Follow chef Ashley Christensen’s journey from 18-year-old cook to owner at Raleigh’s renowned Poole’s Diner. Her eponymous cookbook pays homage to her simple, hearty, Southern-focused New American cuisine, and if you’ve ever had her grits with roasted pumpkin, you’ll want the recipe for yourself. Whip up all the favorite dishes Poole’s chalkboard has ever sported right at home, and put that restaurant on your bucket list.

A bowl of grits is an icon of Southern cuisine and a staple of the region’s breakfast menus. Thanks to the work of artisanal millers such as Anson Mills and Geechie Boy, grits have grown from their casual roots into something more refined. This dish continues down that trajectory, injecting the grains with the earthy-sweet flavor of roasted pumpkin and adding the rich sugar of barrel-aged maple syrup. While I’m usually sensitive to sweetness in savory dishes, here it’s a tool to amplify the natural sugars of the corn — so use the best grits you can get your hands on.

Reprinted with permission from Poole’s