I love the produce in season in the fall. While I love tomatoes and lettuce and zucchini and all the other spring and summer fruit and veggies (ok, I’ll admit summer stone fruit is to die for, but apples are one of my all time favorite fruits), I love the produce that comes into season around September and sticks around all fall and into winter. Apples. Sweet onions. Potatoes. Squash (including pumpkin). All sorts of root veggies. And yes, even cabbage and Brussels sprouts. When the weather gets cold, there’s nothing that beats a nice warm baked squash or potato. Or roasted veggies tossed with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper. It makes you feel warm from the inside out.
One of my favorite things to have for any meal in the fall and winter is to just bake a squash with cheese in it. It was one of my favorites when I was living in Buenos Aires: calabaza con queso. The squash is so sweet when it cooks up, and the cheese so creamy and salty. It’s the perfect combination.
Butternut squash and acorn squash make great soups. I have this great Thai inspired pumpkin soup that I don’t mind eating for days on end. And I made an acorn squash soup with onion, apple and curry the other night that is a close second and only gets better the next day. Butternut holds up great in coconut curry sauces. And it’s delicious on pizza. Spaghetti squash is yummy with brown butter and sage. And that’s just a short list of my favorite ways to prepare squash. They work well in desserts too. And baking (breads, muffins…squash muffins are so good).
And then there’s the yams and sweet potatoes. Bake those in a foil packet with a pork chop, some apple and onion and you’ve got a one pot meal. Or just bake them and mash them up with butter, sauteed onion and some parmesan cheese. Or turn them into soup with a little bit of bacon sprinkled on top (because everything is better with bacon).
I love the fall and winter. It’s not too hot to cook and the possibilities are endless. And Thanksgiving is coming soon. So much cooking…so little time.