Transitioning to a New Season of Cooking
Fall is slowly edging its way in and, after a beautiful September, I’m finally starting the transition into autumn foods like root veggies, warm soups, apples and squash. That’s not to say I’ve given up on garden tomatoes, but since they’re no longer ripening by early October, it’s the perfect time to pluck those last stragglers and give them some heat. I’m particularly fond of this simple recipe for Roasted Tomato Salad from cookbook author Delia Smith. I generally serve it warm; it pairs beautifully fish, chicken or your favorite protein. The concentrated juice given off by the baked tomatoes, mixed with heady garlic and olive oil, adds sublime flavor to just about anything savory as it seeps into other foods on your plate. Be sure to have some crusty bread (or rice or your favorite grain) to mop up every drop.
When the weather gets colder and it’s time for the soup pot, try this warming and creamy vegetarian Ginger Carrot Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk. You’ll also enjoy Sugar Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Hazelnut Crema, an elegant puréed soup that also freezes well for the rainy days to come.
Be sure to purchase extra oysters in your next order from Fishers Island Oyster Farm so you can enjoy Oyster Chowder with Bacon, Corn and Fennel with the last corn of the harvest season. (In a pinch, frozen corn will do fine.)
Chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes are always packed with flavor and his Squash with Chili Yogurt Cilantro Sauce will not disappoint. Serve this butternut squash dish as a main course or as a side, and, if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, you’ll have something to look forward to for lunch the following day. Slightly more involved is his recipe for Portobello Mushrooms with Pearled Barley and Preserved Lemon but it produces what I call a “one-dish wonder”—dinner complete!
Still no preserved lemons? You may recall my sales pitch last winter for buying or making preserved lemons, an easy DIY project. If not, you’ll find it here.
So far this fall no one has knocked on my door with an offer of fresh-caught striped bass, but there’s always hope! For those of you reeling in the keepers, here’s a super simple striped bass piccata-style recipe that’s nice and lemony and nutty from the brown butter: Striped Bass with Brown Butter, Capers and Lemon. The recipe would work just as well with blackfish (tautog), cod or fluke.
Here’s a tempting recipe from cookbook author Carla Hall for Grilled Lamb with Pomegranates and Israeli Couscous. It leans on Middle Eastern flavors and is a nice dish for fall because of its warming spices including cinnamon, cardamom and cumin.
Jumping over to a totally different flavor profile, you’ll enjoy the simple prep for this Japanese Farm-Style Teriyaki Bowl with grilled chicken (or Portobello, to make it vegetarian). It’s on the lighter side, which, come November, will be a good thing in advance of the feasting taking place over Thanksgiving.
And for your Thanksgiving table, here are some new takes on tasty side dishes for this year’s menu, including Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cider, Bacon, Dijon and Rosemary, plus Autumn Squashes with Warm Spices and Pomegranate and a Cauliflower and Potato Tart Gratin with Black Truffle and Parmesan.
And lastly, for Thanksgiving dessert, mix things up this year and try this delicious cake: Spiced Ginger Cake with Crème Fraîche Buttercream and Cranberry Jam. If you’re committed to pies and tarts, you’ll love this Bourbon Pecan Pie from cookbook author and bakery owner Cheryl Day with a press-in pie shell (as in, no rolling pin required). And lastly, you’ll have everyone clamoring for seconds with cookbook author Jerrelle Guy’s recipe for Salted Irish Cream Apple Crostata.
Save a slice for me and enjoy autumn in the kitchen!
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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