The Pumpkin Cookbook: 139 Recipes Celebrating the Versatility of Pumpkin and Other Winter Squash

Cover of The Pumpkin Cookbook: 139 Recipes Celebrating the Versatility of Pumpkin and Other Winter Squash by DeeDee Stovel

The Pumpkin Cookbook: 139 Recipes Celebrating the Versatility of Pumpkin and Other Winter Squash
DeeDee Stovel
Storey Publishing, 2005, 2017

So good it was worth a second edition? That just might be the case, as this book of recipes featuring pumpkin and other forms of squash is full of delicious dishes for every meal.

I’m reading a more recent copy of this title, and from what I can glean from researching online, the original edition had jumped on the “superfood” trend of the time, touting pumpkin’s vitamins and fibre. This version tends to focus on the multi-cultural aspect of the fruit, with recipes from many cultures including Afghani, Mexican, Italian, Thai, and Armenian.

Stovel includes some guides for choosing and prepping pumpkin and other squashes, and her recipes range from using raw pumpkin to cooked in various ways, as well as canned. There are lists of recipes based on the parts of the pumpkin, so readers can easily find something to do with all of those pepitas they don’t want to throw away.

Something to keep in mind, which Stovel doesn’t mention but I will, is that canned pumpkin is almost always mostly butternut squash with not very much actual pumpkin (this is due to the fact that most large pumpkins just aren’t that palatable, and that shortages over the years because of weather issues have led manufacturers to switch to the more consistent varietals that offer a better taste and yield). So go ahead and switch out cooked butternut squash for canned pumpkin in any recipe that calls for canned, the difference will be negligible.

There are some great recipes here. Stovel pretty much proves that you can add pumpkin to anything; in the soup section alone, pumpkin gets paired with beer, Thai curry, mushroom, kale, black beans, and Amaretti cookies. Not all in the same dish, of course.

In the savoury items, pumpkin gets added to lasagna, tacos, risotto, crepes, and even a souffle. But, as expected, Stovel’s sweet pumpkin recipes are where the fruit really shines. From pies (traditional pumpkin to meringue, pecan, and a galette) to cakes, cookies, bread, and dessert (pumpkin baked Alaska, anyone?), a little bit of sugar and spice added to this versatile ingredient offers up so many different ways to enjoy it.

Usability: Recipes are easy to follow with numbered steps; most fit on a single page. Measurements are in Imperial units only, which is a bit of a drag, especially since this is a 2nd edition, and could have been added. Text is quite small for the ingredients list, but if you prep your ingredients beforehand this shouldn’t be a problem. Fonts in the instruction section are a decent size to work from with good line spacing between steps.

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