The autumn season has officially arrived, as if everything being flavored with pumpkin spice hasn’t already given it away. This means it’s time for some our favorite fall ingredients. Thanks to wonderful seasonal vegetables like apples, butternut squash and (of course) pumpkin, dishes can be packed with flavor—and nutrients. Here are some nutritiously awesome autumn recipes that incorporate some of these ingredients.
Carrot Salad with Mushrooms and Herbs
This quick, super-fresh salad is loaded with raw vegetables and tossed with a tangy lemon dressing, adding festive color to your table.
Serves : 4 to 6
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped mixed herbs, such as chives and parsley
- Kosher salt
- Coarsely ground pepper
- 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced, preferably on a mandoline
- 2 medium golden beets, peeled and very thinly sliced, preferably on a mandoline
- 6 ounces white button or cremini mushrooms, very thinly sliced
- Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings, for garnish
In a large bowl, whisk the 1/4 cup of olive oil with the lemon juice and half of the herbs; season with salt and pepper. Add the carrots and beets, toss to coat and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Spread the mushrooms on a platter and top with the carrots and beets. Drizzle with olive oil, garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano and the remaining herbs and serve.
Butternut Squash Soup
Together in this hearty soup, these vegetables deliver vitamins A and C as well as fiber and powerful antioxidants.
1 HR 30 MIN
Serves : 6
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- One 2-pound butternut squash—quartered, seeded, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 2 garlic cloves, halved
- 2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 celery rib, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 thick slices of bacon, cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
- 2 packed cups coarsely chopped collards or kale
- One 15-ounce can pinto or roman beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 cup corn kernels
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large, heavy pot, combine the broth, squash, thyme, garlic, leeks and celery and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
In a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the bacon strips and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until crisp, about 7 minutes.
Discard the thyme sprigs from the soup. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the pot. Add the bacon, collards, pinto beans, carrot, bell pepper and corn and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve.
Note: The soup can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently.
Baked Acorn Squash with Chestnuts, Apples and Leeks
Halved acorn squash make perfect single-serving bowls and a great vegetarian main course.
1 HR 10 MIN
Serves : 8
- 4 acorn squash (about 1 pound each), halved lengthwise and seeded
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups diced celery
- 2 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
- 10 ounces day-old rustic rye bread—crusts removed, bread cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 6 cups)
- 7 ounces vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup vegetable stock or low-sodium broth
Preheat the oven to 350°. Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil and season the cavities with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on two baking sheets and roast for about 25 minutes, until just tender.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the celery, leeks and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the apples and thyme and cook over moderately high heat until the apples just start to soften, about 5 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Add the bread, chestnuts, parsley, cream and stock and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn the squash cut side up. Spoon the stuffing into the cavities and bake until the squash are tender and the stuffing is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve.
Spicy Cheddar and Pumpkin Orzo with Arugula
This warm pasta salad has orzo soaking up the savory pumpkin and spicy cheddar cheese sauce, topped with fresh peppery greens which adds color and texture.
Serves : 4
- 1 1/2 cups dry orzo
- 1 cup pasta water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating pasta
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 4 ounces grated Cheddar cheese
- 4 cups arugula leaves
- 2 tablespoons pepita seeds
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
In a large sauce pot of salted boiling water, cook the orzo until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Transfer the orzo to a large bowl, coat lightly with olive oil and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until softened and lightly browned.
Add the pumpkin puree, chili garlic sauce, mustard, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine. Pour in the reserved pasta water and simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the grated cheddar to the sauce, stirring until evenly incorporated and melted, about 3 minutes.
Pour the pumpkin-cheddar sauce over the bowl of orzo and fold it in gently to combine. Toss in the arugula leaves and pepita seeds. Transfer the pasta to plates, drizzle lightly with olive oil, and serve warm.
Yogurt and Apricot Pie with Crunchy Granola Crust
This sweet-tart pie incorporates an ingenious granola crust and is a great way to end any autumn meal. Bonus – the oats and almonds may both help lower blood pressure.
1 HR 10 MIN
Serves : 10
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, crushed
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup warmed apricot preserves
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, almonds, oats and salt. In a large skillet, melt the butter in the oil. Add the granola mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, 5 minutes; transfer to a 9-inch glass pie plate and let cool slightly.
Using a flat-bottomed glass, gently press the granola evenly over the bottom and side of the pie plate to form a 1/2-inch-thick crust. Freeze the crust for about 10 minutes, until completely cooled.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the yogurt with the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for 25 minutes, until the filling is set but still slightly jiggly in the center. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Pour the warm apricot preserves on top of the yogurt and gently spread in an even layer. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. Using a warm knife, cut the pie into wedges and serve.
Be sure to take advantage of the seasonal veggies and fruits available in your area to bring the taste of autumn to your family and friends. If you need a little help in choosing the right ingredients or how to prepare them, try our Grocery Store Tours and Healthy Cooking Courses.
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Recipes courtesy of foodandwine.com