From lattes to pie, we are well on our way through another season of pumpkin-inspired dishes. If you haven’t yet had your fill of the iconic vegetable – or its lesser-appreciated sister, the butternut squash – but are in need of some new ways to work them into your diet, turn your attention to the farm-to-table restaurants of Northern Virginia.
These local spots are taking the freshest fall produce from small farms across the U.S. and transforming them into dishes that showcase all the flavors that come with the falling leaves. Whether you’re looking for something cozy and classic or adventurous and unexpected, see what can become of a simple gourd with these seven dishes.
For a taste of fresh fall produce that still has all the comfort of a casual bite, True Food Kitchen in the Mosaic District is serving up a pizza that incorporates all the savory fall flavors you’d find in a higher-end dish. Fresh butternut squash is the center point of the dish, complemented by garlic and sage and balanced by the sweetness of dried cranberries. Even the cheese is seasonal on this vegan pie, with a house-made almond ricotta to tie the whole thing together. 2910 District Ave., Ste. 170, Fairfax
If your cravings for pumpkin hit first thing in the morning, you’re not limited to pumpkin spice lattes. At King and Rye, something as simple as oatmeal can feel festive. Their Castle Valley Mill oatmeal features maple-roasted pumpkin and toasted pumpkin seeds to make for a seasonal breakfast that’s hearty and filling, while gala apples bring in a crisp sweetness for balance. 480 King St., Alexandria
Lovers of fall can have their pick of seasonal dish at Tuskies In the pumpkin ravioli, a sherry goat-cheese sauce keeps it classic, while spiced walnuts add an element of surprise. In the butternut squash risotto, you’ll find spinach and leeks for a savory experience, plus pepitas for an added element of texture. 203 Harrison St., Leesburg
For a more subtle and unexpected use of butternut squash, this venison tenderloin uses a puree of butternut squash and a blackberry balsamic to create a unique flavor profile. If that’s not enough squash for your meal, the roasted butternut squash side offers a more traditional flavor profile, with cranberries and goat cheese to bring in the warm, comforting flavors you expect in autumn. Copperwood Tavern prides themselves on their farm-to-table status, sourcing their meat and produce from farms right in the Northern Virginia area. 4021 Campbell Ave., Arlington
Get the taste of butternut squash in conveniently bite-sized pieces of fresh pasta with this classic butternut squash ravioli. With Founding Farmer’s goal of bringing in ethically sourced seasonal ingredients, combined with the fact that their pastas are made fresh from scratch every day, you’d be hard-pressed to find a dish fresher than this. 1904 Reston Metro Plz., Reston
Want to expand your palate past maple and sage when it comes to squash? Foode is taking a less basic approach with their curried butternut squash, served alongside other fall staples like spaghetti squash, chickpeas, and cranberries to create a dimensional dish perfect for an autumn day. This medley of fall vegetables can be served on its own in their “vegan harvest,” or alongside seared monkfish for hungrier eaters. 900 Princess Anne St., Fredericksburg
For dessert, you can never go wrong with a classic. At Mom’s Apple Pie Co. simplicity is king, with an array of pies reminiscent of Thanksgivings at home. For fall, the pumpkin-and-sweet potato pie is a seasonal classic that tastes home-baked and home-grown. The produce used for this dessert is grown right in Loudoun County, and Mom’s partners with Lost Corner Farms, hosting a booth for their fresh local produce outside the shop on Saturdays. 220 Loudoun St. SE, Leesburg
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