Move Over, Pumpkin Spice: 7 Smashing Pumpkin Dishes + a Cool Cocktail Full of Fall Flavor

In case you’re hard of seeing or smelling, pumpkin spice season is in full swing. While we understand the legions of PSL fans, we prefer to savor pumpkin in its more natural state.

There may not be a single definition of what pumpkin spice is – and the same can be said of pumpkin itself. There’s no accurate botanical designation for it; it’s merely a common name for an array of winter squashes. But, in their most recognized form, pumpkins are round, orange, smooth-textured, and magically delicious. As much as summer squashes, such as zucchini, crookneck, and pattypan, lend color and flavor to our grilling season favorites, winter squashes including butternut, acorn, and kabocha, all make for hearty cool-weather delights guaranteed to satisfy. Here’s where you can find seven smashing pumpkin dishes — plus one cocktail — that will soon have you pining for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin.

Pumpkin Borani at Oasis Grille, Pleasanton, California
Borani is a Persian dish, much like a dip, made with aromatic spices and creamy yogurt. This divine Borani, in which pumpkin is cooked with olive oil, peppers, and garlic, then topped with a garlic-yogurt sauce, is begging for you to tear up some nan and dip in! Seinfeld fans already understand that you should only double dip at your own risk.

Best Pumpkin Dishes

Pumpkin Mascarpone Ravioli at Harvest Seasonal Grill, Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
It wouldn’t really be fall without the annual arrival of pumpkin ravioli on restaurant menus. This Pumpkin Mascarpone Ravioli is a rich interpretation of the dish — with all the trimmings. From the butternut squash purée, sage brown butter, and cranberries to the baby spinach, toasted pumpkin seeds, and gingerbread dust, you can practically sniff the seasoning off the photograph. (No need to scratch!)

Best Pumpkin Dishes

Butternut Squash and Cider Salad at Red Hat on the River, Irvington, New York
If there is a salad that was meant to complement an autumn trip up the Hudson River for the viewing of the turning leaves, this Butternut Squash and Cider Salad is it. Sweet maple-glazed squash takes center stage, while awards for supporting roles go to arugula, dried cherries, green apple, pumpkin seeds, naturally cured smoked bacon, goat cheese, and an apple cider vinaigrette. Pro tip: Go apple picking first so you can wash it back with a glass of dry Reisling (or two).

Best Pumpkin Dishes

Squash and Pumpkin Lasagna at Winds Café, Yellow Springs, Ohio
For our money, few foods are as comforting as lasagna. And that includes vegetarian lasagnas. The Squash and Pumpkin Lasagna won’t have you missing meat at all. A variety of locally grown squashes are roasted, scooped, and mashed, layered with fresh pasta sheets and a blend of cheeses, and then baked until bubbly. Finished with roasted shallot cream and housemade sage oil, this version may turn you off tomato-based lasagna (at least for the season!).

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Global Noodles for a Delicious World Pasta Day

Since the 12th century, Italians have been feasting on an addictive amalgamation of flour, eggs, and water, also known as pasta. Though Americans often associate pasta with Italian dishes, such as spaghetti and ravioli, there are, in fact, dozens of cultures around the globe whose staple foods include noodles, many of which are made of rice, buckwheat, potato starch, or kelp in place of flour, in a plethora of shapes and sizes. On this momentous day, then, we thought it only apropos to round up some of our favorite global noodles for a delicious World Pasta Day – each of which you can find right here in the states.

Vietnamese Vermicelli
Though it looks like its sister noodle, spaghetti, vermicelli is the Asian equivalent, made from rice flour and water (called rice vermicelli) or mung bean starch (known as cellophane noodles). In Vietnam, rice vermicelli finds its way into many signature dishes; it’s in pho (noodle soup), gets tucked into summer rolls, and is the main event in other noodle-based plates, called bún. Surprisingly, you can find all three in Atlanta at chef-owner Guy Wong’s gorgeous French-Vietnamese hotspot Le Fat. Though the summer rolls are fresh and vibrant and the pho earthy and satisfying, we recommend the bún, in which the rice noodles are topped with an aromatic herb salad, pickled daikon, crushed peanuts, and crispy grilled pork.

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Thai Pad Thai
Here in America, there’s perhaps no dish more closely associated with Thailand than Pad Thai, stir-fried rice noodles. Though the dish is often watered down to appease our penchant for sugar, the traditional version is made with soaked dried rice noodles stir-fried with eggs and tofu (or often prawns), topped with roasted peanuts and bathed in a tangy sauce made from tamarind (never ketchup or peanut butter), fish sauce, dried shrimp, chiles, and palm sugar. For the real deal, head to none other than Bida Manda in Raleigh, North Carolina, where chef Van Nolintha serves up a Laotian version of pad thai made with crispy tofu, tomatoes, rice noodles, and plenty of crunchy peanuts and aromatic herbs.

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Japanese Soba
In Japan, the name of the pasta game is soba, a thin noodle made from buckwheat flour that’s eaten near daily, whether chilled with a dipping sauce, enjoyed in hot soy-dashi broth as a noodle soup, and even grilled in a stir-fried dish known as yakisoba. Boston chef Tim Cushman hand-makes two different varieties of soba noodles at his award-winning o ya restaurant — squid ink soba alongside seared octopus and bonito, pictured, (he also serves a chilled squid ink soba dish in an uni consommé) and chilled soba noodles topped with uni, fresh wasabi, and a rich dashi broth.

