Pumpkins are the most famous of all the winter squashes, and are most associated with Halloween lanterns. Inside the hard orange or yellow skin, the bright orange flesh is sweet and honeyed. They are a particularly good source of fibre, as well as a range of vitamins and minerals.
The word pumpkin originates from the word pepon, which is Greek for "large melon", something round and large. The French adapted this word to pompon, which the British changed to pumpion, and to the later American colonists became known as pumpkin.
In the larder
A perfect vegetarian main course, Elly McCausland's gloriously golden Pumpkin, goat’s cheese and fig tart with lemon thyme recipe would make a showstopping vegetarian Christmas dinner. With creamy goat's cheese and juicy figs, this stunning tart is sure to delight guests during the festive season and beyond.
Tom Aikens' Organic mini pumpkin and ricotta tarts with spiced honey recipe makes a perfect party canapé, with a crisp puff pastry base topped with a lightly spiced, sweet pumpkin purée and creamy ricotta cheese. Autumn and winter are the best times to find pumpkin and squash, and most varieties would work well in these tarts. Tom includes a delicious spiced honey recipe which flavours the pumpkin.