October is pumpkin and squash season. The fruit are a symbol of Halloween, but you can do more than carve a scary face into them—pumpkins and squashes are absolutely delicious. Try one of these recipes.
Squash comes in many, many different shapes and sizes
Throughout the length and breadth of Britain old rivalries arise at The Gardener’s Show (not least at the autumn show) where there are classes for the biggest, or heaviest vegetable.
In gardens up and down the country pumpkins are lovingly tended in the hope they will win the prize for the biggest or heaviest.
Even the supermarkets have got in on the act, in recent years Waitrose has introduced Sumo pumpkins, a 40kg monster, and has pumpkin porters to help you carry the beast to your car.
Although fun to grow and gawp at, these monster pumpkins are really only good for carving and display, with their smaller siblings being ideal to star in some autumnal recipes.
1. Butternut squash bacon tarts
I am a huge fan of ready-made puff pastry, it makes making a delicious tart a breeze, and I always keep a roll in the freezer. Always buy the best quality you can; several manufacturers now sell all butter ready rolled puff pastry, and for best results allow it to come to room temperature before you unroll it and cook it. These roasted butternut squash, bacon and parmesan tarts from Katie at Feeding Boys are perfect for an autumnal supper. Get the recipe.
2. Butternut squash soup with lentils
Butternut squash makes the most velvety smooth base for a soup, and add in some lentils for a filling rib-sticking soup. This smoky butternut squash and lentil soup from Amuse Your Bouche is a classic winter warmer, perfect after an evening’s Trick or Treating, fireworks or just a long country walk. Get the recipe here.
Roasting concentrates the flavours in both squash and pumpkin and as they start to caramelise they develop a delicious sweet flavour. Emily, A Mummy Too’s autumnal quiche is filled with roasted pumpkin and caramalised onion, perfect for a weekend lunch. Get the recipe here.
4. Lemon chicken bowl
My zingy lemon salad is perfect for sunny autumn days. Packed with spinach, tenderstem, zingy lemon chicken, roasted butternut and seeds it seasonal, healthy and satisfying, and is ideal for a packed lunch too. Get the recipe here.
5. Kale and pumpkin soup
At the first hint of a cold I’ll be making this spicy pumpkin, kale and coconut soup from Laura at How to Cook Good Food. Laura makes hers in a high-speed blender but the recipe is easily adaptable to make in a pan on the hob. I feel healthier just looking at the picture of this. Get the recipe here.
6. Roasted stuffed squash
It is all too easy to pile on the cheese with comfort food, but it is not really necessary. These squash are filled with Indian spiced rice, and garnished with sprouted lentils and coriander pesto are made entirely with simple store cupboard ingredients as well as being vegan, also perfect for those who do not eat dairy. Get the recipe here.
7. Pumpkin pasta sauce
My thoughts turn to comfort food in the autumn and I love the idea of Recipe from a Pantry’s creamy cheese pumpkin pasta sauce, topped with hazelnuts. This is a speedy seasonal supper on the table in 20 minutes. Get the recipe here.
8. Butternut squash cranberry and bulgar salad
Bulgar wheat is a store cupboard essential; not only it is cheap, adaptable and delicious, it is also a clinch to prepare – simply pour over boiling water. In this adaptable flavour-packed winter salad Monica has mixed spiced roasted butternut squash, bulgar, cranberries, nuts and seeds in a zesty dressing. Get the recipe here.
9. Roasted squash with porcini cream
This roasted squash filled with porcini cream is certainly the most wickedly indulgent squash based recipe I’ve seen recently, but is comfort food personified. The squash counting as a portion of vegetables makes it almost healthy surely? Get the recipe here.
10. Spiced pumpkin cocktail
This winter spiced rum pumpkin cocktail from Veggie Desserts is not only warming, but you can assuage your guilt as it counts towards your 5 a day. I am sure that a non-alcoholic version would work just as well for the drivers and children. Get the recipe here.