by Tasha de Serio
from Fine Cooking #107, p. 42-49
I know it’s fall. I can smell it in the air. Of course, it’s pretty easy to see, too, and I’m not just talking about the brilliantly colored trees. The season’s harvest is in, practically flooding the markets, the farmstands, and the grocery store, not to mention everyone’s CSA (community-supported agriculture) boxes.
Some fall vegetables—broccoli, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, to name a few—are comfortingly familiar. You always reach for them; maybe you’ve prepared them in the same ways for years. But now, when they’re in season, there’s no better time to break away from your everyday repertoire and explore just what they can do.
Using the recipes here as a road map, try cooking these favorites in new and unexpected ways: Cauliflower becomes a warming, souffle-like side dish; roasted broccoli adds an earthy touch to a hearty grain salad; Brussels sprouts simmered with cream, wine, and mushrooms take on an elegant richness; and sweet potatoes make a surprisingly decadent pie. Once you’ve gotten a taste of the possibilities, you’ll be inspired to keep exploring.
|Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Wild Mushroom and Cream||Cauliflower Sformato|
|Sweet Potato Pie||Roasted Broccoli and Farro Salad with Feta|
Get 16 more new ways to prepare Brussels spouts, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower and two bonus recipes featuring cabbage and rutabaga. . .
4 Favorites, 16 New Ways
Now that you’ve had a taste of what these guys can do, don’t stop there. Here are 16 more tasty new ideas for these classic fall vegetables.
Roasted Brussels sprouts with lemon and Parmigiano Roast halved Brussels sprouts tossed with olive oil and salt in a hot oven until tender and golden-brown. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and freshly grated Parmigiano.
Spaghetti with Brussels sprouts, walnuts, and pecorino Cook diced onion in olive oil, add boiled, coarsely chopped Brussels sprouts, and cook until golden. Add chopped garlic, thyme, and lemon juice. Toss with cooked whole-wheat spaghetti, toasted walnuts, pecorino, and salt. Drizzle with olive oil.
Brussels sprout gratin with bacon and cream Cook diced bacon in a hot pan; add boiled, sliced Brussels sprouts, chopped garlic, and thyme. Transfer to a buttered gratin dish. Add cream to just below the sprouts, scatter with fresh breadcrumbs, and dot with butter. Bake in a hot oven until golden.
Sautéed Brussels sprouts with shallots and pancetta Cook diced pancetta in olive oil until the fat renders. Add chopped shallot and cook until tender. Add halved, boiled Brussels sprouts and cook until lightly browned. Toss with chopped fresh thyme and lemon juice.
Sweet potato purée with sautéed scallions Simmer large chunks of peeled sweet potatoes in well-salted water until tender. Drain well, mash with butter, and stir in whole milk and sautéed sliced scallions.
Roasted sweet potatoes with brown butter and sage Toss sweet potato pieces with olive oil and salt and roast in a hot oven until tender. Meanwhile, cook chopped fresh sage and a pinch of salt in melted butter until the butter browns. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and toss with the potatoes.
Sweet potato salad with Moroccan spices Toss cooled, roasted sweet potatoes with a lemon or lime vinaigrette flavored with grated ginger, cumin, and paprika. Let the flavors meld for about 30 minutes; then toss with chopped cilantro and parsley. Serve at room temperature.
Sweet potato and thyme gratin In a buttered gratin dish, layer thinly sliced sweet potato; sprinkle each layer with fresh thyme and salt. Add cream to just below the potatoes, dot with butter, cover with foil, and bake in a hot oven until almost tender. Bake uncovered until nicely browned. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Creamed broccoli with lemon and Parmigiano Combine cream and minced garlic in a sauté pan and simmer until slightly thickened. Add cooked broccoli florets and peeled thinly sliced stems, season with salt and pepper, and simmer until the cream coats the broccoli. Finish with grated Parmigiano and lemon juice.
Long-cooked broccoli Briefly sauté broccoli florets and peeled sliced stems in olive oil with sliced garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Add one cup water, cover tightly, and simmer until the broccoli is very tender, about 1 hour. If it starts to dry out, add a splash more water. Finish with lemon juice and salt.
Broccoli crostini with garlic and pecorino Roughly chop and reheat leftover long-cooked broccoli (above). Toast thick slices of rustic bread and rub lightly with garlic. Top the bread with the broccoli, a drizzle of olive oil, and grated pecorino or Parmigiano.
Broccoli frittata Combine cooked broccoli with 6 lightly beaten eggs, grated Parmigiano or pecorino, and salt. Cook the egg mixture in an oiled 8-inch nonstick skillet over low heat until set around the edges. Bake in a hot oven until completely set. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cauliflower with anchovies, garlic, and capers Sauté cauliflower florets until tender and browned, adding chopped anchovy, chopped garlic, capers, and crushed red pepper flakes in the last minute of cooking. Toss with chopped parsley and salt, drizzle with olive oil, and serve warm, at room temperature, or tossed with pasta.
Cauliflower with garlic, ginger, and scallions Sauté cauliflower florets until tender and browned, adding chopped garlic, minced ginger, mustard seeds, sliced scallions, and a little extra oil in the last minute of cooking. Toss with chopped cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cauliflower salad with olives and fresh herbs Toss boiled, cooled cauliflower florets with a lemon vinaigrette, chopped black olives, capers, and chopped parsley, chervil, or mint.
Roasted cauliflower with feta and chile
Toss cauliflower florets with olive oil and roast in a hot oven until tender and golden-brown. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon, some crumbled feta, and a sprinkle of mild red chile, such as Aleppo or Marash pepper.
|Cabbage and Apples with Riesling and Caraway||Rutabaga Gratin with Prosciutto and Gruyère|
Photos: Scott Phillips