Fall Harvest Foods

There are still lots of foods in season even in November.  If you enjoy cooking in season, here are some foods to include in your menus.

Sweet potatoes are full of nutrition and a versatile ingredient. They can be baked, fried, boiled, pureed in soup, mashed, candied and added to cakes, bread and pie.

One great way to enjoy these tubers is in a casserole. Just make mashed sweet potatoes, mix with a little sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla and transfer to a baking dish. Top with a brown sugar, flour and butter crumb topping and bake for 30 minutes.

Cauliflower looks like a white vegetable, but really it has the same nutritional value as its green cousin broccoli. You can cook or use this vegetable in the same way you’d use broccoli. Since it has a little less flavor than other green vegetables, cauliflower goes especially well with sauces. You can also disguise it as a potato dish.

One popular way to fix cauliflower is to roast it with garlic, olive oil and a little Parmesan cheese. In fact, that’s a great way to prepare lots of vegetables. Just cut the head of cauliflower into florets. Put them in a large bowl. Liberally drizzle on the extra virgin olive oil, add a few minced garlic cloves and a couple teaspoons of shredded or grated cheese and toss well. Spread on a cookie sheet or sheet pan and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes at 450.

Cranberries are another wonder food that’s harvested in mid-November. Not only are they good for sauces and glazes, but they help kill bacteria. The makes them famously effective at preventing urinary tract infections. They can also be added to muffins and fruit pies.

Leeks are in season from late fall to mid-spring. They are members of the onion family but have a gentler, mild taste that goes best in soups, stews and casseroles where its flavors can mingle with other ingredients. The only caution is to clean them thoroughly. Because these grow in sandy soil, it’s easiest to cut them up first and soak in lots of clean, cold water. The leeks will float but the dirt will sink to the bottom of the bowl.

A favorite way to use leeks is to make a traditional Scottish Cock-a-Leekie soup. Use any boneless chicken pieces but thighs work best.

Turnips give you a two-pher. Use the bulbs in place of potatoes. Cook the greens like kale.

Even though the growing season is quickly coming to a close, there are still fresh foods available in season through the fall.