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Easy fall farmers' market recipes

Scott Jones is a nationally recognized Southern food and wine expert, and is the executive food and wine editor of "Southern Living" magazine. He joined the magazine in 1999, and is the first man in the magazine's history to work in the ...

Fresh fall recipes

Here are a few simple farmers' market recipes for fall. The farmers' market experience is one of simple goodness. Whether set up as a roadside stand or a dedicated, open-air affair, farmers' markets can now be found in cities both large and small; in both rural and urban locales. And, over the last decade, this relationship between farmer and their local consumer has grown like a patch of summer melons. So has our interest in eating seasonally, which generally translates into healthier meals.

Sweet potato soup

Roasted cauliflower with pine nuts and raisins

Preparation: 20 minutes, Stand: 5 minutes, Bake: 20 minutes, Broil: 2 minutes, Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/4 cup Japanese breadcrumbs (panko)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover raisins with hot water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until plump. Drain.
  2. Cut cauliflower into equally sized florets. Toss together florets, pine nuts, olive oil, and thyme in a jelly roll pan. Spread in single layer, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake at 400° degrees F for 20 minutes or until edges of cauliflower are caramelized and nuts are toasted. Remove from oven. Increase oven temperature to broil.
  4. Microwave butter with garlic in a small glass bowl on high 30 for seconds. Stir in raisins and breadcrumbs. Toss raisin mixture with cauliflower mixture in jelly roll pan, spread mixture in a single layer.
  5. Broil 6-inches from heat 2 minutes or just until golden. Serve immediately.

Pancetta crisps with goat cheese and pear

Preparation: 15 minutes, Bake: 10 minutes, Stand: 10 minutes, Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 12 thin slices pancetta (about 1/3 pound)
  • 1 Bartlett pear
  • 1/2, 4-ounces packaged goat cheese, crumbled
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Honey
  • Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs

Directions:

  1. Arrange pancetta slices in a single layer on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. Bake at 450 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a paper towel-lined wire rack using a spatula. Let stand 10 minutes or until crisp.
  3. Core pear with an apple corer. Cut pear crosswise into 12 thin rings. Arrange on a serving platter. Top evenly with pancetta and goat cheese; sprinkle with pepper. Drizzle with honey just before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Sweet potato peanut soup with ham croutons

Preparation: 23 minutes, Cook: 45 minutes, Yield: 10 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 cups cubed cooked ham
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, celery, and garlic, and sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Add broth, potato, and chopped rosemary. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until potato is very tender.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ham, and cook until browned and crisp on all sides. Remove from heat; set aside.
  3. Process potato mixture in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return potato mixture to Dutch oven; stir in peanut butter. Cook over medium-low heat until soup is smooth, stirring often. Stir in whipping cream, salt, and pepper; cook until thoroughly heated.
  4. To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls. Top each serving with ham. Garnish, if desired.

Homemade applesauce

Preparation: 20 minutes, Cook: 20 minutes, Yield: 6 cups

For the best taste and texture, use a variety of apples—such as Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Gala—when making applesauce and pies.

Ingredients:

  • 12 large apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced

Directions:

  1. Cook all 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring often, 20 minutes or until the apples are tender and the juices are thickened.
  2. Remove and discard lemon slices.
  3. Serve applesauce warm; or let cool, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Spiced Applesauce: Substitute 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar for 1 cup sugar. Omit lemon slices, and add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves; prepare as directed.

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