A Jack-o’-lantern for dinner?

Photo: farmerjulie/Flickr

Photo: farmerjulie/Flickr

How are you celebrating fall?

Cranberries, apples and squash are seasonal favorites, yes, but who else shares my love for pumpkin? I’m a huge fan of pumpkin risotto, with sage and a sharp cheese (piave is perfect). Sugar pumpkin is a great fall vegetable and available at the last few farmers’ markets of the season. It’s versatile, with a flavor somewhere between butternut squash and a sweet potato. There’s so much more out there than the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks or Thanksgiving pie! Here are a few samplings:

Erin of Erin Cooks has a great-looking recipe for her mom’s Amazing Pumpkin Muffins. Janel from Dine Dish Delish lists her favorite pumpkin recipes, including wontons, a smoothie and oatmeal. There are irrestible Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes posted today by Megan of Delicious Dishings and even pumpkin fudge from Phillips Candy House.

And let’s not forget pumpkin beer. The story goes that the first European settlers to New England initially encountered some difficulty growing enough grain to make beer, so they used what they had in autumnal abundance–pumpkins. Nowadays pumpkin ales are brewed with pumpkin added either with the grain or as a flavoring and marketed as seasonal Fall beers. These ales are often loaded up with “pumpkin pie spices” as well–e.g., cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice being the most common. These spices are nice, but can mask the rich yet subtle flavor that pumpkin has given the ale. New England breweries such as Smuttynose Brewery of Portsmouth, NH, and Cape Ann Brewing Company of Gloucester, MA, are making pumpkin ales this time of year, with varying proportions of pumpkin and spice.

Share your ideas with the PRK community. Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe you come back to every year?

4 thoughts on “A Jack-o’-lantern for dinner?