Pumpkins: The fall fruit you can eat as well as carve (recipes included!)

Autumn is here, and the pumpkins are piling up outside of supermarkets -- ready to be carved into a poor excuse for a face. But before you grab that knife, consider all the culinary delights this fall fruit can be used for -- besides that old-fashioned pumpkin pie. Because let's face it: You used the canned stuff for.

Safeway has been getting pumpkins from Star Farms in Commerce City for fifty years, and has put together a couple of recipes that highlight pumpkin in new and creative ways. Keep reading for those recipes.

See also: Ten autumn-inspired desserts to fall for

Roasted Pumpkin Risotto with Prosciutto and Sage

Ingredients: 1 (2 pound) Sugar Pie pumpkin 3 tbsp. O Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 tsp kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 ½ oz Primo Taglio prosciutto, cut into slivers 12 O Organics sage leaves 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 cup Safeway medium grain white rice ½ cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc 4 cups O Organics chicken broth ¾ cup Safeway SELECT Primo Taglio shredded asiago cheese

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut stem off pumpkin. With a sharp, heavy knife, carefully cut pumpkin in half vertically. With a metal spoon, scrape out seeds and strings.

2. Cut half the pumpkin into 4 wedges. Rub all 5 pieces (including the half) with 2 tablespoons oil and place in a large rimmed baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast pumpkin until tender when pierced, 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large, deep frying pan over medium-high heat, frequently stir prosciutto in remaining tablespoon oil until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Add sage and cook until leaves turn bright green and are crisp, about 1 minute more. With a slotted spoon, lift prosciutto and sage onto paper towels.

4. Add onion to pan and stir often until tender, about 3 minutes. Add rice and stir often until it begins to turn opaque, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; stir often until mostly absorbed. Add 3 cups broth and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes over medium heat.

5. When pumpkin is tender, peel the half-pumpkin piece, then cut flesh into ½-inch cubes. Keep wedges warm.

6. When rice has cooked for 20 minutes, add remaining broth, cheese, and pumpkin cubes. Stir gently until cheese melts, pumpkin is hot, and most of broth is absorbed, about 3 minutes. On plates, spoon risotto next to pumpkin wedges and top with prosciutto and sage.

Notes: You can use traditional Italian arborio rice or domestic medium-grain rice; both give the chewy, distinctive texture you want in a good risotto. Gently frying fresh sage leaves with the prosciutto heightens flavors.

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Loren Lorenzo
Contact: Loren Lorenzo

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