Every autumn, a strange and wonderful phenomenon occurs: the pumpkin, stealthiest of all produce, sneaks it’s way into everything. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin cake, pumpkin pie, pumpkin hand lotions, pumpkin spice candles...everywhere you look, autumn is full of pumpkin in places you may not expect it.
To be honest, I think the noble pumpkin is shortchanging itself. You’ll notice that all of it’s edible applications fall on the sweet side of the spectrum, and the savory is pretty much ignored. Thankfully, this trend has begun to downturn as more and more people are using pumpkin in savory applications, and discovering what a versatile and fun ingredient it is to work with. We’ve put together some of our favorite savory applications to help you enjoy our stealthy orange pal outside it’s comfort zone of sweet desserts and decadent cakes.
“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion." -Henry David Thoreau
Pasta With Pumpkin Sauce and Toasted Hazelnuts
Inspired by the ease and simplicity of stove-top mac and cheese, this savory pumpkin and pasta dish calls to mind a long, involved, intricate recipe-but you’ll be the only one who knows that the pumpkin came from a can! This dish would be perfect for a date night at home on a cool autumn evening, or even as a late lunch after a day of apple picking.
Think Outside The Box and Use The Flowers
Pumpkin flowers are without question one of the hidden gems of the autumn season. While you may not work flowers into your regular diet, you really ought to try these deep fried pumpkin flowers. While they’re not exactly low calorie, they are decadent, earthy, delicate, and delicious. You can also experiment with stuffing these flowers with goat cheese and herbs, if you get ambitious.
Maple Glazed Pumpkin Wedges
Though Italian in origin, this dish is New England through and through. Incorporating our favorite ninja fruit and that nectar of the gods we call maple syrup, this dish is a perfect accompaniment to an autumn inspired roast pork loin. If you’re looking for a great way to bring some imported Americana into your kitchen, these maple pumpkin wedges are a great way to go about it.
The Perfect Soup for an Autumn Day
I admit, I’m a bit of a soup fanatic. I love gazpacho in the summer, beef stew in the winter, and pumpkin sage soup for the fall. This soup is earthy, rich, and herbal with deep flavors of sage a creamy silkiness of texture. While this soup can be a star on its own, this soup would be even better if paired with a cheesy crostini or garlic bread.
The Best Risotto You’ve Ever Had
Everyone loves risotto, and pairing it with pumpkin is just gilding the lily. This pumpkin risotto takes it a step further by adding porcini mushrooms for a deep, earthy note that works very well with the saltiness of the Parmesan and the sweet autumn flavor of pumpkin. This would pair well with a delicate fish or chicken entree, but it’s good enough to be eaten as an entree itself.
We hope that seeing these savory applications of our most-used fall food has swayed you from from relegating it to the traditional pie and cake applications, and caused you to consider using it in savory ways as well. This time of year, pumpkin is inexpensive and plentiful, so make sure you have fun experimenting with it. As always, we urge you to have fun in good health and with good friends and good food.