Recipe ReDux: Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta

I have to confess that this month’s Recipe ReDux theme, Pumpkin, really threw me for a loop!

Conceived by Gretchen of one of my favorite gluten-free blogs, Kumquat, pumpkin really should be a “no brainer” for a fall themed recipe.

But here’s the kicker…

The challenge was to use FRESH pumpkin if at all possible.

So, first step, I had to find a “cooking” pumpkin…

Off I went to Whole Foods, thinking surely they would have some.  And, they did, but I almost thought they didn’t…

You see, the big thing these days at my local Whole Foods is to have a seasonal and local display at the front of the store right when you walk in.  And, believe me, if the goal of Whole Foods is to get you to buy more seasonal and local produce it works.  I wish I had photos to show you, but trust me, the displays are gorgeous.  I have tried many a new fruit or veggie from Whole Foods, lured in by their smashing displays.

And, I almost grabbed one of the cute little “display” pumpkins to take home with me when at first I couldn’t find any “cooking” pumpkins.

But, eventually, I discovered these little beauties way in the BACK of the produce section co-mingling with the potatoes, onions and squash.

Whew!

Step one completed.  Time to move on to step two…

How the @**#*(%()#(%*) do I cook one of these things???

Thank goodness for the internet!

A quick Google search revealed 26,000,000 results on my query “How to cook a pumpkin.”

Not having the time to go through all them, I narrowed it down to this method over at Maris Callahan’s fabulous website, In Good Taste.

And, finally, step three…

What do I make with fresh pumpkin???

{Canned} pumpkin reins supreme at my house in the form of gluten-free pumpkin pancakes a la Bobs Red Mill {follow the recipe for BRM pancakes, then add 1/2 can pumpkin puree and 1 teaspoon cinnamon}.

Voila!

SUPER easy pumpkin pancakes.

But, really not Recipe ReDux worthy…

I needed to come up with something new.

So, I racked my brain for what to make with fresh pumpkin…

Decision #1-I would experiment with a savory recipe.

Decision #2-It would need to combine several flavors {which is how I tend to come up with most of my recipes} such as sweet, salty, tangy, etc. to dazzle the taste buds.

And finally, decision #3-Make pumpkin pesto bruschetta!

Here’s the recipe…

Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta {Gluten-Free}

Roasted Pumpkin

Follow instructions here.  In addition, drizzle pumpkin with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper before roasting.

Pesto {This is my “go-to” recipe adapted from my ginormous bag of Kirkland Signature pine nuts from Costco.}

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves {packed tight}
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Combine ingredients and puree in a food processor or blender.

Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta

  • 2 loaves Gluten-Free Bread, sliced in half on the diagonal {I used Udi’s gluten-free bread.  Use any bread of choice for non gluten-free version.}
  • 1 roasted pumpkin, skin removed {See above}
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pesto {See above}
  • 6 ounces goat cheese

{Makes approximately 50 “appetizer” servings.} Roast pumpkin per instructions.  While pumpkin is roasting, prepare pesto per instructions.  {This can be made ahead, OR you can use your favorite store bought pesto. REALLY, it’s ok :-)} Heat olive oil in pan on high heat  and add chopped onions.  Sautee until brown, approximately 5 minutes.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Slice bread on the diagonal, and toast in the oven for approximately 4-6 minutes. Combine roasted pumpkin and chopped onions in mixing bowl, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble:  Spread pesto on toast.  Top with pumpkin and goat cheese.

Serve and enjoy!

And, in case your wondering, how does this taste…

I had three male tasters at my house {my husband and two neighborhood friends} to test my recipe.

I’m always a little apprehensive about the reaction I will get when testing a new recipe…

In this case, the reaction was three {well, four counting me} thumbs up!

My test tasting guys seriously inhaled it!

And, I got the ultimate compliment from my husband :-)

This one’s a keeper!

