Few things mark fall’s arrival like the great pumpkin. This perennial favorite brings to mind autumn harvests, grinning jack-o’-lanterns, and of course, the season’s favorite pie. But the pumpkin’s talents don’t stop there. The following pumpkin recipes prove this stylish squash can take the lead in many of the season’s most delicious dishes, from savory to sweet. Recipes by Laura Cliffone and Barb Freda
Photo by Tya Tiempetch

Pumpkin Sage Risotto With Wild Mushrooms 

This risotto is hearty enough to serve as a main dish with a salad and bread on the side, but if you’d like to serve some protein with your Pumpkin Sage Risotto, go for something simple, such as roasted chicken.  1 small pie pumpkin (also known as sugar pumpkin) 4 cups chicken stock 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoon olive oil 1 shallot, finely chopped 1 cup Arborio rice 1⁄2 cup dry white wine plus 1 tablespoon for mushrooms 1 scallion, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped 1⁄4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated Salt and ground pepper to taste 8 ounces wild mushrooms, sliced Garnish 3 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds Parmesan shavings Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half, scrape out seeds and place cut-side down on baking sheet lined with lightly oiled parchment paper. Bake until soft, about 30 minutes. Allow pumpkin to cool. Scrape pumpkin from skin, mash pumpkin and discard the skin. Set pumpkin aside. Heat chicken stock in saucepan until barely simmering. In a large saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add shallot and sauté until soft. Add rice, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Add 1⁄2 cup wine and cook, stirring, until wine is nearly absorbed. Add chicken stock, about 1⁄2 cup at a time, cooking and stirring after each addition until stock is nearly absorbed. When 2 cups of stock has been added, add pumpkin (you should have about 1­–1 1⁄2 ups mashed pumpkin). Add remaining stock 1⁄2 cup at a time (you may not need it all) until rice is creamy but still al dente (total cooking time is about 20 minutes). Stir in scallion, sage and Parmesan. While risotto is cooking, melt 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil in small sauté  pan over medium-high heat. When butter is bubbling, add mushrooms. Sauté, stirring until they are soft. Add 1 tablespoon wine and cook until all wine has evaporated. Remove from heat. Spoon mushrooms over risotto, top with pumpkin seeds and Parmesan curls; serve immediately. Serves 4.
 pumpkin recipes
Photo by Tya Tiempetch

Ginger Shortbread Crust

1 large egg yolk 1 tablespoon whipping cream 1⁄2 teaspoon orange extract 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons brown sugar 1⁄2 teaspoon table salt 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch dice 6 whole ginger snaps, broken into quarters (about 1⁄2 cup) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse until mixture is a coarse meal or resembles small peas. Pour into a 9-1⁄2-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Evenly press mixture along bottom of pan and up sides. Work to make crust as even as possible. Put pan in freezer for 10 minutes and then bake for 10–15 minutes until edges are slightly brown. Remove from oven, and, while still hot, smooth out crust with back of a tablespoon. Let cool completely.
 pumpkin recipes
Photo by Tya Tiempetch

Nutmeg Pumpkin Madeleines

2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda 1 1⁄4 cup turbinado sugar 1⁄2 cup butter, softened 2 eggs 1 cup solid-pack (canned) pumpkin 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour madeleine mold (or use a nonstick or silicone madeleine pan and spray with baking spray). Mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar and butter until blended well. Add eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla, and blend well. Stir in dry ingredients and mix until evenly blended. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into each mold (mold should be about 3⁄4 full). Bake madeleines for 15–20 minutes, until center of madeleine springs back when gently pressed. Loosen madeleines with small rubber spatula, turn them out of pans and place on wire rack to cool completely. Store in tightly covered container for up to 4 days. Makes 24–32 madeleines (depending on mold size).
 pumpkin recipes

Baked Pumpkin Ginger Soup

1 4-pound pumpkin 1 large onion, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon dry mustard 1 teaspoon ground ginger 6 cups chicken stock 1 bay leaf Salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons crème fraîche cilantro for garnish Heat oven to 375 degrees. Slice pumpkin into quarters. Scoop out seeds and place cut-side up in roasting pan. Scatter sliced onions, fresh ginger and garlic cloves around pumpkin. Drop 1⁄2 tablespoon of butter into each pumpkin quarter. Sprinkle all with dry mustard and ground ginger. Pour about 1 cup of stock into pan. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake for about 45 minutes, until pumpkin is soft. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool slightly. Pour stock-moistened vegetables (with stock) into stockpot on top of stove. Scoop pumpkin from shell into pot and add remaining 5 cups of stock and bay leaf. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Use a stick blender to blend all ingredients into smooth soup. (You can also use a blender or food processor.) Cook for 5 minutes. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with about 1 teaspoon of crème fraîche and chopped cilantro. Serves 6.
You can find more fall recipes here. Opening photo by Jacqueline Smith from Pexels