What's In Season Pumpkin
The Australian Women's Weekly Food|Issue 61 2020
These golden heroes are at their peak – good for your dinner, great for your wallet!

Pumpkin, a cousin of the zucchini and choko, belongs to the squash family. Although native to North America, it is used extensively around the world for cooking and even recreation – the traditional Halloween jack-o’-lantern is carved out of a pumpkin. In the kitchen, the pumpkin is versatile, with both the flesh and seeds being edible.

COMMON TYPES

BUTTERNUT

This is a good all-rounder pumpkin, suitable for soups, mashes and roasting. It has a pale orange thin skin and is easy to peel.

GOLDEN NUGGET

Small and round with a deep orange skin, this pumpkin is suitable for stuffing and roasting.

JARRAHDALE

This is a large pumpkin with a ribbed grey skin. Its sweet flesh is best suited to roasting.

KENT

Also known as Jap pumpkin, it has a grey ribbed skin with yellow speckles and has yellow flesh. Great in salads.

QUEENSLAND BLUE

This well-known variety has grey skin and a deep orange flesh. It is a good all-rounder pumpkin. Use in curries and roast vegetable mixtures.

BUYING AND STORING

If buying whole, look for pumpkins with firm, unbroken skin. If buying pre-cut pumpkin, make sure the flesh is without soft patches. Whole pumpkins keep for up to three weeks in a cool, dark place. Once cut, wrap pumpkin in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to five days.

What’s in season

FRUIT

Apples

Avocados

Custard apples

Dates

Grapefruit

Kiwifruit

Lemons

Mandarins

Nashi

Oranges: Cara Cara

Oranges: Navel

Passionfruit

Pears

Pomelo

Quince

Rhubarb

VEGETABLES

Beetroot

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

Cabbage

Carrots

Cauliflower

Celeriac

Fennel

Jerusalem artichokes

Kale

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Onions

Parsnips

Pumpkin

Radicchio

Silverbeet

Spinach

Swede

PUMPKIN & PEPITA TEAR & SHARE

PREP + COOK TIME 1 HOUR 15 MINUTES (+ STANDING) MAKES 8

Each substantial roll in this bread ring is a treasure trove of delicious goodies: it includes pumpkin, bacon and brie, which makes them warmed crusty stuffed rolls of sorts. If you want to up the cheese flavour further, swap out the brie for a punchy blue cheese or gruyère.

  • 2 teaspoons (7g) dried yeast

  • ¼ cup (60ml) warm water

  • 1½ tablespoons caster sugar

  • 1 cup (250ml) milk

  • 60g butter, chopped finely

  • 3 cups (450g) bread flour

  • 1 teaspoon table salt

  • 1 egg, beaten lightly

  • 500g kent pumpkin, peeled, cut into 1cm thick wedges

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 rindless bacon slices (260g), chopped

  • 125g brie, cut into 8 wedges

  • 1 egg, extra, beaten lightly

  • 2 tablespoons pepitas

1 Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan.

2 Combine yeast, the warm water and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a small bowl. Stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until frothy.

3 Meanwhile, heat milk and butter in a small saucepan until butter is just melted and milk is warm but not hot.

4 Place half the flour, the salt and remaining sugar in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture, milk mixture and egg; stir until combined. Add remaining flour; mix until combined. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic (or mix with an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook on medium speed for 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic; dough will be sticky). Place dough in an oiled large bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

5 Meanwhile, place pumpkin on a baking paper-lined large oven tray; drizzle with half the oil and toss well to coat. Season.

Roast for 20 minutes or until tender. Reduce oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Line a large round pizza tray with baking paper.

6 Heat remaining oil in a medium frying pan over high heat; cook bacon, stirring, for 2 minutes. Drain on paper towel.

7 Punch down dough, then turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead for 1 minute or until smooth. Flatten dough; place pumpkin and bacon on one half of the dough, then fold other half over. Carefully and briefly knead with loose fingers in folding motions to avoid breaking up the pumpkin too much.

8 Divide dough into eight portions. Push a wedge of brie into each, then shape each portion into rounds. Place rounds in a wreath shape on lined pizza tray. Dust with a little flour; cover with a clean tea towel. Place dough in a warm place and stand for 10 minutes or until risen slightly.

9 Brush bread ring lightly with extra egg; sprinkle with pepitas. Bake for 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped; cover with foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking to prevent over-browning.

PUMPKIN, EGGPLANT & CHICKPEA CURRY

PREP + COOK TIME 1 HOUR SERVES 6

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 medium onion (150g), sliced thickly

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

  • 2 fresh small red thai chillies, chopped finely

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