Hope you like it too, and be sure and check out all the other fabulous Recipe ReDux pumpkin recipes! {Note:  If a links not working, check back later as the deadline to post is noon ET on 11/21.  Thanks!}

Cherie Schetselaar – Grain Crazy    Fresh Pumpkin Risotto
Alexandra Caspero- Delicious Knowledge   Pumpkin Enchiladas
Katie Hamm – Healthy & Happy Hour    Pumpkin-Bacon Penne
Alysa Bajenaru – Inspired RD    Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Fries
Everyday Tastiness    Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Dr Barb, Nutriton Budgeteer    Pumpkin Chili Chicken Pizza
Elizabeth Jarrard- Don’t (White) Sugar Coat It   Vegan Pumpkin Soup
Kristen Bourque- Swanky Dietitian    baked pumpkin oatmeal
Marie Spano    Cream cheese Pumpkin muffins
Regan @ The Professional Palate    Pumpkin Ravioli in a Walnut-Sage Cider Sauce
Danielle Omar – Food Confidence RD    Pumpkin Goulash
Emma @ The Hearty Heart    (Vegan) Cocoa Pumpkin (Whiskey) Mousse
gretchen – kumquat    baked mini pumpkins
Emma Stirling – The Scoop on Nutrition    Recipe Redux Chermoula Chickpea & Pumpkin Sliders
Janel Funk: Eat Well with Janel    Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Nicole @ Whole Health RD    Kaddo Bourani – Candied Pumpkin with Yogurt and Meat Sauce
Yuri – Chef Pandita    Pumpkin Apple Soup
Lisa @ Healthful Sense    Pumpkin Cream Pie Filling & Pudding
Jessica Fishman Levinson – Nutritioulicious    Recipe Redux: Pumpkin Pancakes
Jane Schwartz, RD   Pumpkin Coconut Soup
Kat Lynch – Eating The Week    Pumpkin yogurt dip for waffle sticks
Katie Caputo- East Meats West    Pumpkin Stuffing
Serena @ Teaspoon of Spice    Whole Pumpkin Cheddar Gratin
Kristina @ Love and Zest    Pumpkin Mash
Carrie Miller – Nutrition Know How    Baked Stuffed Pumpkin & Pumpkin Orange Muffins
Ann Dunaway Teh – Eat to Nourish, Energize & Flourish    Pumpkin, Squash and Apple Soup
Kara Lydon – Peace, Love, and Food    Pumpkin Yogurt Dip
Stephanie Howard – Give Them Something Better    Fall Harvest Chili
Karman Meyer-Nutrition Adventures    Pumpkin-Potato Breakfast Hash
Ayla Withee- Eat Simply    Salt and Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds
Heather Calcote – Dietitian on the Run    Pumpkin Rosemary & Mushroom Quinoa
Jill Melton-The Relish Dish    Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin
EA-The Spicy RD    Pumpkin Pesto Bruschetta
Liz Weiss & Janice Newell Bissex – Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen    Ghoulishly Good Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin
Diane Welland – Eat Well, Eat Clean    Pumpkin Cranberry Scones
Rebecca Noseworthy – It’s a Savoury Life    Fall Pumpkin Chili 

Have you ever roasted a fresh pumpkin before?  What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?

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Comments

  1. The bruschetta looks very tasty and unique! Beautiful colors and great flavor combo! I roasted a few pumpkins last year for soups. I’ll have to do that again!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I love that you challenged yourself to cook a whole pumpkin and just when I thought I’d seen every pesto version, this is a new one and looks wonderful. I’m a bruschetta fiend – definitely going in my “to make” recipe pile.

  3. You are so creative, EA! I love your ideas and your pictures are incredible. Will definitely keep this bruschetta in mind for an October party appetizer.

  4. Oh I love so much! I was sooo close to doing a pumpkin crostini with about the same flavors as my ravioli. Great minds think alike, right? ;-)

    Beautiful as always!

  5. Katie @katiecaputo says:

    I know what I’ll be making for appetizers on Thanksgiving :) Awesome idea EA!

