Pumpkin and White Bean Patties with Rosemary

Is pumpkin the new bacon? Discuss.

The virtues of salty, crispy bacon aside, I’m always and forever all-in for pumpkin. I’ll take it sweet or savory, roasted or pureed, spiced or herb-flecked.

This time of year, there are pumpkin and pumpkin pie-spiced (an entity unto itself) recipes everywhere. I love butternut squash and pumpkin dishes all year round but I lean toward the savory ones most of the time.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see no shortage of pumpkin or butternut squash recipes here – especially savory ones – because it’s what I’m cooking. Even as we ramp up for summer here in Australia I still have a massive hunger for all things (American) Northeast October and fall-ish. I can’t help it. Luckily the weather in Sydney is accommodating my pumpkin roasting habits.

These pumpkin and white bean patties are a good way to use some pumpkin purée (be it left over or specifically made for this purpose) – they’re simple to make and require only a few pantry things. If you don’t have/don’t like rosemary – I think sage or thyme would be pretty awesome too.

I think these would even go well with some bacon – if we want to be diplomatic about it.

Pumpkin party worldwide.


Makes 8 patties.

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (or 1 15-ounce can)
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of rolled oats
  • a handful of Parmesan cheese (optional)

To make your own pumpkin purée: Place cut and peeled pumpkin on a baking tray with 1/2 inch to 1 inch of water in it. Bake at 400 F/205 C for 20-30 minutes (adding a little more water if needed) until soft. Allow to cool, then purée in a food processor.

In a small pan, heat olive oil over a medium heat. Add garlic and rosemary and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

In a food processor, place white beans and the garlic, rosemary and olive oil mixture. Pulse in the food processor until finely chopped and close to pureed.

Place pumpkin purée, white bean rosemary mixture, egg, oats, Parmesan and a pinch of sea salt in a large bowl and mix with a spoon until well combined. Place in the refrigerator to rest for at least a half an hour (so the oats can soak up the egg and purée).

Heat oven to 400 F/205 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with olive oil or baking spray.

Form the pumpkin white bean mixture into 2 1/2 to 3 inch-wide patties and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes and flip the patties, then bake for another 10. (20 minutes total.) Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2-5 minutes and serve over salad or on a small bun with desired toppings. (Hello, caramelized onions!)


(You could also pan-fry these in a large skillet with olive oil over a medium-high heat for about 3 minutes on eat side.)


Pumpkin and Yogurt Pita Pizza with Dukkah

Really good things: Finding that extra button that came with your blazer right when you need it. Wearing bright colors. Buying the perfect birthday card for someone. Pasta nights. Walking somewhere new. New dresses. Green juices that don’t taste like green things. Planning trips. Planning parties. Planning outfits. Pizza shortcuts.

These are pita pizzas – the easiest kind of cute, individual pizza. And also, my favorite kind of pizza shortcut.

I don’t like most pre-baked pizza crusts – they tend to be too doughy and cardboard-y. And when I’m feeling entirely too lazy to deal with a dough rolling/stretching situation, I want something that – once taken out of the freezer – is ready to be smothered in toppings. I try to buy pocketless pitas for this purpose – so they don’t puff up in the heat of the oven.

As you can see, I was a little heavy-handed with the red pepper flakes here – because…well, I always do that. I also sprinkled it with dukkah, an Egyptian spice blend that you can either make yourself or buy.

I love roasted pumpkin, so I made a whole big batch and used only a portion of it for this recipe. Just make sure you have about 1 cup of chopped pumpkin to work with for each pizza.

Roast that pumpkin.

Mash it up and smooth it out on your pita.

Dollop that situation with some plain Greek yogurt and sprinkle with dukkah, salt, pepper and some chili, if you’re so inclined.

Baking time is super quick. Then, you slice.

Then you eat.

