Appetizers/ Fall/ Recipe/ Vegetarian

Roast Pumpkin Bruschetta & Caramelized Onions

I got lost underneath a highly suspect, random bridge trying to take the pictures for this post.

Fall Pumpkin Bruschetta - Pumpkin Recipe -

It’s true; In my pursuit of autumnal photographs, I ended up in a never-ending gravel lot, the sounds of cars above me whizzing by over-head, with no way out in sight. Or humans, for that matter.

It was the kind of area that nightmares are made of. Or at least really bad horror flicks. Luckily my tatas were tucked safely away inside my dress and it was the middle of the day. Were it nighttime and I clad in a skimpy bikini, I’m convinced I would have ended up in pieces, tucked inside a duffel bag and hidden halfway under a pile of fallen leaves.

Side note: I don’t wear skimpy bikinis. Ever. No one wants to see that. Do they? My inner need for external validation is pulsing right now.

…Moving on.

Kitsilano Beach Park - Pumpkin Recipe - SheEats.caFalse Creek Vancouver - Pumpkin Recipe - SheEats.caKitsilano Vancouver - Pumpkin Recipe -

We’re at a funny time of year right now, aren’t we? While aimlessly (still understandably get-the-heck-out-of-there minded) meandering the underpass the air still held the warmth of Summer yet at the same time, a distinct chill was blowing off the water. It’s not quite Summer, not quite Fall. I call it Sumall. Or Fammer.

The trees look like they’re in a struggle for the seasons too. While some are turning bright yellow and red, and leaves are crunching under-foot in the park, others are desperately holding on to the last heat of the Summer sun. Makes it difficult to take Fall photos for a blog post. Hence the underpass misdirection.

Fall Pumpkins at Granville Island Market - Pumpkin Recipe -

But it’s not just the weather. While at the Granville Island Market – after having just mowed the only thing a girl CAN mow while lunching on the dock – searching out some fresh sage and recovering from my almost-demise, I noticed somethin’ freakay!

…Mini-pumpkins cuddling up to juicy watermelons. Brilliant red strawberries mingling with the last of the figs. And grapes canoodling with stalks of asparagus. It was fruitfully bizarre. Almost the kind of thing horror stories are made of. You know, if it the horror story was that of the modern grocery store and year round produce availability.

Granville Island Market Vancouver - SheEats.caPumpkins Granville Island Market -

Ironically, it’s also the thing that dreams are made of. Which is why I couldn’t believe my luck when I found 2 sugar-pie pumpkins in my CSA this week. 2! Astounded – and giddy beyond giddy – I set to work to bake a homemade scratch pumpkin pie for the boyfriend and a pumpkin bruschetta to end all pumpkin bruschettas for me. It’s a recipe that’s been plaguing me obsessively for weeks.

Does that ever happen to you? Do you get an idea – a recipe, a story, a sex move – that inspires you beyond anything else and you can’t get it out of your head until you do it? John says I must have some kind of mental disorder. No argument there. But he thinks that my fixation on things must be a clinical issue. Between this recipe for pumpkin bruschetta, Lego Movie and my compulsion for bourbon soaked cherries, he may be right. He is the pineapple and cheese stick expert after all. And the only one of us with a PhD right?

Fall Pumpkin Bruschetta - Pumpkin Recipe -

So pumpkin bruschetta. Oh my god, yes. Smear with creamy fresh ricotta (I used buffalo), slowly oozed caramelized onions and a few flakes of crispy sage bits and you have yourself probably one of the most orgasmic, delicious, sultry, vegetarian friendly dishes you could ever hope for. I suggest eating them for breakfast, a quick lunch or a light dinner with a big fat glass of fruity, full bodied wine (or 3). If you have pancetta or bacon, crisp up and chuck some of that on there too. It isn’t vegetarian then, but it’d be damn good. And those of us who are omnivores can always appreciate the addition of good, pastured, heritage pig bacon. Right?

