Blame it on Starbucks: By the time October rolls around, many of us are already suffering from Pumpkin Fatigue Syndrome. But to deny yourself dishes that include this pulpy orange squash is doing your taste buds a great disservice. “Pumpkins are a sign that we’re in fall, which is a favorite season for a lot of chefs,” says Michael Friedman, the executive chef at The Red Hen. “We start to get tired of the delicateness of summer, and we want to get into the rustic phase of autumn.” Because pumpkins are both sweet and earthy, they’re extremely versatile. To prove it, we picked a pumpkin-laced dish for every day of October, each one more original than the last. Does that make us out of our gourd? Never.
Wednesday, October 1: Pumpkin mussels
Granville Moore’s, 1238 H St. NE; $16
Mussels in a pumpkin broth made from poblano peppers, cayenne pepper, sage, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon and wine.
Thursday, October 2: Pumpkin tacos
Chaia Tacos, FreshFarm market by the White House, 810 Vermont Ave. NW; three for $10
Roasted pumpkins with caramelized onions and feta cheese.
Friday, October 3: Pumpkin spaetzle
Boundary Road, 414 H St. NE; $26
Short ribs served over pumpkin spaetzle (a German noodle).
Saturday, October 4: Pumpkin mac and cheese
The Black Squirrel, 2427 18th St. NW; $9
Elbow macaroni, bechamel sauce, five cheeses, oven-roasted pumpkin and yam puree, and fresh sage prepared in a cast iron skillet.
Sunday, October 5: Pumpkin frittata
Etto, 1541 14th St. NW; $7
An appetizer of roasted pumpkin, caramelized onions and prosciutto with fresh herbs.
Monday, October 6: Pumpkin risotto
Macon Bistro & Larder, 5520 Connecticut Ave. NW; $17
Carolina gold risotto mixed with lobster, mushrooms and pumpkin that’s been roasted and riced.
Ice Cream Jubilee, 301 Water St. SE; $5 a scoop
Pumpkin puree, nutmeg and cinnamon ice cream mixed with maple honeycomb candy.
Wednesday, October 8: Pumpkin pizza
Pizzeria Orso, 400 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church; $16
Cream sauce, mozzarella, roasted pumpkin, blue cheese, Olli speck, arugula and shaved grana.
Thursday, October 9: Pumpkin with grains
Mintwood Place, 1813 Columbia Road NW; $21
Farro, wheat berry, bulgur wheat, pearl barley and buckwheat mixed with smoked squash, Parmesan cheese, fried kale and pumpkin oil.
Friday, October 10: Pumpkin pie
Little Red Fox, 5035 Connecticut Ave. NW; $9
This little market serves 6-inch pumpkin pies in traditional and gluten-free varieties.
Saturday, October 11: Pasta with pumpkin
The Red Hen, 1822 First St. NW; $17
Chef Friedman coats pumpkin-shaped pasta with a puree made with roasted pumpkin, Parmesan rinds, garlic and onions. It’s mixed with mascarpone, wild mushrooms, sage and almonds.
Sunday, October 12: Pumpkin ricotta cavatelli
ChurchKey, 1337 14th St. NW; $16
Pumpkin ricotta cavatelli with roasted squab, popped cranberries and fried sage.
Monday, October 13: Pumpkin bread pudding
Toki Underground, 1234 H St. NE; $7 (Get the recipe here!)
Bread mixed with brown sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin puree and spices, and topped with brown sugar.
Tuesday, October 14: Pumpkin gnocchi
Lincoln, 1110 Vermont Ave. NW; $13
Roasted pumpkin gnocchi coated with a bacon and pear jam and topped with sage powder.
Wednesday, October 15: Pumpkin with lobster
1789, 1226 36th St. NW; $46
Chef Samuel Kim serves poached lobster over a caramelized pumpkin puree garnished with roasted pumpkin and Swiss chard.
Thursday, October 16: Pumpkin empanada
Beau Thai, multiple locations; $5
Pumpkin puree and curry powder served in an empanada.
Friday, October 17: Pumpkin quesadillas
Tryst, 2459 18th St. NW; $9
Pumpkin puree seasoned with cayenne and chili powder and topped with brie cheese.
Saturday, October 18: Pumpkin pepitas
Brabo, 1600 King St., Alexandria; $6
A side dish of roasted pumpkin seeds served with a vinaigrette.
Sunday, October 19: Pumpkin dumplings
Red Light Cocktails and Dessert Bar, 1401 R St. NW; $11
Roasted sugar pie pumpkins with cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar stuffed in a cannoli-like dough.
Monday, October 20: Pumpkin soup
Silo, 919 Fifth St. NW; $7
Pumpkin blended with garlic, thyme, sauteed onions, veggie stock, prosciutto and cream.
Tuesday, October 21: Pumpkin ravioli
Room 11, 3234 11th St. NW; $10
Pumpkin ravioli with pan-roasted maitakes, brown butter, hazelnuts, arugula and vincotto.
Wednesday, October 22: Pumpkin cheesecake
Open City, 2331 Calvert St. NW; $5
Served by the slice, the cheesecake has a spiced chocolate crust.
Thursday, October 23: Pumpkin sorbet
Sona Creamery, 660 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; $6
Pumpkin whey sorbet with vanilla cream, cinnamon anglaise and brown butter crumbles.
Friday, October 24: Pumpkin ketchup
Chups, chupsitup.com; $7.50
Produced locally in Union Kitchen, this savory ketchup is made from pureed pumpkin, vinegar, onions, celery, garlic, sugar and spices.
Saturday, October 25: Pumpkin flatbread
Nage Bistro, 1600 Rhode Island Ave. NW; $12
Flatbread topped with roasted pumpkin, smoked mozzarella, creme fraiche, cipollini onions, wild arugula and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Sunday, October 26: Pumpkin curry
Duke’s Grocery, 1513 17th St. NW; $12
Kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin), Thai aubergine (eggplant), English peas, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime, holy basil and bird’s eye chili over jasmine rice.
Monday, October 27: Pumpkin with salmon
True Food Kitchen, 2910 District Ave. #170; Fairfax; $24
Smoked onion quinoa, roasted beet, arugula, cilantro, cotija cheese and pumpkin seeds.
Tuesday, October 28: Pumpkin salad
Pleasant Pops, 1781 Florida Ave. NW; $8.25
Roasted beets, squash, blue cheese and pumpkin seeds top a bed of kale and arugula. Served with peppercorn dressing.
Wednesday, October 29: Pumpkin cakepop
Baked by Yael, bestcakepopever.com; $33 for 12
Pumpkin-spice cake is rolled into a ball and dipped in pumpkin icing.
Thursday, October 30: Pumpkin cocktail
Del Campo, 777 I St. NW; $14
The pumpkin Old Fashioned is made with Bulleit rye whiskey, pumpkin cordial, smoked canella and bitters.
Friday, October 31: Pumpkin pakora
Tallula Restaurant, 2761 Washington Blvd., Arlington; $6
The fried South Indian snack is served with brown butter and lemon yogurt sauce.
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