Precious pumpkins: our best recipe!

19 October 2020 3 minute read

Spooky pumpkin risotto

Have you bought a pumpkin for Halloween? Don't let it go to waste!

It’s spooky season and our Edible Playgrounds are full of interesting pumpkin and squash varieties. Across the UK 12.8 million pumpkins go uneaten over the Halloween period. We think this is a scary fact! 

Grown from seed they can take up to 120 days to mature, they need lots of looking after, watering and weeding, and might even have their own special pillow to rest whilst they grow, like those in the photos above from Ham Dingle Primary School in Stourbridge. We think 100+ days is a long time to then end up in the bin! 

Instead of creating food waste, the Edible Playgrounds team will be serving up their pumpkins with some spooky recipes. You can roast the pumpkin whole or chop up the flesh and make a deliciously spooky pumpkin risotto. Inside each pumpkins there can be up to 500 seeds, so scoop out the insides, spice them up and roast to make a crunchy pumpkin seed snack. 

Spooky pumpkin risotto


  • 1 small pumpkin (or butternut squash) - after peeling and scraping out the seeds, you need about 400g
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 8 spring onions
  • 25g butter
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1litre hot vegetable stock
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • Small handful of coriander, roughly chopped


  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Baking tray
  • Sandwich bags
  • Rolling pin (or something similarly for crushing garlic)
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Frying pan
  • Measuring jug
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cheese grater (or use pre-grated cheese)


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Chop up the pumpkin or squash into 1.5cm cubes.
  2. Put it on a baking tray, drizzle over some oil, then roast for 30 mins.
  3. While the pumpkin is roasting, you can make the risotto.
  4. Put the garlic in a sandwich bag, then bash lightly with a rolling pin until it’s crushed.
  5. Cut up the spring onions with your scissors.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp oil with the butter in your pan over a medium heat – not too hot. Add the spring onions and garlic.
  7. Once the onions are soft but not getting brown, add the rice and cumin. Stir well to coat in the buttery mix for about 1 min.
  8. 8. Now add half a cup of the stock, and stir every now and then until it has all disappeared into the rice.
  9. Carry on adding and stirring in a large splash of stock at a time, until you have used up all the stock – this will take about 20 mins.
  10. Check the rice is cooked. If it isn’t, add a splash more stock, and carry on cooking for a bit.
  11. Once the rice is soft enough to eat, gently stir in the grated cheese, chopped coriander and roasted pumpkin.

What will you do with your pumpkin this year? Let us know on social media @TreesForCities!

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