooled, shape it into a disk and top with par boiled pumpkin, kale, onion and, if you wish, some soft cheese. Drizzle over a dressing of balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and olive oil then fold up the pastry around the edges bake in your oven for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
Savoury Pumpkin Pancakes
A simple pancake batter can be enlivened with the addition of some puréed pumpkin to make some savoury pancakes. You can fill your pancakes with mixed seasonal veg and, if you are not vegan, some cheese of your choice.
Cinnamon & Ginger Spiced Pumpkin Cake
Pumpkins can also be used to make a wide range of sweet dessert recipes. You can experiment far beyond the American tradition of the pumpkin pie. Why not, for example, try baking a pumpkin cake, which pairs the flavour of the pumpkin in the cake batter with plenty of cinnamon and ginger.
The above are just a starting point. As you can see from the above, pumpkin is a very versatile ingredient that can be used in a huge number of savoury and sweet dishes. If you wish to share your own favourite pumpkin recipes please do so in the comments below and check out our articles and grow guides to find out more about growing pumpkins and squash in your polytunnel.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.