Pumpkin and Yogurt Pita Pizza with Dukkah (Makes 2 pizzas)
– 1 1/2-2 cups roasted Japanese pumpkin
– olive oil
– 2 pitas (mine were about 9-inch/23-cm wide)
– 3-4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
– 1-2 tablespoons dukkah (either homemade or store-bought)
– salt & pepper, to taste
– dash of red pepper flakes

First roast your pumpkin: Heat oven to 425 F/220 C. Cut pumpkin into 1 inch/2.5 cm chunks – you can take off the shin before or after roasting (I do it after – super easy!). Toss the pumpkin with a bit of olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin is golden and soft enough to mash with a fork. This can be done a day or two ahead.

Heat oven to 400 F/205 C

Mash the pumpkin on the pitas until they are covered as the base (the pumpkin is like you tomato sauce on a traditional pizza here).

Dollop with yogurt and sprinkle with dukkah, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and bake for about 7-8 minutes until the pita is a little golden and crispy around the edges.

Lentil Soup with Harissa and Pumpkin

Ways to brighten a grey wintery day:

– Stay in bed a little longer. Heated blanket ON. (No central heating in Australia, folks – that heated blanket has been MONEY this past month.) Check your emails on your phone while doing this – you’re totally getting things done while still lying in bed!

– Make or buy the best dang cup of coffee you can muster. Drink it while watching different versions/parodies of Call Me Maybe on youtube. (Like this one or this one.)

– Do your own version of yoga/stretching/dance aerobics while watching fluffy morning TV. Mute TV occasionally to play Call Me Maybe.

– Bundle up and get outside for a walk. You’ll try and resist this at first (it’s so gloomy out there!) – but you’ll be happy you did.

–  Simmer something over the stove for a little while – something a hearty, lentil-packed and a little spicy. Top it with a zippy lemon-scented yogurt and eat while piping hot!

Awww yeah, you’re treating winter right.

Lentil Soup with Pumpkin and Harissa (serves 4-6)
adapted from Gourmet Traveller

– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– small knob of butter
– 1 large onion, finely chopped
– 1 medium-large leek, finely chopped
– 2 carrots, finely diced
– 1 celery rib, finely diced
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 2 cups dry French lentils
– 6 cups (1.5 liters) water, or more if needed.
– 2-3 cups diced Japanese pumpkin (or butternut)
– 1 14-ounce/400-gram can of diced or cherry tomatoes
– 2-3 tablespoons harissa paste, to taste
To serve:
– 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
– zest of 1/2 lemon
– handful of chopped coriander

Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot over a medium heat until the butter is foaming.

Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and golden – about 8 minutes.

Add leek, carrot, celery and garlic and cook for another 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally, until soft.

Add lentils and water and cook for 20 minutes over a simmer.

Add pumpkin and tomatoes and cook another 20-30 minutes until everything is tender. Add a bit more water if needed. (I added a splash.)

Stir in harissa paste and cook another 10 minutes.

Combine lemon zest and yogurt and serve over soup with fresh coriander.

Warm and Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Pumpkin

Ice skating rinks on the beach. The Nutcracker in July. “Cold snaps” defined as an extended period of time when the temperature was below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Way to rock winter, Australia. Really, I don’t find any of this ridiculous at all. I swear.

Winter means I am finally allowed to fully embrace my love of cruciferous vegetables! Kale, cauliflower and b-sprouts all day and all night.
While my old go-to is simply roasting b-sprouts with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, I also really enjoy their texture when they’re shredded or finely chopped and quickly sauteed.

Give b-sprouts a chance. (No, I will not stop calling them b-sprouts. Can’t stop, won’t stop.) Forget that you ever tried the boiled-to-death variety and roast them, fry them, shred them! It’s less ridiculous than watching people ice skate on a melting puddle next to the ocean. I swear.

Warm & Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Pumpkin

For Pumpkin
– 1 1/2 cups pumpkin (I used Japanese pumpkin, but butternut would be great too) cubed
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 teaspoon harissa paste or 1/2 teaspoon of dry harissa spice mix
– pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 450 F/230 C

Toss pumpkin with olive oil and harissa paste in a bowl until pumpkin is coated well. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until soft and slightly golden.