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Frankenfruits + Mashuptables: 5 Delicious Dishes Showcasing Hybrid Produce

Love kale? Love Brussels sprouts? Wish you could enjoy them both in a single bite? Now you can! The two vegetables have been crossbred to create an innovative hybrid known as kalettes. Freethinking farmers are playing Dr. Frankenstein by mashing up a variety of fruits and veggies. (Don’t worry, this is a completely natural thing to do, and shouldn’t be confused with genetically modified crops.). Chefs have been enthusiastic first adopters of these new creations. Here are five delightful and delicious dishes showcasing hybrid produce.

Sixteen, Chicago, Illinois
Known as pluots, plumcots, apriplums, or apriums, these plum-apricot fusions contain varying percentages of the stone fruits. The smooth-skinned pluot is one-quarter apricot and three-quarters plum, possessing a rich sweetness that makes it well-fitted for desserts. Executive pastry chef Aya Fukai crafts a chili-pepped jam with them, which accompanies a chocolate-coconut gateau, coconut marshmallow, and bright bangles of confit chili.


Ad Lib, Napa, California
With its fractal-like formations and brilliant chartreuse hue, Romanesco – a.k.a. broccoflower or Roman broccoli – looks like the handiwork of a Sixties stoner. In fact, Italian farmers created it back in the 16th century. They grow an abundance of the psychedelic produce at the French Laundry Culinary Garden, which they use on site and at the group’s other properties including this pop-up. Here it’s served with a variety of vegetables and Green Goddess dressing as a part of the opening crudité platter.

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Ray’s Boathouse, Seattle, Washington
Kalettes have been around for less than a year, but the amalgamated superfood is already starting to earn hardcore fans. Executive chef Paul Duncan likes frying up the “kale sprouts” to add crunch factor to his sablefish poached in sake kasu and complemented with ginger-oyster sauce and jasmine rice. He appreciates the greens’ cabbage-like flavor, which works well in the Asian-accented dish, but never overpowers the other components.

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Put an Egg on (or in) It: 13 ‘Eggcellent’ Dishes for #WorldEggDay

Eggs have long since migrated from breakfast and brunch staples to main attractions on lunch and dinner menus. A sexy, shimmery, perfectly slow-cooked or cheerful sunny side up egg brings rich flavor and lush texture, not to mention a protein punch, to many a dish. To inspire you on this delicious occasion, we’ve rounded up 13 ‘eggcellent’ dishes for #WorldEggDay.

L’Etoile, Madison, Wisconsin
A local duck egg gets top billing from chef Tory Miller in the farro salad at French fine dining restaurant L’Etoile. Made with duck confit, sweet potatoes, and shaved red onion, the duck-centric dish is topped with crispy kale and a sunny side up, farm-raised duck egg. [Photo by Samantha Egelhof]


Ramen-san, Chicago, Illinois
Chef Doug Psaltis’s Berkshire Ham & Cheese Okonomiyaki, crowned with a sunny side up egg, is Ramen-san’s version of the savory Japanese “pancakes” that are gaining popularity both in the U.S. and abroad. [Photo by Jeff Marini]

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Stella Barra Pizzeria, North Bethesda, Maryland
When the moon of Prosciutto and Egg Pizza from Stella Barra chef-partner Jeff Mahin hits your eye with its sunny side up egg nestled on a white base, four types of cheese, and chilies? That’s amore. [Photo by Rey Lopez]

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Melisse, Los Angeles, California
At the only two Michelin-starred restaurant in Los Angeles, Chef Josiah Citrin serves his Egg Caviar dish, a sublimely cooked soft poached egg appointed with a tangy lemon-chive crème frâiche and American Osetra caviar. The ingredients are served inside the eggshell for a stunning presentation and accompanied by toasted brioche for dipping. [Photo by Matthew Kiefer]

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Craftbar, New York, New York
Surf meets turf in chef Luke Wallace’s White Anchovy & Soft Egg Toast at Craftbar. With crunchy bread, plus lemon aioli and confit of leek, every one of your hungry taste buds will be deliciously served.

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Summer House, North Bethesda, Maryland
Bucatini and Brown Butter Carbonara, Summer House Santa Monica’s version of carbonara, elevates a classic dish to new heights with thick-cut braised bacon and heaps of parmesan – all brought together with a farm-fresh egg. [Photo by Anjali Pinto]

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Café Spiaggia, Chicago, Illinois
The Farm Egg at James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Mantuano’s Café Spiaggia is a stellar example of happens when a simple pantry staple is paired with fresh, high-quality ingredients, such as Lonesome Stone polenta, Scrozone nero truffles, and Grana Padano cheese. [Photo by Jeff Kauck]

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Osteria, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Chef Brad Daniels serves a freshly thrown pizza with all the trimmings you could want in the way of his Lombarda pie. Topped with baked egg, Bitto and mozzarella cheese, and cotechino sausage, it’ll be love at first bite, guaranteed.

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