Autumn in the Kitchen –

Transition to a new cooking season

Fall is slowly coming, and after a beautiful September, I’m finally starting to transition to fall foods like root vegetables, hot soups, apples and squash. That doesn’t mean I gave up on garden tomatoes, but since they don’t ripen in early October, it’s a great time to pick those last laggards and give them some warmth. I especially like this simple roasted tomato salad recipe from cookbook author Delia Smith. I usually serve it hot; it goes wonderfully with fish, chicken or your favorite protein. The concentrated juice given off by baked tomatoes, mixed with heady garlic and olive oil, adds sublime flavor to just about anything tasty as it seeps into other foods in your plate. Make sure you have crusty bread (or rice or your favorite grain) to mop up every drop.

When the weather gets colder and it’s time for the pot, try this warm and creamy carrot and ginger vegetarian soup with curry and coconut milk. You’ll also enjoy Sugar Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Hazelnut Cream, an elegant mashed soup that also freezes well for those rainy days to come.

Be sure to purchase additional oysters on 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.)

Chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes are always bursting with flavor and his squash with yogurt and cilantro chili sauce won’t disappoint. Serve this butternut squash dish as a main or side dish, and if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, you’ll have something to expect for lunch the next day. Her Portobello Mushroom with Pearl Barley and Candied Lemon recipe is slightly more complex, but it produces what I call a “one-course wonder”: a full dinner!

Still no candied lemons? You may remember my sales pitch last winter for buying or making candied lemons an easy DIY project. Otherwise, you will find it here.

So far this fall, no one has knocked on my door with an offer of freshly caught striped bass, but there is still hope! For those of you who fear keepers, here’s a super simple striped bass piccata-style recipe that’s nice and lemony and nutty brown butter: striped bass with brown butter, capers and lemon. The recipe would work equally well with black fish (tautog), cod or fluke.

Here’s a mouthwatering recipe from cookbook author Carla Hall for Grilled Lamb with Pomegranate and Israeli Couscous. It draws on flavors from the Middle East and is a great fall dish because of its comforting spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin.

Switching to an entirely different flavor profile, you’ll enjoy the simple preparation of this Japanese farmhouse-style teriyaki bowl with grilled chicken (or portobello, to make it vegetarian). It’s lighter, which next November will be a good thing ahead of the Thanksgiving feast.

Cauliflower tartlet and potato gratin with black truffle and parmesan

And for your Thanksgiving table, here are some new versions of tasty side dishes for this year’s menu, including cider-roasted Brussels sprouts, bacon, Dijon, and rosemary, as well as hot-spiced autumn squash and with pomegranate and a cauliflower and potato gratin with Truffle and Parmesan.

Spicy ginger cake with crème fraîche buttercream and cranberry jam

And finally, for Thanksgiving dessert, mix things up this year and try this delicious cake: Spicy Ginger Cake with Sour Cream Buttercream and Cranberry Jam. If you’re fond of pies and pies, you’ll love this Bourbon Pecan Pie from cookbook author and bakery owner Cheryl Day with a pressed pie crust (as in, no rolling pin required) . And finally, you’ll have everyone clamoring for a few seconds with cookbook author Jerrelle Guy’s recipe for Salted Irish Cream Apple Crostata.

Save me a slice and enjoy fall in the kitchen!

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

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