Apples. Even though apples are available year round, they are in season in late summer and throughout fall. Experiment with different varieties by adding fresh, chopped apples to grain-based or green salads. A simple weeknight dinner: Sauté apples and onions with a few tablespoons of apple juice and a sprinkle of brown sugar, pair with grilled pork chops.
Cranberries. Available October through December, these juicy red fruits are a holiday favorite. You can add to them to your fall menu in many ways. Traditional cranberry sauce can be used as a sandwich spread or chutney (just add nuts and chopped apples) for roasted or grilled meats. Also try: Roast cranberries with fall vegetables like butternut or acorn squash for a colorful side dish.
Brussels Sprouts. They’re closely related to cabbage and broccoli, which is why they have a similar look and taste. Peak season is September through February. Brussels sprouts will caramelize if you roast them on a high heat with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. They pair well with crispy pancetta and roasted root vegetables like carrots or beets.
Chicories. Belgian endive, escarole and radicchio are all chicories. They are related to lettuces, but have sturdier leaves, a stronger flavor and are famous for a bitter edge. They’re typically harvested in late fall and early winter. Endive and radicchio can be used to perk up any bagged salad. Just give them a rough chop and you’ll notice the extra crunch. Use endive leaves as scoops for hummus, salsa or tzatiki dip. Escarole soup is a classic but for something different, sauté escarole in olive oil with garlic and red pepper (just like you would sauté spinach). You’ll notice the greens won’t cook down as much and can stand up to the heat!
Fall & Winter Squash
Butternut & Acorn Squash. Covered in a thick rind, these winter squashes are the ultimate storage vegetable. They’re harvested in early fall and throughout the winter months. Roasted squash can be the start to many dishes:
- Purée butternut squash cubes with 2-4 cups vegetable stock (depending on size of squash), 1 tablespoon of curry and fresh lime juice. Bring to a boil and serve with a dollop of plain yogurt.
- Cut acorn squash into thin wedges and roast with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix a fall salad of field greens, sliced apples and toasted pumpkin seeds with a basic store-bought vinaigrette. Top with warm acorn squash wedges.