At Starbucks and Peet's, fall means pumpkin lattes flying out of barista's fingers at warp speed. Although it is as trite as a red rose boutonniere, the allure of eating (or drinking) pumpkin in fall will never die. For those who prefer their pumpkin in non-syrup form, here are seven seasonal pumpkin dishes to try, from smooth pumpkin pie-flavored ice cream to a gourd-topped Neapolitan-style pizza pie.
1) Pumpkin soft-serve ice cream
Where: Bi-Rite Creamery; 3692 18th Street, San Francisco
We can't think for a more perfect Indian Summer dessert than cooling seasonal soft serve ice cream blended with organic pumpkin puree, cinnamon and brown sugar. This pumpkin soft-serve is offered every Friday through December at Bi-Rite Creamery's soft-serve window.
2) Gattuso pizza
Where: Hot Italian; 5959 Shellmound Street, Emeryville, CA
Maestro pizzaiolo Fabrizio Cercatore makes an amazingly unique smoky, sweet, and salty pizza pie, topped with pumpkin puree, scamorza cheese, sage oil and optional pancetta.
3) Pumpkin and creme fraiche tarte
Where: La Boulange; multiple locations
Pascal Rigo gives traditional pumpkin pie a French twist, bracketing ginger, cinnamon, and clove-spiced pumpkin pie filling with a tarte shell and a brightening swirl of creme fraiche. The pumpkin tarte rolls out in most La Boulange locations this Tuesday.
4) Chestnut and pumpkin agnolotti
Where: SPQR; 1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco
Agnolotti are a delicate take on ravioli, popular in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. SPQR chef Matthew Accarrino loves this pasta shape, and changes it often to fit the season. This week's option contains roasted chestnuts and pumpkin, sauced with chestnut milk, shredded kale and heady black truffle.
5) Pumpkin cheesecake
Where: Wo Hing General Store; 584 Valencia Street, San Francisco
Although the food at Charles Phan's Valencia Street restaurant is Chinese through-and-through, the cocktails and the many of the desserts are decidedly not. Take this fall cheesecake made with roasted pumpkin, Gina Marie cream cheese, and a chunky walnut cookie crust. The rectangular slice is garnished with candied pumpkin cubes and a flavor-balancing dollop of unsweetened cream.
6) Beet salad with pumpkin seeds
Where: West of Pecos; 550 Valencia Street
This fall, the Mission's new Southwestern restaurant has added a jewel-toned beet salad with toasted pumpkin seeds to the menu. The colorful mixture of golden, candycane and purple beets is finished off with crumbled goat cheese, and a sweet mission fig vinaigrette.
7) Pumpkin gingersnap Baked Alaska
Where: Baker and Banker; 1701 Octavia Street, San Francisco
Come fall, gourd fanatic and pastry chef Lori Baker is always eager to put a pumpkin dessert on the menu at Baker and Baker. Right now, she's doing a riff on toasted meringue-topped Baked Alaska, built from a base of pumpkin-filled tart topped with gingerbread ice cream. The whole shebang is finished off with a smear of burnt orange sauce on the plate.
What's your favorite way to get a dose of pumpkin this fall? Tell us about it in the comments.