Ode to the Pumpkin
The sweet and savory way to enjoy this fall veggie
Sure, it seems like pumpkin is everywhere during the autumn season⸺and with good reason. The fall holiday season ushers in pumpkin carving, pumpkin pies, and pumpkin-spice flavored everything. There are many ways to use this perennially popular fall fruit, and local establishments are capitalizing off of the seasonal gem.
Let’s go beyond the pie and take a look at some savory ways you can use this delightful fall vegetable and then some sweet places in Columbus to get your dessert fix.
In culinary circles, pumpkins are known for their versatility. Not only can they be used to make sweet treats, but they also shine in savory delights. Here are a couple of pumpkin-forward recipes to get your gourd on at home.
Crispy Pumpkin Wings
We know this sounds strange, but trust us on this one. Pumpkin butter adds a subtle but complex sweet/savory flavor that might even go unrecognized. The crispy breadcrumb and sesame-seed coating lends a crunchy texture to these delicious chicken wings. Simply use ½ c. store-bought or homemade pumpkin butter, 1 egg, ½ c. sesame seeds, ⅔ c. panko breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp. flour, 2 garlic cloves, 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt and 3 lbs. chicken wings. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together the pumpkin butter and egg. In a shallow bowl, combine flour, breadcrumbs, garlic, salt, and sesame seeds. Dip each wing into the pumpkin mixture and then into the sesame-seed mixture to coat. Place them on a cooling rack atop a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes and then broil on high for a few minutes until wings are brown.
Savory Pumpkin Hummus
Grab your food processor and whip up this bright, nutritious fall dip. You will need a can of garbanzo beans (rinsed and peeled), reserved aquafaba (liquid from the chickpeas), ¾ c. pumpkin puree, ⅓ c. tahini, 1 clove garlic, ½ lemon (juiced), a pinch of salt, and 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add the peeled chickpeas and the tahini to the food processor and pulse until combined. Add in the pumpkin puree, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Continue pulsing. Add the aquafaba 1 tbsp at a time and pulse to thin out the hummus to the desired consistency.
Cherbourg Bakery, 541 S. Drexel Ave., Bexley
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bar
This delectable confection gives the impression of pumpkin without being overly spiced. The chocolate chips add a burst of sweetness to the brownie-like bar. This cheery little bakery is a dedicated gluten-, and nut-free facility.
Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Chips
This spice-cake adjacent pastry packs a pumpkin-spice punch that blends perfectly with the chocolate chips. It has the sweetness of a pumpkin pie with a palatable chocolate accent.
Katalina’s, 1105 Pennsylvania Ave. and 3481 N. High St., Columbus
Pumpkin-Apple Butter Pancake Balls
Fill your balls with homemade pumpkin-apple butter for a quintessential autumn-in-Columbus breakfast. Add Katalina’s thick-cut Original Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Bacon for a crunchy sweet and savory mouth explosion.
Mozart’s, 4784 N. High St., Columbus
This delicate pastry is filled with luscious pumpkin spice buttercream and wrapped in house-made almond marzipan, which has a lovely sweet, nutty flavor and a soft texture. These little pumpkins are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Bourbon Pumpkin Tart with Walnut Streusel
This delightful tart proves that bringing booze into the bakery can yield yummy results. Creamy, bourbon-infused pumpkin is baked in a flaky pastry and topped with crunchy, earthy and sweet walnut streusel. This is what fall should taste like.
Cup O Joe Coffee House, 2990 N High St., Columbus
Sure, you can always go to that corporate coffee chain down the street to pick up a PSL, but why would you do that when you can get a seasonal pumpkin chai from Cup O Joe? Simply described as “pumpkin pie in a cup,” this popular beverage is like a warm sweater on a chilly fall day⸺with a hit of caffeine.
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