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First: Labor Day. Then: Pumpkin Everything

Cream pumpkin soup in a pumpkin

Summer may not "officially" be over for a couple more weeks, but chillier weather is in the air, and after the three day holiday weekend, consumers will be eager for everything autumn. In terms of food, pumpkin is king from now until Halloween, and there are many ways to incorporate pumpkin flavors into your menu. The pumpkin spice latte is one of the most famous of these trends, of course (no actual pumpkin involved - just the same spice mixture used in pumpkin pie), and some brands get downright gimmicky with this flavor profile (pumpkin oreos anyone?) But that shouldn't stop you from taking a good hard look at the pumpkin recipes available and working with your chef to incorporate some seasonal favorites on your menu. Below are some suggestions:

Pumpkin ravioli: pumpkin or squash, fresh and seasonal, makes an excellent filler for fresh pasta. This dish works equally well with a touch of seasonal spices and sugars, or as a more savory option. Incorporate as either a starter or an entree if you currently offer fresh pasta at your establishment. Lobster works very well as a protein with this particular pasta, with just a little cream sauce to tie everything together.

Pumpkin cheesecake: this one is a classic for a reason. Creamy pumpkin works beautifully as the filler for everyone's favorite dessert - cheesecake. The rich, burnt orange color will also be wonderfully evocative of fall, and you can dress this up with pumpkin seeds, caramel garnish, and plenty of fresh whipped cream.

Pumpkin flan: a quirkier riff on the classic pie/cheesecake dessert, pumpkin flan combines a classic Latin caramel dessert with the creamy textures of pumpkin. The flavor profile is universally appealing, and the ingredients are very cost effective. This works especially well if you happen to have a Latin fusion restaurant.

Pumpkin lasagna with swiss chard: this is an excellent vegetarian entree, and seasonal swiss chard will play nicely with the hearty pumpkin in this riff on a classic lasagna. Use plenty of fresh ricotta cheese to tie the vegetable medley together.

Ginger roasted pumpkin: as a side dish, pumpkin is a beautiful root vegetable to offer with a hearty protein, such as a rib eye steak. Roasting pumpkin with ginger will offer additional flavor depth and work well with the natural caramelized sweetness of the vegetable.

2016-09-04 00:00:00
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