Seasonal Recipe Favorites: Fall for Home Cooking 

Autumn has arrived and with it the start of comfort food season. I was already feeling it during those chilly September nights, but now that October is here it’s definitely time for the soup pot, earthier fall flavors and making the turn towards root vegetables.

Oyster Stew

Stocking up for colder days, here is a simple recipe for butternut squash soup that is a perfect one to double up so you can stash some away in the freezer. Here is a rich and delicious take on oyster stew with the addition of root vegetables and fresh rosemary that makes this soup more of a meal.

I hope you’re ordering and enjoying fresh, briny oysters from Fishers Island’s very own oyster farm! Savor them raw on the half-shell or try this recipe dating back to the 1920s, with a particularly fitting appellation for Fishers Island: Oysters DuPont. For another tasty retro recipe, try this Southern classic: Scalloped Oysters.

Autumn salads call for dark greens and here we have kale with grains and sweet roasted pumpkin (or other winter squash). This Pumpkin and Kale Salad gets finished off with a bright sweet-and-sour vinaigrette made with maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. Perfect for dinner, as a side dish or as leftovers for lunch.

Rich red color will brighten the tabletop in this recipe for Red Cabbage and Beet Slaw with Cranberries. It’s an infinitely adaptable recipe that encourages “the swap” for whatever you have on hand. Serve it alongside any roasted protein you prefer.

Red Cabbage and Beet Slaw with Cranberries

It feels like a new variation on the popular Middle Eastern egg dish called shakshuka pops up every day. This version for Scrambled Red Shakshuka caught my attention not only because it’s from my favorite Genius Recipes at Food 52, but also because it takes a slightly different path to deliciousness. Enjoy the fun instructional video and make this recipe for a weekend breakfast or lunch or a weeknight supper.

Earthy mushrooms and caramelized leeks: What could be better than vegetable savant Bryant Terry’s recipe for Caramelized Leek and Seared Mushroom Toast? I wouldn’t hesitate to swap the toast for polenta, brown rice, pasta or roasted sweet potatoes. (And, if you can’t get your hands on more exotic mushroom varieties, crimini or even button mushrooms will do in a pinch.) I mentioned it in my summer column but I’ll say again: Add Terry’s cookbook Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes (Potter, 2020) to your cookbook shelf.

A quick pan-roasted supper is a weekday lifesaver and here a simple Sausage and Potato Roast gets an unexpected lift from sweet roasted pears and a great pop of color and peppery flavor from fresh arugula added just at the end. It’s a one-pan supper, too!

Hmm, no cedar planks lying around the house? Join the club. Nevertheless, I am loving this recipe for Ginger Sesame Noodles with Cedar Plank Salmon. Cedar planks are 100% optional and any spaghetti-shaped noodle will work for this recipe.

Here is a perfect recipe to practice your mise en place—which translates “to put in place”—the practice chefs employ by having all their ingredients measured, prepped and ready before they begin to cook. Prep and measure out the spices for award-winning cookbook author Toni Tipton-Martin’s recipe for Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp and once you hit the stove, you’ll be sopping up the recipe’s tasty sauce in minutes.

Since Thanksgiving is on the horizon, here are four yummy side dishes for this year’s menu: Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Ginger; Fennel Onion Gratin; Creamy Mashed Carrots with Brown Butter and Pecans; and Smokey Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Carrots.

I love the tartness of cranberry in at least one Thanksgiving dessert—it’s a welcome sourness that cuts through the sweetness offered by the other pies or cakes. Try this Cranberry Pecan Frangipane Tart or, to avoid making crust, there is nothing better than French clafouti, including this recipe with for Cranberry Pear Claflouti.

Thanksgiving 2020 may not feel quite the same as we cook, eat and celebrate safely with more intimate gatherings. Despite all, there is still much to be grateful for, including our wonderful island community!

Genie McPherson Trevor is the founding editor of Edible Rhody magazine, a quarterly food journal that celebrates the local, seasonal bounty of Rhode Island. Edible Rhody is a member of Edible Communities, the James Beard award-winning publishing group with over 80 local Edible magazines in print across the United States and Canada.

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