Fall Pumpkin Bruschetta - Pumpkin Recipe - SheEats.caFall Pumpkin Bruschetta - Pumpkin Recipe - SheEats.caFall Pumpkin Bruschetta - Pumpkin Recipe -

Make this. And avoid deserted underpasses. Unless dessert is involved. Like pumpkin pie. Or in this case, simply pumpkins. Because all good things lead to those. Especially now. At the end of Summer, the beginning of Fall and whatever this place is called where we find ourselves in-between the seasons.

Roasted Pumpkin Bruschetta




Yield 4 servings


  • 1 Sugar pie pumpkin
  • 5 Garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • Handful of fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 Medium white onion, peeled & sliced
  • 1/2 Tbsp + 1/4 C of butter, unsalted.
  • 1/2 C fresh ricotta cheese (buffalo if you can find it)
  • Few Tbsp of balsamic reduction
  • Good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt (like maldon) & fresh cracked black pepper.
  • To serve, loaf of rustic bread, thinly sliced.


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. As it heats, cut the pumpkin into quarters and scoop out the pulp and the seeds. Discard the pulp but reserve the seeds to make Toasted Pepitas. Place the cut and cored pumpkin in a shallow baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Massage in. Pour enough water into the pan to just cover the entire bottom and stick in the hot oven. Bake until soft and tender, about 40 - 50 minutes. Remove and let cool enough to handle. Once you can touch it, peel the skin off the back of the pumpkin and discard. Don't worry about being delicate with the pumpkin, it'll get roughly smashed on the toast when you serve it.
  3. As the pumpkin roasts, place a medium sized frying pan over medium-low heat with a good glug or two of olive oil. Once hot and shimmering (not burning), dump in the onion. Season with salt and stir well. Allow the onion to slowly caramelize, stirring often. This should take about 40 to 45 minutes. About 5 minutes before you pull it off the heat, add the 1/2 Tbsp of butter. Allow to melt and coat the onions, stir and remove from the heat. Set aside.
  4. In that same pan, turn the heat up to medium and add the 1/4 C of butter. It should sizzle and pop as it melts. This is the water cooking out of the butter. Once that slows, chuck in the sage. Stir well. Allow to crisp as the butter browns. Just before it burns (it should smell nutty and sweet), remove the sage with a slotted spoon. Set aside. Add the brown butter (and all the little bits in there) to the cooked pumpkin. Stir to combine. Hello, flavour.
  5. If desired, toast the bread under the broiler. Baste one side of slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast (be careful, they brown quickly). Remove from the oven and rub the top of each with the smashed garlic.
  6. Now build your crostinis! Serve all the elements - pumpkin, sage leaves, caramelized onions, cheese and balsamic reduction - individually or pile high on the bread/toast, finishing with a drizzle of the balsamic reduction.
  7. Eat.


Do you ever get yourself into precarious situations? How’s your sense of direction? What are you loving about the seasons right now? Any fixation disorders I should be aware of? Are you enjoying or loathing pumpkin right now? Spill it!

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  • Liliana
    September 14, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. I never thought of combining pumpkin and ricotta. Your photos of the Grainville market are beautiful. I am looking forward to going there in October after the FBC2014,

    • Kristy Gardner
      September 16, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      Thank you so much Liliana for taking the time to comment! I think you’ll love Granville Island! We should meet for a coffee, watch crazy seagulls and ogle the fresh produce! 😉

  • La Cuisine d'Helene
    September 14, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    Just bought a pumpkin today. Maybe I should make these!
    La Cuisine d’Helene recently published…Date SquaresMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      September 16, 2014 at 11:14 AM

      So stoked for you Hélène! There’s so many great things to do with pumpkin right now. I don’t know how to stop. Addict? yes.

      PS. Your grilled cheese looked incredible the other day!!

  • Becky
    September 15, 2014 at 8:18 AM

    Mmmm. I passed over the pumpkin at market Saturday because I had so many other things (like the last of the corn!), but this week, really I will get myself some.
    Becky recently published…They did.My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      September 16, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      Hey Becky!! Oh I need some of the last of the corn!! What did you do with it?? Sometimes I want to make corn into something fancy, but nothing beats fresh corn on the cob, slathered in butter, salt and pepper.

