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Pumpkin Season is Here | Great Performances


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Pumpkin Season is Here
by Beth Kaiserman

You’ve smelled it or seen its bright orange glow: pumpkin season is here.

Love it or hate it, pumpkin is the most popular flavor this time of year. We like our treats with real pumpkin – and a hint of spicy cinnamon and cloves to warm us through. 

Enjoy these tasty pumpkin facts, and happy October!

Fun Facts

1.  Pumpkins belong to the Cucurbitaceae family amongst cantaloupes, cucumbers, watermelons and gourds.

2.  Cultivation of some pumpkins and squashes is almost as old as maize. Distribution probably occurred in the 16th and 17th centuries, marked by the presence of distinct forms in eastern Asia.

3.  The U.S. produces about 1 billion pounds of pumpkin per year, generating about $100 million.

How much of that ends up in your latte? The jury is still out.

Check out these hearty pumpkin dishes at our cafes this week.

©Amanda Gentile

October 23-29:

House Made Pumpkin Fettucine, Wilted Spinach, Herb Chicken Sausage, Sage Beurre Blanc at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola

Roasted Pumpkin Risotto, Fried Sage, Frizzled Leeks at Mae Mae Café

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Thai Basil, Candlenut Pesto and Ricotta at Garden Court Café at Asia Society

Spiced Pumpkin Flan at Roth Bar at Hauser & Wirth

Honey Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Apple and Pumpkin Chutney, Yogurt and Fermented Okra at The Norm at Brooklyn Museum

©Amanda Gentile

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Thai Basil, Candlenut Pesto and Ricotta


2 lbs pumpkin

6 oz all-purpose flour

1 egg

Salt and pepper to taste

Nutmeg to taste

Gnocchi Method:

Lay the unpeeled pumpkin cut side down on a baking dish and cover with foil. Cook at 350 degrees for 45-60 min., or until soft. Remove from dish and let sit until cool. Peel and pass through a food mill.

Place the mashed pumpkin on a flat work surface. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg, and mix with the egg and flour. The dough should be soft and light and not stick to your fingertips.

Dust work surface with a little flour and cut off a small amount of gnocchi dough. Roll this into a 1Ž2” log and cut into small cylindrical pieces about 1 1/2” long.

Cook gnocchi in boiling salted water until they rise to the surface and are slightly firm to the touch.

Candlenut Pesto:

Boil candlenuts for 15 min. and dry on a sheet tray. Roast in oven at 375 for 10 min. (Candlenuts cannot be consumed raw. Skip this step if using macadamias.)

Blanch Thai basil and cool in an ice bath. Place basil, garlic, salt and oil in blender; blend until smooth. Add nuts, and make sure the mix doesn’t become too smooth.

Transfer into bowl, and gently mix with ricotta. Refrigerate overnight before using.

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