Carving, Cooking and More: With Pumpkins, Take Your Pick

By Dorn Wenninger
October 27, 2014
Pumpkin thumbnail

Trying to pick the perfect pumpkin? Grower David Kolean says it may not exist – but that’s what makes them so much fun.

“The great thing about pumpkins is that they’re all a little different in shape. They all have a little character,” says David, a pumpkin grower for Walmart. “Some pumpkins have a flat spot on them, a dent here, or a dimple there, but that just makes it very creative to work with and to carve.”

With Halloween coming up on Friday, this week is the best time to carve your own. Check out David’s selection tips in the video above, and then get started with carving advice and templates at Walmart.com.

If you’d rather eat your pumpkin than decorate it, there are plenty of options for that, too. From traditional pumpkin pie to delicious dips and sides, you can include the popular squash in any course – such as this savory Pumpkin Risotto.


Pumpkin Risotto

Ingredients
4 cups hot water
½ cup dry white wine
4 tsp. instant chicken flavor bouillon
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1 cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 tsp. fresh thyme or sage leaves
½ cup freshly shredded Parmesan
1 Tbsp. butter
Ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine water, wine and bouillon in large measuring cup; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in rice; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in pumpkin and thyme.
  3. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in rice; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in pumpkin and thyme.
  4. Stir in 1 cup broth mixture. Reduce heat to medium; continue adding broth mixture, 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more broth. Rice should be tender but firm to the bite and mixture should be creamy. This should take 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Stir in cheese and butter until melted. Season with pepper.
  6. VARIATION: For Pumpkin Mushroom Risotto, add 4 cups (about 12 ounces) sliced wild mushrooms (mixture of shiitake, oyster and crimini) with the onion and garlic and proceed with recipe.