My client told me in August she loves fall because everything in the city is new. There’s fashion week, school starts, and everything just feels fresh. I think I may have rolled my eyes at her because at the time all I could imagine fall marking was the beginning of the end. Growing up in Southern California, it didn’t mean anything at all, except that now I’d be wearing shorts to school. Even though we’re only a few official days into the season, since September began what she said totally clicked in my mind. It is the perfect time for new beginnings; unlike spring people are not frantically excited that it’s not two degrees anymore. There is a certain calmness and focus that comes with this season change. This energy makes it a perfect time to revisit the kitchen. The hilarious Seamless ads about the heat are no longer relevant and there are a whole new batch of items to work with! An abundance of apples, pears, squash, and green leafy veggies are less bitter around this time of year, so here’s my ode to the changing season.
7 Tips and Tricks for Fresh Fall Foods:
1. Make sure to try all the beautiful varieties of apples…Gala, Fuji, Braeburn..and my ultimate favorite Honey Crisp! All have different flavor nuances. Seriously, if you haven’t tried a Honey Crisp you’re not living.
2. If you buy too many apples don’t throw them out if they get mushy! Try making baked apples: Peel and core apples. For each apple half, mix together 1 tablespoon each of melted butter, brown sugar, Quaker oats, add a dash of lemon zest, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Place apple halves in glass baking sheet and sprinkle with oat mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 until apples are soft or about thirty minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
3. Try roasting all different types of squash and adding them to salads. Particularly good combos are acorn squash, pecans and fresh apples, or kombucha squash, goat cheese, and almonds over field greens with balsamic vinegar. Click on the photo below for a more detailed recipe.
4. Horseradish is in its prime in the cooler seasons. Try making a dip for steak with sour cream, salt, lemon zest and fresh grated horseradish.
5. Choose parsnips over potatoes. Parsnips look like white carrots and have a sweetish flavor. Pick thinner parsnips because thick ones tend to have a fibrous core. Boil parsnips until soft, then mash like potatoes a good pairing with a hearty beef stew.
6. Pumpkin isn’t just for carving and pie. Try making a pumpkin cream sauce for pasta. Combine pureed pumpkin and heavy cream to create a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper and toss with grilled chicken, pasta, and Parmesan cheese. Use pumpkin seeds for crunch and wilt in some kale at the end. Or click on the photo before for a more detailed recipe.
7. Fall is the perfect time for the rich deep flavor of nuts. Try a new nut oil, roasted trout with a walnut or almond oil or make a salad dressing with pistachio or pecan oil.
So I guess I take back my eye roll, I think I may be falling for fall. So corny, I couldn’t help it. Although these seven facts aren’t extremely detailed I hope I have given you some inspiration to take on what this new season has to offer, in the kitchen or otherwise.