Pumpkin, Walnut and Sage Crostata on a table in a Studio
Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post
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Pumpkin, Walnut and Sage Crostata

This rustic, free-form tart is delicious and stunning enough to make a vegetarian Thanksgiving centerpiece, but it can also be a side dish or the main course of any fall or winter dinner, paired with a crisp salad.

The pumpkin mixture and the filling can be prepared separately and stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days in advance. There’s no need to bring them to room temperature before assembling the crostata.

Adapted from “Higgidy: The Veggie Cookbook” by Camilla Stephens (Mitchell Beazley, 2019).


measuring cup
Servings: 6
  • 1 sugar pumpkin (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 4 shallots (8 ounces), quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) raw walnut halves or pieces
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey (may substitute agave nectar)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 recipe Flaky Pie Dough (see related recipe) or your favorite store-bought pie crust
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (may substitute vegan butter, such as Earth Balance)
  • 1 1/2 ounces Stilton cheese, Gorgonzola cheese or another blue cheese, crumbled (optional; may substitute goat cheese or feta)


  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Step 2

    In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, shallots, garlic and 8 sage leaves. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, season with the salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Divide the mixture between the pans. Roast about 25 minutes, until the pumpkin is barely tender.

  3. Step 3

    Remove one of the pans from the oven and set aside. Add the walnuts to the other pan and roast for another 10 minutes, until the pumpkin on that pan is very soft and the walnuts are fragrant. Scrape the pumpkin-walnut mixture into a food processor (leave the oven on). Add the vinegar, mustard, honey and red pepper flakes and process. With the motor running, drizzle in the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and process until the mixture is smooth. Taste, and season with more salt and/or pepper, if needed.

  4. Step 4

    Remove one of the parchment pieces from the baking sheet and turn it over on your countertop to expose the clean side (alternately, you can use a clean piece of parchment). Lightly flour the parchment and roll the pastry out on the parchment to a rough 10-inch circle. Transfer the parchment and pastry to the empty baking sheet. Spoon the pureed mixture into the center of the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border around the edges. Arrange the reserved pumpkin wedges, roasted sage, shallots and garlic on the filling. Lift the pastry up around the vegetables and crimp. Return it to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is deep golden brown.

  5. Step 5

    Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet until it foams, then scatter the remaining 8 sage leaves around the pan so they don’t overlap. Using a spatula, turn the leaves over and crisp them, no longer than 45 seconds. Transfer them to a plate, where they'll crisp further.

  6. Step 6

    When the crostata is ready, sprinkle the cheese, if using, and fried sage leaves over. Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    26 g

  • Cholesterol

    20 mg

  • Fat

    28 g

  • Fiber

    5 g

  • Protein

    5 g

  • Saturated Fat

    8 g

  • Sodium

    220 mg

  • Sugar

    8 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Adapted from “Higgidy: The Veggie Cookbook” by Camilla Stephens (Mitchell Beazley, 2019).

Tested by Joe Yonan

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