Recipes: Treat Yourself

Think bigger than Jack O'Lanterns and create these delicious pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Barley Risotto with Porcini and Pecans
recipe by Tara Mataraza Desmond

  • 1 small pumpkin (such as Sugar Pie variety), about three pounds
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup (about .3 ounce), dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 cups chicken stock (use vegetable or mushroom broth for vegetarian version)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced small (about one cup)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves pulled, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra, shaved for garnish
  • 2 tbsp. creme fraiche
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half widthwise, along its equator. Scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp. Cut the skin from the pumpkin and then cube the fruit into one-inch pieces. Toss the cubes with two tablespoons of olive oil, cumin, salt, pepper, smashed garlic and sugar. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper, or in a baking dish. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until tender and just starting to brown.
  2. While the pumpkin roasts, start the risotto. Put the hot water in a small bowl and add the dried mushrooms to it. Let them soak for 10 minutes. Put the chicken stock in a medium saucepot over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  3. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large Dutch oven, pot or high-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and let it sweat for about five minutes.
  4. Strain the re-hydrated mushrooms from the water, adding the water to the simmering chicken stock, and slice the mushrooms thin. Stir the mushrooms, minced garlic, thyme and barley into the onions and cook for two to three minutes. Pour in the wine and let it simmer and reduce until nearly dry, about five minutes.
  5. Remove the pumpkin from the oven if it is ready. Start adding the warm stock to the barley in half-cup increments. Let the liquid reduce by more than half before adding more. Add the roasted pumpkin to the barley, stirring to combine with all of the ingredients. Continue adding the liquid, stirring often (not constantly) until all of it has been incorporated and the barley is tender and creamy, about 45 minutes.
  6. Stir in the crème fraîche and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowls and sprinkle with the pecans, shaved cheese and extra thyme. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Spice Baby Bundts
recipe by Dynise Balcavage, urbanvegan.net

For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 5 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • drop or two of orange oil
  • 1 can unsweetened pumpkin puree (15 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (half spelt, half whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 2 heaping tbsp. soy flour
  • 1 tbsp. espresso powder (optional, but excellent)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (toasting them beforehand really coaxes out the flavor)
  • 1/2 cup raisins

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. soy or rice milk

Make Cake:

  1. Grease a baby bundt pan. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix sugar, applesauce, oil, vanilla, orange oil, pumpkin and maple syrup until smooth and well-blended. Using low speed, mix in flours, about half a cup at a time, and then add espresso powder, baking powder, soda, spices and salt. Fold in nuts and raisins and pour into the pan, filling each cavity three-quarters full.
  2. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (If bundts start to brown too quickly, cover with foil.) Allow to cool completely before glazing.

Make Glaze:

  1. Using a fork, whisk all ingredients together until smooth.

makes six baby bundts