      • Becky
        September 17, 2014 at 8:28 PM

        Confession? I shucked it, boiled it and then, when no one was home for dinner on Saturday, Sunday, Monday OR Tuesday night, it ended up all going into the freezer, which is what I’ve done with it all season. On the bright side, I have oodles of corn for this winter!
        Becky recently published…Modern love.My Profile

        • Kristy Gardner
          September 19, 2014 at 11:52 AM

          hahahahahahaha I adore you. Also, perfect idea so you can enjoy the corn all Winter long. I will do the very same thing this weekend at my parent’s place.

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    September 15, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    Oh mama, give it to me! This bruschetta looks incredible. I’m so ready for Fall and all its wonderfulness. Give me all the pumpkin and sweaters and boots and leaves and…oh, sorry. But seriously, give me this bruschetta.
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe recently published…Hello Again + Fresh Spiced Pear CiderMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      September 19, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      HAHAHA okay. But only because you asked so naughtily 😉

      PS. Heck yes for pumpkins, sweaters, boots and leaves!

  • Janice @Kitchen Heals Soul
    September 16, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    This is my kind of bruschetta! I love sweet roasted pumpkin + ricotta. Yum!
    Also, glad you didn’t weren’t lost forever under the sketchy bridge 😉
    Janice @Kitchen Heals Soul recently published…Epicerie du Monde | Royaume-UniMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      September 19, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      You and me BOTH Janice! 😉 I’m glad you like the recipe – thank you so much for taking the time to say so.

  • Cynthia @ Whole Food | Real Families
    September 16, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    I can not stop laughing…

    • Kristy Gardner
      September 19, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      I aim to please Cynthia! Or at least to not offend. That’s not true. I offend people all the time. But I have fun doing it!

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets
    September 16, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    I’ve been knocking pumpkins over in my neck of the woods. I’d take it all back if you made me this.

    No more deserted underpasses, m’kay? Good.

    • Kristy Gardner
      September 19, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      M’kay. But only because you’ve come around to pumpkins. At least in this moment.

  • Lori
    September 17, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    What a great find in your CSA, and such a great use of it! This is gorgeous. You are brave! I need to be more adventurous to get good photos. And I Sumall is the perfect name for the season!
    Lori recently published…Gold Potato and Bacon Croquettes with Jackpot Beer Cheese SauceMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      September 19, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      hahahahahaha Sumall 😉

      PS. Good photos are great but I’m not sure I’d venture under the underpass again. Unless you came with me. Then we could ward off the crazies together.

  • Jon
    September 24, 2014 at 11:46 PM

    We will be making this soon. I haven’t bought pie pumpkins yet, but when we do this will be a go-to. Wow, such a delicious idea!! Thanks Kristy 🙂
    Jon recently published…Last Call for CornMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      September 25, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      Please do Jon! I made it again for my parents this week and everyone – even those who don’t like ricotta – gobbled them up like kids who love candy and haven’t had candy in a really, really long time!

      PS. I just saw pie pumpkins at the market in Kelowna – I’m sure they’re on their way to yours too soon 🙂

  • Melanie @ Bon Appet'Eat
    October 2, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Wow I love that recipe, so different. I love your pics too and you are funny 🙂

    • Kristy Gardner
      October 2, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      Thanks Melanie!! I appreciate that. At least I’m not the only one who laughs at my jokes. No. I am … Usually. But the post worked out okay so I’m happy for that. haha.. Great to see you!

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    October 25, 2014 at 7:35 PM

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  • Meg
    October 16, 2016 at 9:11 PM

    My boyfriend and I tried this tonight! It definitely took awhile to cook, longer than we’d usually have time for. But we had a relaxed Sunday and plenty of time to treat ourselves. It was well worth the wait! Super savory and fresh. I’m one of the worst cooks ever but I was able to do it too, which is really nice. Thanks for such an awesome dinner idea. 🙂

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      November 24, 2016 at 8:36 AM

      Meg that’s awesome!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe and you found it fresh. I know roasting pumpkin from scratch isn’t exactly quick, but it’s favourite way to enjoy it. I’m THRILLED to hear it worked out for you. I love love love a good Sunday supper! Cheers miss 🙂 xoxo
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