With the summer over and the leaves turning on the trees, we are truly in the season of autumn, or fall as it is also known. It’s one of the most bountiful and interesting food seasons, with so many unique fall vegetables and fruits ripening and available in our local farmers’ markets.
With so many fall veggies available, it’s the perfect time to get busy in the kitchen and enjoy all that nature has to offer at this time of year. Have a look at these recipes and ideas for using the fall vegetables in season at the moment.
Nothing symbolises the fall season more than the pumpkin or winter squash. Originally native to Central America and Mexico, the native people selectively bred the small bitter fruit to develop the large, fleshy pumpkin we know today. The pumpkin is a very versatile ingredient as it lends itself well to sweet and savoury dishes. Pumpkin bread is a great way to use up the flesh from carving your Halloween pumpkin. Risotto with pumpkin is a popular Italian dish at this time of year, and its creamy texture is the perfect match for the pumpkin and sage flavours. Pumpkin velouté soup, with apple and curry, is the perfect comfort food to try in the colder evenings of fall.
Daucus carota, native to Europe and Southwestern Asia, is a root vegetable that is typically orange in colour. However there are blue, yellow and red cultivars that are less common, but also delicious. It's a very versatile ingredient that is packed full of flavour and can be cooked in many different ways. It’s also extremely nutritious, full of vitamin A, biotin, vitamin K1, potassium and vitamin B6. Try this recipe for maple-glazed carrots for something different. If you ever have carrot trimmings that you want to use up, try his recipe for ‘The Carrot that Wanted to be a Pasta’, from FDL’s Why Waste?series.
Cabbage covers a group of cultivars of the group Brassica oleracea, a leafy vegetable of light green, purple or white in colour. It has a mild and peppery flavour that is unmistakeable. Appearing in cuisines all over the world, it is associated with both Asian and European traditions. It is very versatile and can be braised, baked, stewed, sautéed, steamed, fermented, pickled or eaten raw. Try this recipe for crostini with pork and red cabbage, or get the definitive recipe for classic coleslaw as a side to accompany any dish.
A tuber of the plant Solanum tuberosum, the potato is native to the Americas and one of the most eaten foods on the planet. It is an incredible food that is an affordable, plant-based ingredient that is fat-free, gluten-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free, as well as a good source of potassium, vitamin C and B6. For the ultimate mashed potato, try this recipe from legendary French chef Joël Robuchon. Or try the French Fries recipe from Anthony Bourdain at Les Halles.
The Brussels sprout is a member of the Gemmifera cultivar group of cabbage, and is forever associated with Christmas time. Not for everyone, this fall vegetable has a very particular flavour, but they are very nutritious as they are high in vitamin B6, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium, fibre and phosphorus. Try this recipe for Brussels sprouts with white wine, balsamic vinegar and chestnuts for a delicious take on the side dish that is bursting with fall flavour.
Cauliflower belongs to the species Brassica oleracea in the genus Brassica, in the mustard family. Nutritionally, it is a good source of protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium and phosphorus. Typically, only the head is eaten, but the leaves are edible and are delicious when roasted or charred. Try this Tried and Tastedrecipe for fried cauliflowerfor a delicious, crunchy, plant-based treat. Or choose one of these 10 ways to cook cauliflower.
The leafy green of the cabbage family, Brassica oleracea, is all the rage recently, and it comes into season in the autumn. It is rightly called a superfood because it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K, folate, and alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. It can be boiled, braised or sautéed, and makes a great topping for crostini, dried in the oven for crispy kale crisps, or blended into a rich and delicious fall soup.
Related to cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi is also known as a turnip cabbage or German turnip. It is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as B vitamins and potassium. It is popular in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and in northern Italian cuisine. It can be boiled braised and shredded into salads as a slaw, or as an ingredient in vegan millet burgers.
Fall is all about enjoying the produce that come into season and switching from fresh summer fare to the heavier, more filling comfort food of stews and soups. The natural flavours that come into season at this time of year are just what your body needs to feel lovely and warm as the evenings close in.