  6. Your photos are breath-taking! And that combination sounds divine!!

  7. These would make a wonderful appetizer for my Halloween Party!! Thanks for sharing.

    Vicky

  8. What a great idea! Love pumpkin this time of year and it seems to go well with spicy, sweet, savory, and everything in between. Stuffing is my favorite way to make squash.

  9. i love the idea of a nice delicious blob of roasted pumpkin on bruchetta! and i totally got enticed by the pumpkin display at whole foods as well. hahahaha. :) and you know its a keeper when the guys in your life inhale it!

  10. Yummo, I LOVE bruchetta….and still find it strange that you don’t think pumkin as a savoury veg. We eat it regularly at my house in Oz…roasted in salads, in risotto and more. I suppose that’s what makes the Redux so perfect!

  11. This looks amazing! I’ve been experimenting with fresh pumpkin too – so much better than the stuff you get in a can. Made a yummy salad with roasted pumpkin, goat cheese (of course!) and lentils. Also made some tasty pumpkin & pineapple muffins. I’ll be posting these recipes during Halloween week. I also made some pumpkin & avocado salsa that was less than overwhelming :)

  12. Wow, this looks incredible. I love bruschetta and this is just such a fun twist.
    Your dishes never disappoint!! :)

  13. Wow. What a creative recipe. Love the idea of topping basil pesto with pumpkin and goat cheese. Delish!

  14. I haven’t cooked a pumpkin but I do lots of squash, I would’ve been thrown off right there with you. I love the taste of pumpkin and adore pesto, I am envisioning pesto and sweet potatoes and can’t imagine the taste, it’s good? I trust you but have to taste for myself, ha ha. In the meantime I want to make those pancakes.

  15. Nice work!! This looks and sounds fantastic. Who would have thought that a bruschetta recipe would work with pumpkin?! Brilliant! Thanks for sharing the recipe, and thanks for all the other links too. I’m obsessed with pumpkin so I like to hear new pumpkin recipes ideas, whenever possible :)

  16. What an unique flavor combination! Delicious!

  17. Thanks so much everyone for all your lovely comments on my pumpkin pesto bruschetta! I really hope you all try it, as it was one of those “surprise” recipes that turned out way tastier than I ever imagined it would :-)

  18. I am in love with this. I love the colors with the green pesto contrasting the orange pumpkin, I’m sure it tastes as amazing as it looks. I am epically in love with pumpkin this month!

  19. Love your recipe! Glad you tried the fresh pumpkin. I freeze my own pumpkin puree every October and wouldn’t go back to canned for anything.

  20. This looks SOOO delicious!!! Thank you for this recipe!

  21. This looks so unbelievably good!! I actually just saw a recipe from The NY Times’ Recipes for Health for quinoa with pesto and sweet potatoes and am planning to make it tonight. I’ll have to make some of these bruschetta too! Can’t wait to try it!

  22. pure genius love this

  23. Love it! We went to a fall festival and they send each person home with a small pumpkin. I diced one (not easy I know) and made an Indian curry dish with coconut milk, carrots, pumpkin, and chicken. I’m going to try again with lentils and no coconut and no chicken. I have 2 pumpkins left! Yay for this recipe.

  24. Now that’s a great combination! I love pesto on just about anything but with the addition of pesto it must be out of this world.

  25. I seriously love this recipe, what a great flavor combination! AND it looks sooooo pretty:-) This may have to be an appetizer on my table this year:-) Hugs, Terra

  26. the bruschetta looks so good!. i havent baked this season with pumpkin yet.. gasp.. i need to start up on some pumpkin goodies.. i think my fave is my moms sweet and sour indian spiced pumpkin. i need to make that and blog about it soon..:)

  27. What a great combination. I usually stick with tomato bruschetta, but I love pumpkin so I am going to have to give this a go!

  28. I officially cannot wait for Autumn! These are just fantastic

  29. Thank you for the mention! I love all of these pumpkin recipes that you linked to — it’s never too late in the season for pumpkin deliciousness!

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