by Renu Chhabra
Crunchy leaves; a coolness in the air;
Rich deep colors and branches so bare.
Clear starry skies; a harvest moon bright;
Pumpkins, haystacks and scarecrow’s delight! — Teri Anderson
The calendar says fall has arrived.
Pumpkins greeting you at every store front. I can almost hear them sing joyous notes of fall’s arrival, but the weather here in California is in a different mood.
It is reluctant to let summer go. It is still holding on to its one wing.
Even though the days are still hot, evenings are getting cooler. Shorter days are an indication of the season’s arrival. Sites of pumpkin patches confirm fall’s presence.
Summer during the day, fall in the evenings. How lucky we are to enjoy both seasons at the same time.
When it comes to cooking, I am sticking with simple and cool dishes. Soups and stews are not on my menu yet.
To welcome fall, I made this pumpkin- sage spread with sunflower seeds. It is an earthy, season-friendly recipe that requires no cooking. A few simple ingredients from the pantry is all we need to make this delicious spread or dip. It has earthiness and crunch from sunflower seeds and tartness from lime. Sage complements pumpkin and the other ingredients.
Click here for metric converter.1 clove of garlic
1 cup roasted sunflower seeds plus for garnish
15-20 sage leaves plus for garnish
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can pureed pumpkin
Sea salt to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin plus for garnish
pinch of chili flakes, optional
Juice of 1 lime or to taste
¼ cup light olive oil
¼ cup water
Pinch of sweet paprika, optional
In a food processor, pulse garlic clove a couple times. Add sunflower seeds. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Add garbanzo beans, pumpkin puree, salt, cumin, chili flakes, juice of lime, and olive oil. Purée adding water slowly to get the desired consistency. If you like the crunch of sunflower seeds, leave it a little coarse.
Transfer to a bowl. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of cumin, some sunflower seeds, and sage leaves.
Serve it with your favorite chips, pita, or crackers. You can use it as a filling for ravioli as well.
Here is a picture of fall sunset.
Enjoy the season!