In the US this month approximately 154 million Americans will plan to carve a pumpkin as part of their Halloween celebrations, according to data from Statista. While in the UK, said Lara Kilner on Good to Know, a "staggering" 40 million pumpkins will be bought during the spooky season.
Forget the scary movies, the "true horror story of Halloween", said Muscle and Health, is that Brits will throw away millions of pounds' worth of uneaten pumpkins. Love Food Hate Waste revealed that 12.8 million pumpkins bought for Halloween decorating are likely to be left uneaten. That's 67% of UK families throwing away one pumpkin each.
Most pumpkins end up in landfill and "not beneath a pie's crust", said Alexandru Micu on ZME Science. Which is "a shame" as they are "delicious". So, "do the right thing" this Halloween and "fight food waste" by eating your pumpkin. Offering "a lot more" than just "creepy lanterns", said Carys Matthews on BBC Countryfile, pumpkins are also an "incredibly versatile" ingredient in the kitchen.
Need some inspiration on how to use up leftover pumpkin flesh and seeds? Jamie Oliver, Love Food Hate Waste and Great British Chefs have some tasty recipe ideas, including homemade pumpkin spiced latte, roasted pumpkin seeds, spicy pumpkin soup and pumpkin mash.
And below we also feature delicious pumpkin-based recipes from Trewithen Dairy in Cornwall, the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma in Italy, Kricket Indian restaurants in London, Bettina Campolucci Bordi from Bettina's Kitchen, and Wild by Tart restaurant in Belgravia, London.
Halloween roasted pumpkin soup by Trewithen Dairy
Ingredients: serves four generously
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- 1kg pumpkin
- olive oil
- 1tsp nutmeg
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1 red onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1ltr veg stock
- To serve: Trewithen Dairy Natural Yoghurt
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Slice the pumpkin into wedges and place on a large baking tray. Chop the onion into wedges and smash the garlic and add to the pumpkin. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Roast the pumpkin for 50 minutes or until it is golden brown. This will vary depending on the sugars in the variety of pumpkin you're using so do check the oven to see how it's getting on.
- When caramelised, tip the contents into a large saucepan and add a ladle of hot stock. Blitz with a stick blender and continue to add the stock until you have reached your desired consistency.
- To serve with a spider's web on top, fill a freezer bag with yoghurt, snip the end off and draw a spiral in the middle of the soup. With a toothpick, draw lines from the centre outwards so it feathers the web.
Parma ham honey-roasted pumpkin by Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma
- 60g pumpkin, sliced into 6 with the seeds reserved
- 1tsp chili flakes
- 1tsp lime zest
- 1tbsp lime juice
- 2tbsp walnut oil
- 2tbsp runny honey
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2tsp paprika
- salt and black pepper
- 1 lime
- 6 slices Parma ham
- Preheat the oven to 150o Mix the pumpkin seeds with ½ tsp. of chili flakes, ½ tsp. of salt, a little pepper, lime zest, and juice. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until crunchy and golden brown, tossing halfway.
- Place the pumpkin seeds in a roasting tin. Mix together the walnut oil, runny honey, and thyme leaves. Pour this mixture over the pumpkin slices, making sure each is covered well.
- Sprinkle ½ tsp of chili flakes and paprika over the pumpkin. Season and cover with foil.
- Increase the oven temperature to 190C Roast the pumpkin in the oven for 30 minutes, remove the foil and roast for a further 20 minutes, basting at regular intervals until the sauce and pumpkin slices have caramelised.
- Squeeze a little lime juice over the pumpkin slices and then wrap a slice of Parma ham around each.
- Serve the Parma ham and pumpkin slices with plenty of spicy lime pumpkin seeds.
Delica pumpkin with Makhani sauce and hazelnut crumble by Kricket
Ingredients: serves four people
- One Delica pumpkin, about 18cm in diameter
- 1tsp of vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
- 1tsp of ground cumin
- 1tsp of ground turmeric
- 1tsp of Kashmiri red chilli powder
- Generous pinch of sea salt
- 100g wild rice
- 200g Paneer, crumbled
- Bunch of fresh micro coriander, for garnish
For the Makhani sauce
- Two tablespoons vegetable oil
- Four green cardamom pods
- Two black cardamom pods
- Four cloves
- Two fresh Indian bay leaves
- Four tablespoons of ginger and garlic paste
- Two tablespoons of red Kashmiri red chilli powder
- Two green chillies, split down the middle
- 1kg of plum tomatoes (puréed)
- 200ml double (heavy) cream, plus extra to serve
- 250g unsalted butter
- 1tbsp garam masala
- Handful of dried fenugreek leaves
- Caster sugar (to taste)
- Sea salt (to taste)
For the hazelnut crumble
- 200g hazelnuts
- 50g sesame seeds
- 2tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1tsp chaat masala
- Preheat the oven to 160ºC (320ºF/Gas 3).
- Halve the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds, slice the flesh into eight wedges and trim the ends. Put the pumpkin slices in a roasting pan and coat with the oil, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder and salt.
- Roast in the oven for around 30 minutes. You want the pumpkin to be only just cooked, as it gets a further grilling (broiling) before being served.