For B-Sprouts
– 3 cups of brussels sprouts shredded either by hand or with a mandolin
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1/2 tablespoon harissa paste or 1 teaspoon dry harissa spice mix
– salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large pan over a medium high heat. Add harissa and spread around the pan. Add shredded brussels sprouts and cook for 5 minutes, stirring only a couple times allowing them to crisp up in places.

To serve
Top with toasted pepitas and roasted pumpkin.
For a meaty option top with a bit of shredded Serrano ham.

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Caramelized Onion Enchiladas

First thing’s first! I need to clear something up for the sake of American/Australian food relations: pumpkin and winter squash are the same thing.

It’s called butternut squash in America, but butternut pumpkin in Australia. I often cook with Japanese pumpkin (like in this dish) which is also known as kabocha squash.

TomATE-o, tomAH-to.

Since I live in Australia now, I call it pumpkin. And sometimes I say ‘herb’ with a hard ‘H’. Assimilating – check me out!

I like to roast a small pumpkin or half a large pumpkin at the beginning of the week and keep it in the fridge to throw into salads, soups and curries throughout the week. It’s best to tackle this whole vegetable in one go (you need a little muscle to hack into these things, so it’s best to chop it all up at once.) Once roasted and ready to go, throwing together meals in pinch is much easier.

Pumpkin is my superstar vegetable. With its rich texture and sweet flavor, it’s filling but relatively low in calories, loaded with fiber and vitamins, and something special happens when you mix it with melted cheese. The pumpkin kind of enhances the flavor of the cheese. Like, cheesy pumpkin tastes more cheesy that other cheese-coated vegetables. Does that make sense?

That’s why it’s easy to trick children into eating vegetables by mixing mashed butternut pumpkin in with mac and cheese. (p.s. I’m going to be such a stealth/good mom.)

These enchiladas are the cheese-covered culmination of a few easy steps. You can prepare most of the elements ahead of time (the sauce, the pumpkin and the caramelized onion) or use what you happen to have in the fridge. If you have sweet potato, go ahead and use that in the place of the pumpkin. Or replace the black beans with lentils or white beans.

I like to make my own enchilada sauce – it’s easy and I usually have the ingredients on-hand. But you can replace it with a salsa that you like or a pre-made enchilada sauce. Go nuts.

Enchilada Sauce
adapted from Emeril Lagasse

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons mild chili powder
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute.
Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Roasted Squash or Pumpkin
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 cups squash or pumpkin (I used Japanese pumpkin), cut into 1 inch/2.5 cm chunks
– salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.
Coat pumpkin in olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until soft and slightly golden.

More hints for roasting pumpkin:
You can roast in larger chunks if it’s too much of a hassle to cut, roasting time will just be longer.
I always roast with the skin on. Once the skin is cooked it’s soft and easy to remove, but not at all unpleasant to eat. I usually just eat it.

Caramelized Onion
– 1 large red onion, cut into thin half-moon shapes
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 2 tablespoons water
– salt

Heat olive oil in a large pan over a medium high heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
Add a tablespoon or two of water and cover the pan. Lower the heat to medium low and continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if the pan is dry.
Cook until onions are deeply brown/purple (if using red onion) and jammy. Set aside or store in the fridge for up to 3 days (or freeze for up to two months.)

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Caramelized Onion Enchiladas
(Makes 8 enchiladas)
– Olive oil or baking spray, for greasing
– 8 tortillas (I used small ones)
– 2 cups enchilada sauce, divided.
– 1 can (1 1/2 cups) cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
– 2 cups roasted pumpkin
– 1/2 cup caramelized onions
– 2-3 tablespoons crumbled queso blanco or feta cheese
– 1/3 cup finely grated cheddar cheese.

Preheat oven to 190 C/375 F.
Grease a baking dish and cover the bottom with 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce.
Assemble the tortillas with pumpkin, black beans, onion and queso blanco/feta.
Roll  the tortillas and place in the baking dish seam side down.
Repeat 7 more times, packing the rolled tortillas tightly together in the baking dish.
Cover with the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle with cheddar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and a little golden in spots.
Serve with corn salsa, fresh cilantro and a little dollop of sour cream.