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.

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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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