Your Autumn Harvest Guide to Preparing 11 Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

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Need a little inspiration for using up all those colorful fruits and veggies in your latest CSA box? Right now, it’s all about eating autumn, so we’ve put together a guide to seasonal fall produce you may be encountering at the farmers market or grocery store. Here are our cooking tips for easy ways to make the most of your fall harvest bounty.

1. Apples: Try sliced apples on your cheese or peanut butter sandwich. Stir sautéed apples over your oatmeal. Add apples (and cinnamon) to homemade granola. Add slivered apples to your coleslaw mixture. Boil fresh apples down with maple syrup and spices to make your own applesauce.

2. Brussels sprouts: Shave and use them in a fall slaw. Slice finely and stir-fry with almonds, pancetta, and lemon. Chop in half and roast with turnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes in ample olive oil. Use in place of broccoli for your fave cheese casserole recipe.

3. Cabbage: Chop into coarse pieces and roast as you would other root vegetables. Finely slice and add to chicken noodle soup or Italian bean soup. Sauté in butter or olive oil with onions until soft, then add parsley and mustard to complete.

4. Cauliflower: Roast until golden then top with parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Use in place of white potatoes to make scalloped cauliflower or a seasonal gratin. Boil until soft then mash with cream and olive oil or butter for potato-less mashed “potatoes.” Add to a grain pilaf with dried fruits, fall spices, and fresh herbs.

5. Cranberries (fresh): Simmer with orange juice and fall spices until berries pop, then sweeten with maple syrup and cook down into a fresh sauce. Cook down to use as a filling for your fave cherry pie recipe. Cook down with port or wine and broth to make a sweet-tart pan sauce for pork or tofu.

From the Organic Authority Files

6. Fennel: Slice and sauté with onions and garlic; add to pasta with a bit of marinara or olive oil. Chop and cook into any sausage skillet, casserole, or soup recipe. Slice and roast with tomatoes and onions over fresh fish. Finely slice and use in a fall slaw with pears, apples, and parsley.

7. Figs: Slice in half and stuff with ricotta or goat cheese and drizzle with honey. Roast with butter, maple syrup, and lemon juice until soft and plump. Chop and add to a salad with arugula, soft cheese, and winter herbs. Chop and simmer with wine or apple juice and fall spices to make a seasonal jam.

8. Pomegranates: Add the seeds to any fall salad, especially those with other fruits, soft cheeses, ample fresh herbs, and tangy dressings. Cook down the seeds into a thick jammy compote, along with orange juice, honey, and spices. Sprinkle over yogurt, granola, and fruit parfaits for a sweet-tart punch.

9. Radishes: Slice finely and add to an Asian slaw with cabbage, red onion, and a soy dressing. Sauté with butter and parsley or chives until softened and sweet. Finely chop and add to a grain salad with a creamy or tangy lemon dressing.

10. Rutabagas: Roast with fall fruits like apples and pears and season with thyme or rosemary. Boil until soft and mash with other fall vegetables like carrots, turnips, or potatoes. Use in place of potatoes for your fave potato-based breakfast recipes.

11. Winter squash: Roast with maple syrup and cinnamon for a light dessert. Cube and add to any winter soup or stew, especially creamy chowders, vegetable soups, or hearty chilis. Boil until soft and mash with cooked millet or quinoa for an inventive alternative to mashed potatoes. Slice finely and pan-fry until golden to make sweet potato crisps.

Image adapted from Negin A, Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0

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