Charm City Cook: My Favorite Time of Year
Fall is the best. Just this week, there’s a slight chill in the air, football season is here (and WOW, baseball is still exciting…how cool is that? Go O’s!) and soon, the leaves will start their gorgeous transformation. Fall also brings on heartier cooking – for me, it means lots of roasted veggies, soups, stews and other comfort foods. Go to any local farmers market and you’ll see squash, pumpkins, beans, apples, greens and much more.
At the Waverly Market, I love to visit the bean man, Thomas McCarthy. He’s the quiet, unassuming man with a warm smile who sells the most amazing fresh, shelled black beans, chick peas, butter beans, white beans and more. You can make so many great soups using beans – and if you add greens, you add a whole lot of flavor and vitamins, too. I like to make white bean and ham soup. Soups like that are easy to modify based on what you have on hand. I usually try to use fresh beans and rainbow chard – stalks and all. Yummmmm. Also, Cook’s Illustrated’s white chicken chili is a big favorite – and has a nice kick from THREE kinds of hot peppers. Whoa!
Last week, I got yellow spaghetti squash from my CSA. Wasn’t sure what to do with it…so I asked my ‘go to’ gal, Joan Norman of One Straw Farm for some advice. She said to prepare it like butternut squash (cut it in half, remove the seeds and roast for 40 minutes). Once done, use a fork to scrape out the inside of the squash. It shreds easily and has a consistency like spaghetti (thus, the name…duh). When I roasted it, I added honey, sea salt and olive oil and it makes a great side dish. And, once I remove the flesh, my backyard chickens get to enjoy the skins!
Whether your favorite fall dish is mashed sweet potatoes, turkey chili, butternut squash soup or something else, get to that kitchen! Host a supper for friends, share with neighbors or freeze the goodness for enjoyment later this winter.
Here are a few of my fave fall-esque recipes:
mashed sweet potatoes
pappardelle with butternut squash and blue cheese
cheddar corn chowder
white bean and rosemary soup
beef chili with kidney beans
butternut squash risotto with sage and saffron
perfect pot roast
What are some of your favorite fall dishes?