Ask A Detroit Chef: 5 Tasty Pumpkin Dishes

September 5, 2017 8:00 AM

The chefs at The Root Restaurant & Bar know their stuff, which is why the restaurant’s menu is so delicious. The Root describes itself as “A chef driven restaurant that showcases the best of every season Michigan offers. Expect efficient and friendly service in a professional and comfortable environment serving the highest quality food and beverage.” Enjoy these delicious pumpkin dishes courtesy of The Root’s chef staff.
The Root Restaurant & Bar
340 Town Center Blvd.
White Lake, MI 48386
Pumpkin Kimchi RecipeServes:1-8
Start to finish: A day and a half

  • 2 pounds napa cabbage
  • ½ cup salt + 2 tablespoons
  • 2 pounds pumpkin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sweet rice flour
  • 5 green onions
  • 1 pound daikon radish
  • ¼ cup Korean chili pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  1. Wash and drain cabbage. Cut it into quarters and sprinkle with ¼ cup salt. Place in a large stainless steel bowl. Cover in plastic wrap and let it sit until it starts to give out water, at least 6 hours.
  2. Cut pumpkin into half inch thick slices, then dice into 2×2 inch pieces. Place in a large stainless steel bowl and sprinkle with ¼ cup salt. Mix well and let sit for about 30 minutes.
  3. Place 1 cup of cold water in medium sauce pan and stir in sweet rice flour. Place pan on medium heat and stir constantly until rice flour is fully cooked. Let cool.
  4. Wash green onions and cut at ½ inch length, using green stems and white base. Wash radishes and chop finely.
  5. Rinse cabbage with cold water and drain. Chop cabbage into 2×2 inch pieces and set aside.
  6. Rinse pumpkin with cold water and drain. Add half the chili pepper to pumpkin. Mix well and set aside.
  7. In a clean large mixing bowl, combine rice porridge, green onion, garlic, ginger, remaining chili pepper and two tablespoons salt. With your hands, mix until combined. Add cabbage and pumpkin and incorporate. Place in a large air-tight container and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup With Butter Poached ShrimpServes: 4-6

Start to finish: 2 hours

  • 1 medium Michigan pie pumpkin
  • ¼ stick of butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and diced.
  • 4 stalks celery, cleaned and diced small.
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced.
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • Tiny pinch of clove
  • 1 cup apple cider (preferably Spicer’s Orchard from Fenton, Mi)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • Salt
  • Cracked pepper to taste
  • Michigan maple syrup (optional)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 sticks of butter, chopped
  • 8-12 shrimp, either sliced across into “coins” or butterflied (if the shrimp is really small)
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half. Scoop out cavity and reserve the seeds. Discard the rest. Rinse the seeds and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Place in oven and lightly toast in the oven until dried and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Increase oven heat to 375 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and place the pumpkin halves flesh side down. Roast until soft, about one hour. Let cool and scoop out the roasted flesh. Set aside.
  3. In a stockpot, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery and garlic. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the thyme, cinnamon, curry powder and clove. Stir and cook for about a minute or two for the spices to release their aroma and the curry to cook. Add roasted pumpkin. Stir well.
  5. Add the apple cider and 4 cups chicken stock. Stir until combined. Reduce heat to low and let soup simmer for about 20 minutes. Pour into blender and puree.
  6. Add additional two cups chicken stock as needed until ingredients are desired soup texture. Add salt, pepper and maple syrup to taste. Set aside and keep warm.
  7. In a small saucepan, heat water over high heat. When it begins to boil, turn down heat to low and slowly whisk in butter until melted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add shrimp and place pan back on low heat. Cook until shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes.
  8. Roughly chop pumpkin seeds.
  9. To serve, ladle into soup bowl. Top with shrimp and pumpkin seeds.

Bruléed Bourbon Pumpkin Pie With Maple Whipped CreamYield: one 9” pie

Start to finish: 80 minutes

  • 1 pie dough (or store-bought pie crust)
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar + ¼ cup for brulée topping
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out pie crust on a well-floured surface to a circle slightly larger than pie tin. Transfer into pie tin. Trim dough so that there is about 1 inch of overhang.
  2. Fold edge under and crimp. Line crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges start to golden. Remove pie weights and parchment and continue to bake for another 5 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool completely while making pie filling.
  3. For the filing, in a medium bowl, whisk together one cup heavy cream, sour cream, eggs, sugar, bourbon, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt until combined. Pour into prepared crust. Bake until the edge of the filling is set, but the center still jiggles slightly, about 45 minutes. Cool completely.
  4. For the topping, beat remaining one cup cream in a mixer on high until soft peaks form, about three minutes Add in maple syrup and continue to whip until firm, about two minutes.
  5. To serve, sprinkle remaining ¼ cup sugar on the top of the pie. With a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar until melted and dark brown. Once the sugar has cooled, cut the pie and top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Related: Best Pumpkin Dishes in Metro Detroit

Pastry Chef Jordan Ceresnie’s Roasted Pumpkin Cheesecake With Candied Sage
Yield: One 9 inch cheesecake
Start to finish: 3 hours

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons + 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 pounds cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 2 cups pureed roasted pumpkin
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 12 large sage leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, 4 tablespoons sugar and melted butter. Stir until combined, about 2 minutes. Press firmly into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees. In an electric mixer, whip cream cheese, remaining 2 ½ cups sugar and vanilla until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the sour cream, pumpkin puree and all-purpose flour. Mix for another 2 minutes. Pour on top of crust and bake for an hour and a half. Let cool completely.
  3. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a small pot over medium heat, combine water and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Dip each individual sage leave in syrup and shake off excess. Place each leaf flat on the cookie sheet. Bake in oven for one hour. Allow to cool completely.
  4. Top cheesecake with sage leaves and serve.
Spiced Pumpkin Soup With Sea Scallops
Serves: 6 people
Start to finish: 2 hours

  • 2 small roasting pumpkins
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons mixed peppercorns
  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 cups diced small Spanish onions
  • 2 cups diced small celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 3 quarts vegetable stock (or water)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sherry vinegar
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1 pound chanterelle mushrooms, split and cleaned
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 bunch mixed herbs, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 sea scallops
  • 1 fennel bulb, shaved
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tops off pumpkins. Remove seeds and pulp. Fill pumpkin shells with star anise, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and peppercorns. Place each pumpkin on a cookie sheet and roast for 45 minutes or until soft. Remove skin.
  2. Separate pumpkin flesh and seeds. Rinse and set aside.
  3. In a small sauce pan over low medium heat, heat butter until it bubbles. Add onions and celery. Cook until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and jalapeno. Sauté for about 5 more minutes.
  5. Add white wine, cleaned pumpkin flesh and vegetable stock, stirring to remove brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer over medium/high heat for 45 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and a splash of sherry vinegar. Place mixture in blender and combine until smooth, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
  6. In a frying pan over high heat, add 5 cups oil until it reaches 350 degrees, about 5 minutes. Quarter Brussels sprouts and fry in oil until crispy and tender, about 2 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chanterelle mushrooms on a baking sheet with butter and herbs. Roast for 8 minutes.
  8. In a large skillet over high heat, add vegetable oil until hot, about 1 minute. Add scallops and sear until brown, about one minute on each side.
  9. To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls. Top with Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, fennel and scallops.

Related:Best Pumpkin Patches in Metro Detroit

Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her work can be found at and