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by Valentine Warner, TV Chef and City Harvest Food Council Member

This Halloween, 2.2 million pumpkins will be uneaten in the UK as people discard whole carved pumpkins once spooky season ends. Let’s enjoy delcious seasonal produce WITHOUT wasting a thing. Here’s a super simple recipe by City Harvest supporter and TV chef, Valentine Warner.

A gourd is a variety of Cucurbitaceae (squash, pumpkin etc.) that looks like a miniature pumpkin but can vary in shape, size and colour.


  • Small gourd (small pumpkin, red onion squash)
  • Sprig fresh rosemary
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 30g grated mozarella or other mild cheese
  • 30g butter
  • Pinch of paprika (smoked or non-smoked)
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Cut a lid from small gourd (or red onion squash) and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Clean seeds and keep for toasting.
  3. Sprinkle the inside of the gourd with salt and pepper.
  4. Line the inside with 3 large sage leaves and small sprig of rosemary.
  5. Add 30g butter to gourd “pot”
  6. Add a chopped clove of garlic (or to your taste)
  7. Sprinkle with paprika.
  8. Microwave for 4 mins until soft  
  9. Add 30g of grated mozzarella or other cheese.
  10. Microwave for a further minute to melt the cheese.
  11. Eat and enjoy! Optional: chop nuts like cashews to sprinkle and serve.

Check out the full recipe reel on Instagram here.

Valentine Warner, broadcaster, TV Chef, and food writer is a proud member of the City Harvest Food Council. A chef passionate about seasonal produce and the great British outdoors, Valentine has spent time in City Harvest’s Acton depot providing inspiration on what to cook with seasonal surplus produce, and how to get the most out of home-grown ingredients.

Valentine recently jumped in a City Harvest van, with driver, Jose, to the Upper Room for a food delivery. Chatting to charity cooks he was amazed how many people they feed and with ingredients which show up almost on the day.

“City Harvest is a phenomenal charity, and seeing the work the team does on a daily basis is very humbling. The food delivered is so clearly, obviously, unquestionably usable that the idea it could be wasted is incomprehensible and baffling. Being on the van today was a real eye-opener, City Harvest is an essential service to the charities they deliver to, and the skill of the chefs cooking on a daily basis and making nuritious, warming meals is to be applauded.”

Valentine Warner.


About City Harvest

Est. 2014, City Harvest London rescues nutritious surplus food from manufacturers, suppliers, producers and retailers, and delivers, for free, to 375+ London charities feeding those facing food poverty. City Harvest rescues food, people, and planet by preventing food waste, providing life-changing support to communities in every London borough through food, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from waste.

City Harvest believes in the right to food and is passionate that, in this day and age, every child should have access to fresh nutritious food to thrive and not simply survive. City Harvest is a supporter of the Free School Meals campaign. We want to ensure no child goes hungry and we encourage food partners to use our networks to make a huge difference. By delivering to food banks, community centres and school programmes we try to make sure we help fill the gaps all year round.

City Harvest vans equally deliver to homeless shelters, hostels, soup kitchens, mental health charities, projects supporting the elderly and socially isolated, social pantries, community kitchens, refugee hostels, nurseries, family centres and domestic abuse refuges. 

City Harvest tripled in size in 2020 to meet the demand of people facing food poverty. Now distributing free food for more than 1.2 million meals a month the need continues to rise as the cost of living tightens its grip.

Please donate to keep our vans rolling. Thank you.