Posted October 11, 2018

Fall Flavor: 4 Unique Pumpkin Recipes

Eat + Drink

With autumn’s falling temperatures come some of our favorite things: cozy sweaters, hot apple cider and, of course, pumpkin-inspired treats. Our chefs have elevated the simple squash with four fresh fall dishes—both sweet and savory.

fried pumpkin + winter squash appetizer courtesy red star tavern

Fried Squash, Feta and Arugula

By Sous Chef Josh Steiner of Red Star Tavern (Portland, OR)

It’s a universal truth that everything tastes better fried. This delicious squash salad from Chef Josh is no exception.



(Serves 4)

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 delicata squash
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled
  • 8 oz. arugula
  • ¼ cup pepitas, toasted
  • ½ cup pickled peppers, drained
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • ½ bunch oregano, picked
  • 1 cup neutral oil, plus additional for the squash
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Peel the butternut squash and cut into finger-sized batons.
  • Slice the delicata into rounds and remove the seeds. (The skin of the delicata is edible, so no pressure if you don’t want to peel it).
  • Coat the batons and rounds with oil, salt and pepper.
  • Roast squashes in separate sheet pans in a 350°F oven until barely soft to the touch.
  • This should take about 12 minutes for the delicata and a few minutes more for the butternut. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette.
  • Combine the pickled peppers, red wine vinegar, dijon and oregano in a blender.
  • Slowly add one cup oil until emulsified.
  • Season to taste and set aside until ready.
  • Deep-fry the roasted and cooled squash in 350°F oil until golden, about four minutes.
  • Toss the fried squash, feta, arugula and pepitas with the vinaigrette.
  • Season to taste. Enjoy!

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tulio pumpkin risotto photo credit adela lee

Pumpkin Risotto

By Executive Chef Walter Pisano of Tulio Ristorante (Seattle, WA)

Roasted pumpkin adds rich depth of flavor while crumbled amaretti cookies counter the savory notes in this elevated take on comfort food.



(Serves 4)

  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • 1 small sugar pumpkin, cut in half and seeded
  • 6 to 7 cups vegetable stock, warmed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ white onion, small dice
  • ¼ cup finely diced leeks, whites only
  • 2 tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • Fresh white pepper & salt to taste
  • Cut pumpkin in half, remove seeds.
  • Drizzle with olive oil then season with salt and pepper (to taste).
  • In a 400°F oven, place the pumpkin on a roasting pan cut side down, then cover pan with foil and bake until soft, about 35 to 40 min.
  • Let cool, then scoop out pumpkin and place in food processor.
  • Blend until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper, to taste.
  • Set aside.
  • In a heavy bottom saucepot, start heating four tablespoons of butter and add the diced white onion. Keep on medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the onion is soft.
  • Add the rice and start toasting it with the onion.
  • When it is slightly toasted, begin to add the warmed vegetable broth, one cup at a time.
  • Add leeks.
  • Continue to add the broth a ladle at a time.
  • This process should use approximately 6 to 7 cups of broth.
  • When the risotto is almost done, add the pumpkin puree and continue cooking risotto.
  • Stir constantly to avoid sticking.
  • To test the risotto for doneness, take a little grain out and taste it, the rice should have a little crunch.
  • If the risotto is too crunchy then continue to add broth, but very small amounts at a time.
  • Complete the dish with salt and pepper to taste, then place into serving bowls and garnish with toasted pine nuts.
  • Optional additional garnish: Add reggiano parmesan or crumbled amaretti cookies.

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alexandria va pumpkin mussels courtesy of brabo

Mussels with Pumpkin, Fennel and Brown Butter

By Executive Chef Sebastien Rondier of Brabo Tasting Room (Alexandria, VA)

Sautéed pumpkin and a luscious cream sauce infuse fall flavor through every bite of Chef Sebastien’s creative dish. An aromatic selection of herbs adds enough nuance to ensure this will become your new fall favorite.



(Serves 4)

  • 2 lbs. mussels, cleaned
  • 1 medium pumpkin, diced 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp. brown butter
  • 1 tbsp. fresh butter
  • 1 large fennel, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 1/3 tsp. espelette pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. chopped chives
  • 1 oz. olive oil
  • 4 oz. heavy cream
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • In a large pot, add olive oil, garlic, thyme, pumpkin and fennel.
  • Sauté on medium heat for five minutes, giving a light coloration to all the vegetables.
  • Add fresh and brown butter and stir for five minutes.
  • Add heavy cream and reduce by half.
  • Add mussels, cover and cook for five minutes on medium heat.
  • Finish with all chopped herbs and espelette pepper.
  • Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Serve with a crusty baguette.

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pumpkin cassis cheesecake courtesy of red owl tavern

Pumpkin Cassis Cheesecake

By Sous Chef Lindsay Meehan of Red Owl Tavern (Philadelphia, PA)

Tart cassis cream cuts through the classic pumpkin flavor in this elegant layer cheesecake. Half of the recipe easily freezes so you can indulge in autumnal flavors all season long.



Pumpkin Cake Ingredients:

  • 300g sugar
  • 5g salt
  • 160g bread flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2g baking powder
  • 2g baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g canola oil
  • 200g pumpkin puree
  • 1 orange (zest)

Pumpkin Cake Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a mixer, whisk together oil and eggs.
  • On low speed, gradually add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • Stop and scrape the mixing bowl with a spatula.
  • Mix in the pumpkin puree and orange zest.
  • Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with baking spray. Pour batter into pan.
  • Bake at 350°F. Rotate after seven minutes. Continue baking until the cake springs back to touch.
  • Let cool and slice in half. Chill in freezer so the cake is firm (this makes it easier to stack and build your layers)

Pumpkin Cream Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz crème fraiche
  • 4 oz powdered sugar
  • 4 oz pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of clove

Pumpkin Cream Directions:

  • In a mixer with a whisk, whip the heavy cream, crème fraiche and powdered sugar to stiff peaks.
  • Fold in pumpkin puree and spices.

Cassis Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 5 tbsp. flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup cassis/currant puree

Cassis Cheesecake Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • In a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese, vanilla bean and vanilla extract.
  • Gradually add in the sugar.
  • Scrape the bowl with spatula.
  • Continue mixing until the cream cheese is completely smooth and fluffy.
  • On medium speed, gradually mix in your eggs and yolks, scraping the bowl in between additions.
  • Mix in the flour.
  • Mix in the sour cream until the batter is smooth.
  • Finally, stream in the cassis puree.
  • Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper on the bottom and spray with baking spray.
  • Bake at 325°F. Rotate after 15 minutes. Bake until the top has become golden brown and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan. The cheesecake should only have a sight jiggle to it. It will take about 45 minutes.
  • Let cool completely and flip the cheesecake out of the pan.
  • Cut in half so it is the same size as each piece of pumpkin cake. Freeze/chill. (You will only use one half of the cheesecake. You can freeze and save the other half for when you want it next!)

To build the cake:

  • Spread a thin layer of pumpkin cream on one layer of the frozen/chilled pumpkin cake.
  • Stack the cheesecake on top and spread another thin layer of pumpkin cream on top of the cheesecake.
  • Finish by adding the final layer of pumpkin cake.
  • Let the stacked cake chill then cut into desired shape and size.

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