'Shaved Pumpkin Salad' by Kirstin Massmann
My Mom’s cooking was the first thing to inspire me to be involved in the food industry. Many of her dishes truly are still my gold standard. So when she recently came to Chicago I had to take her to a few of my favorite local restaurants I knew wouldn’t disappoint. Not counting the lunch she made for our office of chefs (brave women, but she nailed it!), the most noteworthy dish we had over the course for 48 hours was a shaved pumpkin salad from The Bristol in Bucktown. The dish consisted of shaved pumpkin, endive, pomegranate, pine nuts, and a spiced yogurt. This dish was very delicious, but even more than that it was inventive. All simple ingredients were used but brought together in such an interesting way. The pumpkin was shaved, bright orange, and resembled a carrot, still crisp, but had a lovely sweet pumpkin flavor. The endive, also shaved to match the pumpkin brought a slight bite of bitterness. The pine nuts added a great crunch and the pomegranate a bright burst of flavor. The yogurt dressing had hints of curry that were not over powering but really pulled together and complimented the dish as a whole. I have had some wonderful dishes at The Bristol, this trip the shaved pumpkin salad took the cake.