Hello Fall!

Gordon Skagit Pumpkin Farms

It’s starting to feel like fall, I’m sure hoping all the hot days are behind us, they’re not my favorite!

I still have great looking tomatoes in the garden and some seasonal herbs, my summer lettuce is going to seed so it’s time to get busy with my fall/winter garden. Actually I’m a little late but we decided to drive up the coast just to get a break. Now it’s time to focus before the ground gets too cool.

I’m working on a new Debs Kitchen Garden newsletter which I’ll begin sending out on opposite weeks of the regular newsletter. I have some appointments left if you need a little advice on getting your own winter garden growing. In the meantime here are some pumpkin/squash recipes for you because I know many of you just can’t get enough pumpkin! Mangia!


Pumpkin Risotto

Serves 4

  • 1 qt. homemade or low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, or 6 to 10 scrapes on a grater from a whole nutmeg
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces shallots (7 to 8), minced
  • 1 ¾ cups carnaroli, vialone nano rice, you could also use an arborio rice
  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine
  • 1 ¼ cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6-10 sage leaves, finely chopped (optional)

Place the stock, pumpkin, nutmeg, a sprinkling of salt and pepper in a medium saucepan over high heat, Stir to combine and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.

In a large, deep pan add the butter, and melt over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring until they are translucent. Add the rice and stir until each grain is coated in fat, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add the wine or vermouth and cook, stirring constantly, until it is absorbed.

Add 1/2 cup of the pumpkin stock mixture and stir constantly until absorbed. Add the remaining stock mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly after each addition and adding the next amount only after the previous one is fully absorbed by the rice.

After you have used about 4 1/2 to 5 cups of the stock mixture taste the rice to determine if it is al dente. Continue to add more stock, if necessary, to reach al dente.

Stir in the cheese and sage if using. Serve immediately.

Instant Pot Pumpkin Purée

Yield about 2 cups

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) sugar or pie pumpkin*

Wash and dry the pumpkin Remove the top and then cut in half lengthwise. (You can remove the seeds now or wait until the squash is cooked and scoop them out).

Set a wire rack in a 6-quart or larger electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Add the water. Place the pumpkin cut-side up on the rack. Lock on the lid and make sure the pressure valve is set to seal. Set the cook time for 15 minutes at high pressure.

When the cook time is up, let the pressure cooker naturally release pressure for 5 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure. Open the pressure cooker and check the texture of the pumpkin. The pumpkin flesh should be fork tender. If it's not, cook for 5 minutes more at high pressure, repeating the 5 minute natural release. Transfer the pumpkin to a cutting board until cool enough to handle.

Fit a large fine-mesh strainer over a bowl or line a regular colander with cheesecloth first. Cut the pumpkin in half. Remove any remaining seeds. Scrape the pumpkin flesh away from the skin and place in the strainer or colander. Using the back of a spoon, press on the pumpkin firmly to remove excess liquid. Set aside to drain for 1 hour.

Transfer the drained pumpkin to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Measure into 16-ounce portions, about 2 cups each. If any pumpkin remains, use it in smoothies.

*Pumpkin substitute: If you can't find a sugar pumpkin, use 2 acorn squash instead, 3 to 4 pounds total.

Storage: Keep the purée in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or place the fully cooled purée into a plastic freezer bag. Flatten and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Squash

  • 1 pound butternut squash peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts ends cut off and halved (if they are large, cut in quarters)
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup halved pecans, optional
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425°.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine diced butternut squash, brussels sprouts, bacon, olive oil, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper; mix until thoroughly incorporated.

Transfer veggies to prepared baking sheet and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring around halfway through cooking.

In the last 7 minutes, add pecans, if using

In a small saucepan whisk together maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Set saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer; stirring often, simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until reduced and syrupy.

Take veggies out of the oven and toss with prepared glaze.

Arrange on a large plate or bowl and serve.

Lemon Roast Chicken with Delicata Squash

  • 1 whole chicken, cut up
  • 3 small Delicata squash (about 1½ pounds), halved lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Meyer lemons, zested and juiced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh sage
  • Meyer lemon wedges, for serving
  • Fresh thyme and sage sprigs, for serving

Preheat oven to 450°.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place the chicken and squash on the parchment. Toss the squash and onions with oil and place on the baking sheet with the chicken. Rub the chicken with oil, pour the lemon juice overall, sprinkle with zest and season with sea salt and pepper. Chop half the sage and sprinkle over both chicken and squash-onion mixture. Sprinkle zest over the chicken.

Roast the chicken and squash for 30–40 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer registers 165° at the thickest part of the thighs and the squash is cooked through and fork tender, while the onions are softened and slightly charred around the edges.

Transfer the chicken and squash to a serving platter, garnish with lemon wedges, thyme and sage, serve right away.

Caramel Pumpkin Pots du Crème

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup plus sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons of pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium saucepan, bring heavy cream and sugar to a boil, whisking constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Put aside and let cool for five minutes.

In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Add 1/4 cup of heated cream mixture to egg mixture and whisk to combine. Continue adding cream mixture in 1/4 cup increments to eggs until the two are fully combined. Place fully combined mixture back into saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the custard coats the back of the spoon, about 4 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until very smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the finished custard through a strainer.

Refrigerate until chilled about 2 hours.

To serve warm: Let the pots de crème stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes prior to serving.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.


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