Pan-seared pumpkin, baked pumpkin, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin pizza, pumpkin bisque, pumpkin butter, pumpkin beer, pumpkin panna cotta, pumpkin ice cream … the list goes on.
Is there any one vegetable — or fruit since although the pumpkin is a member of the squash family, it is technically a fruit — more versatile to cook with than pumpkin? One look at the menu at any Half Moon Bay restaurant, and it’s proof enough that there really is more than 100 ways to cook a pumpkin.
Pumpkin season is here and our local restaurants are busy serving up creative fantastic dishes that call for pumpkin in the ingredients. Who knew those icky pumpkin innards could be transformed into so many yummy things to eat?
Here’s a quick look at what’s cooking in some Half Moon Bay restaurants, just in time for the weekend and a night spent eating out in the pumpkin capital of the world.
10151 Cabrillo Highway North El Granada
On the menu at Flavor this pumpkin season:
• House Infused Pumpkin Beer
• Pumpkin Risotto
• Pumpkin Cheesecake
• Pumpkin Chocolate Brownie Sundae
• Roasted Pumpkin on Pizza's
• Pumpkin Ice Cream
Half Moon Brewing Co., 390 Capistrano Road, Half Moon Bay
Through Oct. 31, the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company has a Pumpkin Menu available as well as their renowned Pumpkin Harvest Ale. Chef Alfaro’s tribute to the orange gourd includes his:
• Decadent Dungeness Crab Pumpkin Bisque
• Cheese Ravioli with Prawns in a creamy, roasted pumpkin sauce
• Herbed Winter Vegetables with Pumpkin
• Desserts including homemade Pumpkin Pie and Gingersnap Crust Pumpkin Cheesecake.
It’s Italia, 401 Main Street, Half Moon Bay
• Harvest Pumpkin Bread Pudding with pumpkin whipped cream and Captain Morgan’s Rum Caramel Sauce
• Pan seared Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with butter Parmesan sauce, shaved Parmesan and micro greens
• Farmer John’s Red Apple Blossom Pumpkin Pizza with roasted Red Apple Blossom Pumpkin, arugula, shaved manchego, and feta
• Pumpkin Crème Brulee with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and toasted almonds
“Also, in our “Farming Local” Series, in which we feature a local farm from the coast side every month, we are currently highlighting Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm,” said Betsy del Fierro of It’s Italia. “This month, we will be featuring many if the pumpkins from John and Eda Mueller’s farm on our menu, including the Red Apple Blossom Pumpkin on our Farmer John Pizza. As well we will be passing out little recipe cards with Eda Mueller’s recipe for Pumpkin Sage Risotto.”
Navio at the Ritz-Carlton, 1 Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay
Pumpkin offerings at the Ritz-Carlton include two new pumpkin cocktails:
• Pumpkin Fizz: Ketel One orange vodka, pumpkin spice liqueur, fresh lemon, simple syrup, and ginger beer--served on the rocks
• Spiced Pumpkin Crush: Stolichnaya vanilla vodka, orange juice, pumpkin butter, egg white, and cream — served up.
On the menu in The Conservatory Lounge:
• Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli, Portobella mushroom, pearl onions, sage brown butter, arugula pesto.
Later in the month, the Conservatory will feature:
• Pumpkin soup
• Pumpkin risotto
• Pumpkin pie
Finally, a few pumpkin-inspired menus:
Pumpkin Tasting menu in Navio this weekend and the following two weekends in October; Six-course pumpkin inspired menu; and Pumpkin Sunday Brunch, which will feature pumpkin-themed additions, including pumpkin soup, pumpkin panna cotta, and pumpkin spice cookies.
Sam’s Chowder House, 4210 Cabrillo Highway North, Half Moon Bay
• Roasted pumpkin salad with grilled apple, frisee, arugula, toasted hazelnuts, feta cheese and aged balsamic vinegar.
• Red kuri pumpkin gnocchi with Maine lobster and local peas in a brown butter sage sauce.
• Pumpkin Tiramisu for dessert