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Fall Produce Tips & Recipes

Fall Produce
Tips & Recipes

Our guide to what's in season for fall…with recipes that provide fresh menu solutions.

An impressive 11 of the 20 trends highlighted in the National Restaurant Association's 2013 "What's Hot?" Chef Survey revolve around local, farms, nutrition, health and produce—clearly, chefs are paying close attention to fresh produce. The number of farmers' markets has exploded from 4,385 five years ago to 7,175 in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Clearly, consumers are paying closer attention, too. Highlighting the season's best does not require a chalkboard menu, changing daily to reflect what's pulled from the earth that morning. It does require that chefs pay attention to what's in season, highlighting that fresh produce on their menu in creative, delicious ways.

Get Your Menu Ready for Fall

Fall produce benefits from summer's long, hot growing season. Root vegetables, like celery root, parsnips and sweet potatoes, get pulled from the soil, gracing plates with their sweet earthiness. Chicories assert themselves, with bold, crisp flavors, as chefs hand over their salads to Belgian endives, escarole, radicchio. Apples, cranberries and pumpkin herald the festive side of fall, inviting warm pies, holiday stuffings and comforting bread puddings, to name a few.

What's in Season? Fall Edition (September 21-December 21)

apples

fast facts—it takes approximately 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider; it takes around 2 pounds of apples to make a 9-inch pie1

culinary tips—dip peeled apples in lemon juice or lightly salted water to prevent browning; for an alternative to maple syrup, thicken heated apple juice and a splash of lemon juice with cornstarch

nutritional profile—good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C

Brussels sprouts

fast fact—named after where they were originally cultivated back in the 16th century, the Belgian city of Brussels

culinary tips—slice them thinly and serve raw in a salad for added texture and flavor; quarter them, drizzle with oil and balsamic vinegar, then roast them

nutritional profile—very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K; good source of thiamin and iron

celery root

fast fact—also known as celeriac or knob celery

culinary tips—try a classic French preparation: céleri rémoulade—peeled and grated, then tossed in a dressing made with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper; use the stalks to garnish Bloody Marys

nutritional profile—very good source of vitamin C and phosphorus; good source of dietary fiber and vitamin B6

cranberries

fast fact—the cranberry is one of three fruits native to North America…the other two? Blueberry and Concord grape2

culinary tip—add cooked-down cranberries to barbecue sauce for late-summer ribs

nutritional profile—very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C and thiamin; good source of vitamin E and vitamin K

fennel

fast fact—flies aren't keen on fennel, so powdered fennel is often used to keep flies away in kennels and stables3

culinary tip—add fennel to mirepoix for its subtle undertone of anise

nutritional profile—very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C and folate; good source of niacin, calcium and iron

grapefruit

fast fact—one medium grapefruit will give you 2/3 of a cup of fresh-squeezed juice

culinary tip—for menu interest, look for cocktail grapefruits, which are a cross between a mandarin and a pummelo

nutritional profile—very good source of vitamin C; good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A and potassium

Jerusalem artichokes

fast facts—also known as sunchokes; native to North America

culinary tips—cook as you would potatoes—roast, steam, boil, etc.; slice very thinly and serve raw in a salad

nutritional profile—very good source of iron; good source of thiamin and potassium

kale

fast fact—frost actually is a good thing for kale, producing sweeter leaves

culinary tip—marinate kale to break down the rigid cell structures

nutritional profile—very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6 and calcium; good source of dietary fiber, protein, folate and iron

parsnips

fast fact—store them for two weeks to let their sweet flavors develop

culinary tip—thinly slice, then deep fry for parsnip chips, a fun alternative to croutons

nutritional profile—very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C and folate; good source of potassium

pomegranates

fast fact—one pomegranate yields ½ cup of juice and ¾ cup pomegranate arils (seeds)

culinary tip—cook down pomegranate juice into molasses, then brush on poultry for a colorful, thick glaze

nutritional profile—very good source of vitamin C and vitamin K; good source of dietary fiber and folate

pumpkins

fast facts—pumpkins are 90% water; pumpkins are fruit

culinary tip—for baking, look for Cinderella, Pink Banana Squash or Sugar Pie pumpkins

nutritional profile—very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C; good source of vitamin E, vitamin B6, iron and folate

sweet potatoes

fast fact—sweet potatoes are not potatoes—potatoes are tubers and sweet potatoes are part of the morning glory family.4

culinary tip—use sweet potatoes instead of potatoes in hash browns

nutritional profile—very good source of vitamin A and vitamin C; good source of dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin B6

winter squash

fast fact—winter squash are harvested in the fall, but because of their thick skins, can last through the winter

culinary tip—look for Blue Hokkaido; with its gray-blue skin and bright orange flesh, it offers dramatic plate presentation for stuffed squash

nutritional profile—very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B6; good source of vitamin K, potassium and folate

Favorite Fall Recipes

Brussels sprouts

Brussels Sprouts Hash Brussels Sprouts Hash

Fun Trivia for Curious Culinary Minds

Apples

The world's largest apple peel was created by Kathy Wafler Madison on October 16, 1976, in Rochester, New York. It was 172 feet, 4 inches long. (She was 16 years old at the time and grew up to be a sales manager for an apple tree nursery.)5

Apples

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are very popular in Great Britain — it grows about six times as many of them as the U.S.6

Brussels Sprouts

Cranberries

According to cranberryfarmers.org, honeybees are often used to pollinate cranberry crops. Indeed, their role in this task is even more invaluable than their role in the production of honey.

Cranberries

Pumpkin

In colonial times, pumpkin was used as an ingredient for the crust of pies—not the filling.7

Pumpkin
Fall Produce