Farm-Fresh Autumn Recipes

Relish fall flavors in these hearty autumn recipes.

| January 23, 2012

Autumn recipes make filling and delicious dishes due to the season’s nutritious and hardy offerings. From venison sausage to rye berries, Brussels sprouts to sweet potatoes, autumn presents colorful food that brings together family and friends. These autumn recipes are excerpted from The Farmer’s Market Cookbook (Lyons Press, 2000), a cookbook that allows you to cook and eat seasonally using fresh ingredients from a farm stand, community co-op or your own garden. 

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Farmer’s Market Cookbook.

There is no longer a sense of seasonal foods in this world. Meats come to grocers shrink-wrapped, vegetables arrive frozen from multinational manufacturers, and fruits are flown in from far-off countries. This disenfranchises us from nature’s cycle and timing. As a chef, I am totally dependent on the earth and the cornucopia it offers; I have found that cooking is always simpler and more visually vibrant when I choose foods at the peak of their season and flavor.

Cooking seasonally means developing a keen eye and sensitive nose as you traverse the aisles of nature’s store. The trimmings of each season are color-coded—spring’s plate is drenched with verdant green leaves, tender stalks, and gentle herbs; summer is resplendent with myriad reds, oranges, and yellows creating texture and bold, redolent assaults; autumn’s quieting is rich with umber root vegetables and a second hurrah of green leaves. This rainbow presentation is an initial starting point for setting a menu.

The green market not only thrills my senses, it connects me to the community in which I live. There seems to be a phenomenon at the market where smiles overtake stern glares and people greet each other with kindly hellos. To become a regular at a market is to hold a membership in a fraternity—an ancient association where knowledge and experience are exchanged as nourishment changes hands.

The Farmer’s Market Cookbook pays homage to nature and the palate that it offers for our cooking and sharing pleasure. Divided into three parts—Spring, Summer, and Autumn—the book will guide you through the ripening seasons and the many food options available to you. The recipes are meant as a road map, which allows you to navigate your own local markets—be it a green market, grocer’s produce aisle, or your own backyard garden—and give you a sense of comfort when making a choice. In my view, options are the key to cooking. You must feel empowered to make substitutions according to what is available to you.

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