Somebody seems to have told the weather it’s fall, because even with the sun shining, you can feel the coming chill in the air. That means last week’s farmers market had sprouted all sorts of variety unimaginable in the berry-and-melon-overload of July. We’ve arrived at that magical time between summer and winter when you get the best of both worlds. There are still berries to be had, and easy-to-keep winter squash have shown up right alongside.
The ease of keeping winter produce is, to me, one of its most endearing qualities. I bought our first butternut squash of the year, and it’s comforting to know it will hang out happily in the pantry until December if I let it. Even leafy greens are hardier in the winter. Every season is an opportunity to discover and rediscover things you love.
Since spring, we’ve started to embrace some vegetables that I’d never prepared before and to which my husband and I have always had some aversion: eggplant and asparagus. I created an eggplant chili (which was vegan) a few weeks back that was unbelievably good. After a couple more test runs, that one will be showing up on Everyday Eats menus. As for asparagus, roasting rather than boiling was the ticket to acceptance.
So for this season, I’ve set my sights on some new produce to try. I have limited experience with Brussels sprouts, but it wasn’t good. That one time I tried them. But I read somewhere that roasting or grilling them makes them infinitely better. It works for cauliflower, so we might as well give it a spin (I’m cringing as I think about the sprouts). Another is cabbage: I’ve only cooked it once with corned beef, so that’ll be an adventure. I don’t know what I’ll do with it yet.
As the season suggests, fall is a little like going back to school. I’ll stop making cucumber and watermelon salad in favor of root vegetables and cooked hot dishes. Soup will be acceptable soon. I’ll rifle back through some recipes and reestablish what the standbys are. Then it’ll be time to branch out and find our new favorites.