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Sweet pumpkin and creamy burrata are a match made in heaven on this bruschetta served during lunch at City Tap House. The individual components can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to assemble and serve, making it a great dish for easy entertaining. (Image: Courtesy City Tap House)

Local chefs share pumpkin recipes that don't involve a pie dish (part two)

Pumpkins steal the spotlight as the most picture-perfect winter squash, but they can do so much more than decorate your coffee table or wear a toothless grin on your front stoop. They deserve just as much love in the kitchen, where they’re often relegated to a basic pumpkin pie that only comes out once a year.

Over the next few days, we will share our three-part series that looks at how you can make the most of your pumpkin purchases this season. In part two, we are exploring a few standout side dishes, including one sweet ending.

Pumpkin and Burrata Bruschetta from City Tap House

Sweet pumpkin and creamy burrata are a match made in heaven on this bruschetta served during lunch at City Tap House. The individual components can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to assemble and serve, making it a great dish for easy entertaining.

Ingredients:

  • 4 thick slices sourdough bread
  • 1 oz. butter
  • 6 oz. pumpkin purée, seasoned (recipe to follow)
  • 6 oz. butternut squash, roasted (recipe to follow)
  • 8 oz. burrata
  • 2 oz. spiced candied pepitas, crushed (recipe to follow)
  • 2 oz. balsamic glaze
  • 2 oz. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 0.4 oz. micro greens

Pumpkin Purée:

  • 10 oz. pumpkin purée
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 oz. sugar
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • ½ tsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt

Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • 1 lb. butternut squash, small dice
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp shallots, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme, chopped

Spiced Candied Pepitas:

  • 1 c. pumpkin seeds, shelled
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1 egg white, beaten until frothy
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne

Method:

Pumpkin Purée:

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a large bowl over a pot of boiling water.
  2. Allow the mixture to warm up and melt the cream cheese completely. Stir to mix the ingredients.
  3. In batches, purée the mixture in a food processor until very smooth. Set aside.

Roasted Butternut Squash:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Bake at 400F for 15 to 20 minutes until just tender.
  3. Cool and set aside.

Spiced Candied Pepitas:

  1. Toss all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Spread the pepitas in a single layer on a baking sheet
  3. Bake at 350F for 20 to 30 minutes until the pepitas are golden brown and dry. You may need to stir them periodically.
  4. Separate the pepitas with a fork while they are still warm. Cool completely.
  5. Place the cooled pepitas in the food processor and pulse to break them up into pieces.

Assembly:

  1. Place the sourdough on a buttered cook top. Allow both sides to get toasted. This will work on the grill or in the oven with the low broiler setting.
  2. Place the bread on your work surface.
  3. Spread an equal amount of the pumpkin purée across each piece of bread, covering completely.
  4. Spoon the roasted butternut squash across the top of all of the bread.
  5. Break up the burrata and place it evenly across the top of all of the bread.
  6. Cut each piece of the bread into three pieces, for a total of 12 pieces.
  7. If plating individually, place each slice cut into three onto your favorite plate. If plating as a shared appetizer, place on a platter.
  8. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze then drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil.
  9. Sprinkle with the pepitas and sea salt. Garnish with the micro greens.
  10. Serve immediately.

Earth and Eats Beets from Chef Michael Ellis of Charlie Palmer Steak DC

Chef Michael Ellis pairs roasted sweet baby beets with a crunchy pumpkin seed brittle and creamy goat cheese for a lovely contrast of flavors and textures. This recipe has been adapted slightly from the dish served at Charlie Palmer Steak DC.

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 12 baby red beets
  • 12 baby gold beets
  • 4 baby Chioggia beets
  • 2 c. baby arugula, washed and dried
  • 1 c. pumpkin seed brittle, crumbled into 1/4” pieces (recipe to follow)
  • 2 c. goat cheese mousse (recipe to follow)
  • 4 blood oranges, segmented, and then squeezed for juice
  • ¼ c. champagne vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 c. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar

Pumpkin Seed Brittle:

  • 2 c. sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • ¼ c. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ c. pumpkin seeds, toasted to golden brown

Goat Cheese Mousse:

  • 1 c. goat cheese
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

Pumpkin Seed Espelette Brittle:

  1. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a deep pot with high sides. Using a candy thermometer, cook over high heat until the temperature reaches 310F.
  2. Add salt and baking soda. Continue cooking until the temperature reaches 320F.
  3. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the pumpkin seeds.
  4. Immediately pour onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and set aside to cool.

Beets:

  1. Take the 12 red beets and toss with 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil, 1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of ground black pepper.
  2. Place into a shallow baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and place into a 375F oven until the beets can be easily pierced with a toothpick, approximately 45 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven, peel, cut into quarters, and chill until ready to plate.
  4. Repeat the same procedure with the yellow beets.
  5. Peel the baby Chioggia beets and slice paper thin with a mandolin or truffle slicer, put in ice water until ready to plate.

Goat Cheese Mousse:

  1. Mix goat cheese and heavy cream until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Blood Oranges and Vinaigrette:

  1. Peel and remove the segments from the blood oranges.
  2. Squeeze the core over a bowl to get any remaining juice out
  3. Combine this juice with champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, and remaining ½ c. of olive oil.
  4. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper, to taste.

To Serve:

  1. Place a dollop of the goat cheese mousse in the center of the plate.
  2. Toss the arugula with some vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the arugula on top of the goat cheese.
  4. Toss the beets in the vinaigrette (enough to coat) and alternate on top of the arugula with the citrus segments.
  5. Sprinkle with crumbled brittle.

Pumpkin Whipped Cheesecake from Chef Tony Conte of Inferno Pizzeria

Instead of pie, Chef Tony Conte folds pumpkin purée into a smooth and decadent whipped cheesecake at Inferno Pizzeria. Try adding it into the Thanksgiving rotation this year – the no-bake filling means you won’t have to worry about monopolizing valuable oven space.

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 1 pack cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 15 oz. pumpkin purée or canned pumpkin
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 1.25 g. cinnamon
  • 1.25 g. ginger

Crumble:

  • 200 g. butter
  • 200 g. sugar
  • 200 g. all-purpose flour
  • 200 g. gingersnaps
  • 150 g. pistachios
  • 2 g. baking powder

Method:

Filling:

  1. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, mix cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add in all additional filling ingredients and blend until the mixture is seamless.
  3. Pour into individual mason jars and let set in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Crumble:

  1. Place gingersnaps in food processor and process to a powder. Set aside.
  2. Place pistachios in food processor and process to a moderate crumble.
  3. Add your butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and blend until fluffy. Add dry ingredients and blend on low until fully combined.
  4. Bake at 300F for 8 to 15 minutes, stirring every 4 to 5 minutes until slightly browned. Leave out to cool before breaking into pieces.

Assembly:

  1. Spread the crumble on top of each mason jar of cheesecake.
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