What to do with all those pumpkins!

There are pumpkins everywhere! But are they any good for us and what can we do with them other than carving? A new study suggests that one in seven people who celebrate Halloween do not regard pumpkins as food, while only 42% realise the fleshy innards of a carving pumpkin are actually edible.

Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, pumpkin is incredibly healthy! What’s more, its low calorie content makes it a weight-loss-friendly food. Its nutrients and antioxidants may boost your immune system, protect your eyesight, lower your risk of certain cancers and promote heart and skin health.

So a big thanks to the Guardian newspaper for collecting together some great pumpkin based recipe ideas for us all to try. We would love to see your dishes on our social media pages along with those scary carved pumpkins!

Pumpkin and sage picnic pie

The wet flesh in bigger pumpkins lends itself to pie fillings. Roast chunks with lots of garlic until caramelised and toss it in a blitzed dressing of sage, lemon zest and oil. Line a bread tin with shortcrust pastry (at home, I use all-butter Jus-Rol) and pack the mix in. After cooking – 45 minutes at 210C (190C fan)/410F/gas mark 7 – the filling will still be juicy and the pastry perfect – and you get that mosaic effect of the dressing and its flavours running around the chunks and right through the pie.
Calum Franklin, executive chef, Holborn Dining Rooms, London

Pumpkin tortelli

Halloween pumpkins can be watery, so once you’ve cooked the flesh, hang it in a colander overnight to get rid of as much liquid as possible. You want intense flavour. These tortelli come from Lombardy and they are basically pumpkin mixed with mostarda (mustard oil and fruit preserve) and parmesan, stuffed into pasta and served with sage butter. It isn’t measured exactly; it’s down to taste. Puree the mixture if you like, too. I would recommend people make fresh pasta for this. Roll it out thinly in one long strip, dot your pumpkin mix on, fold it over, seal it, cut it – I use a square shape – and you have lovely tortelli.
Angela Hartnett, chef-owner, Murano, London

Broad bean and pumpkin stew

Locro de zapallo is a classic Peruvian, originally Andean, dish, usually served with white rice. The quick, easy version is: sauté sliced onions, garlic and red chilli in olive oil, add pumpkin (250g per person, roughly cubed) and vegetable stock, and cook until the pumpkin breaks down but still retains some chunks. To finish, add cooked broad beans, tons of chopped parsley and a dash of cumin. It should be a vibrantly orange, garlicky, thick, sloppy stew, fresh with parsley. This is vegan but, if you want, add cream and crumbled feta.
Martin Morales, chef-owner, Ceviche restaurants, London

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