- While the pumpkin is roasting, make the puffed rice. Heat a little oil, to about 2cm in depth, in a heavy-based saucepan until very hot. Add the wild rice and stir for a few minutes until it puffs up, then drain on kitchen paper.
- To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the whole spices and allow them to infuse the oil for 30 seconds or so before adding the ginger and garlic paste, chilli powder and green chillies.
- Cook for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat down to medium-low, add the tomatoes, then cover and cook for about 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced by one-third and the oil has separated from the tomatoes.
- Remove the whole spices, then add the cream, butter, garam masala and fenugreek leaves. Season to taste with sugar and salt and leave to one side.
- To make the hazelnut crumble, toast the nuts and sesame seeds with the chilli powder for a few minutes until golden in a dry frying pan (skillet). Cool, then roughly pulse to a fine powder, in a food processor, with the chaat masala.
- Heat up the makhani sauce and spoon into four plates or bowls. Grill (broil) the pumpkin for a few minutes on each side, until the slices get a little colour – this will add a smoky element to the dish.
- To serve, arrange two wedges of pumpkin on top of the sauce and top with the crumbled paneer, hazelnut crumble, puffed wild rice and garnish with coriander.
Rustic pumpkin gnocchi with pumpkin seed pesto by Bettina's Kitchen
Ingredients: serves four to six people
- One small Kabocha pumpkin to make 300g of pumpkin purée
- Three big floury potatoes (around 500g)
- 250g of flour
For the pesto (makes one 250g jar)
- 250ml olive oil
- 120g pumpkin seeds
- Bunch of basil (around 30g)
- One garlic clove, peeled
- 1/2 tablespoon of salt and black pepper
- Serve with grated macadamia nuts and fresh basil
- Start by preheating your oven to 180 degrees and cooking your pumpkin whole for one hour.
- While the pumpkin is cooking, peel and wash the potatoes and boil them until soft.
- While the pumpkin and potatoes are cooking, make the pesto. Use a pestle and mortar or blender to slowly incorporate every ingredient until you have a lovely chunky consistency.
- Once made, store in a glass jar and set aside for later.
- Once your potatoes have cooked, drain them properly and leave them to cool. Once the pumpkin is cooked, leave it to cool as well. When both are cool to the touch, start by opening the top of the pumpkin, scooping out the flesh and picking out the seeds. Once you have enough flesh, set it aside.
- Place the drained potatoes on a work surface and mash them with the back of a fork. Once mashed, mix it with the pumpkin puree. Once the potato and pumpkin are well mixed, start adding the flour little by little and working the dough. Work the flour in for five to ten minutes until the dough is no longer sticky and forms easily. You should now have a soft dough that holds together, doesn’t feel sticky and can be easily shaped. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Once rested, divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll a piece at a time into long cylinders on a lightly floured surface, again working lightly and quickly. As you roll, you will also be gently stretching the dough. Keep the surface well-floured as you don’t want the gnocchi to stick!
- Roughly cut the dough into thumbnail lengths.
- Bring a large, deep pot of salted water to a boil. Drop a couple of gnocchi in at a time. Let them cook for two minutes, during which time they will pop back up to the surface. After two minutes, scoop them out with a spoon and get them straight into a hot pan with olive oil to lightly fry them. Add some of that gorgeous pesto and a little bit of pasta water.
- Serve immediately with some sprigs of fresh basil and grated macadamia nut for a nutty flavour.
Pumpkin wonton tortellini and porcini soup by Wild by Tart
Ingredients: serves four
For the tortellini
- One small pumpkin or squash
- Olive oil
- Small bunch of thyme, woody stems removed
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1tsp ground nutmeg
- Zest of one lemon
- 100g smoked ricotta, crumbled (optional)
- Wonton wrappers
- Semolina for dusting
For the broth
- Couple of spring onions, chopped
- Handful of dried porcini mushrooms
- One glass of sherry
- 500ml of stock (chicken or vegetable)
- Squeeze of honey
- Salt and pepper
- Sage leaves
- Heat the oven to 200c.
- Roughly slice up the pumpkin or squash, removing the seeds, but you can keep the skin on. Place on an oven tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with thyme and season. Place in the oven and roast for about 30-40 mins until it is soft and starting to caramelise.
- Take it out of the oven and scrape the soft insides into a bowl (discard the skins). Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest, season and mash together, then taste.
- Arrange the wonton wrappers in front of you and spoon a teaspoon of the mashed ingredients onto each wrapper (then place a cube of the smoked ricotta on top if using). Fold into tortellini (this make take a couple of goes!).
- Dust a tray with semolina and leave the tortellini on top while you make the broth (they will keep in the fridge covered for a good day or so).
- To make the broth, heat a little oil in a pan and add the spring onions, stock, sherry and porcini mushrooms. Simmer for about 15 mins, season and add a squeeze of honey.
- To make the sage leaves, simply heat a little oil in a pan and add the leaves for about 20 seconds, before removing them and draining them on kitchen paper.
- When ready to serve, bring a pan of salted water to a boil and drop in your wontons. Let them simmer for about 3-4 minutes, then remove them and distribute them between bowls. Spoon the broth over the top and garnish with the crispy sage leaves.
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