ROOT VEGETABLES As summer gives way to fall, find lots of root vegetables at farmers’ markets: carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, rutabagas.
FALL HERBS Woody herbs like thyme, rosemary, bay, and sage bring a seasonal flavor and hold up in roasting and braising.
GOOD BUTTER Toss vegetables for roasting in melted butter instead of olive oil for a richer taste.
QUICK MARKET DINNER: MASH
Sauté 2 1/2 pounds peeled & diced mixed root vegetables (celery root, carrots, turnips, sweet potato) in 1/4 cup butter. Add sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf. Cook until softened, 15 minutes. Add 1 cup water; cover and steam until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove herbs. Mash with additional butter, salt and pepper. Serve with grilled or roasted meat.
GARLIC Fresh local garlic is crisper and more boldly flavored than the old, dried-out heads you’ll find in grocery produce departments. It’s in season here starting in midsummer and will be available through fall.
SQUASH Look for hard squashes like acorn, pumpkin, and butternut. Use cooked spaghetti squash as you would pasta, under meatballs and sauce.
GREEK YOGURT The perfect tangy topping for any kind of roasted fall vegetables, or add a dollop to a bowl of vegetable soup.
TOASTED NUTS Roasted, unsalted pecans and walnuts add crunch and flavor to fall salads, including a platter of roasted beets with goat cheese.
FETA CHEESE Another great accompaniment to roasted root vegetables.
DRIED BEANS Seek out specialty varieties at farmers’ markets and food shops; look for Christmas limas, scarlet runners, cranberry beans, yellow-eyes, flageolets. A pot of home-cooked beans is a hearty foundation for fall suppers.
ORZO Make a warm pasta salad with orzo cooked in vegetable broth, roasted vegetables, toasted almonds, and cheese of your choice. Splash with olive oil, wine vinegar, and lemon juice.
QUICK MARKET DINNER: ADD SQUASH
Soak 1 pound dried beans in water overnight. Drain, transfer to stock pot, add 1 carrot, 1/2 onion, 1 stalk celery (roughly chopped). Cover with water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer and cook, partially covered, until tender. (Cooking time varies by type of bean.) Add a generous pinch of salt. Roast your choice of fall squash until tender. Serve bowls of beans topped with roasted squash, toasted nuts, crumbled feta, and a shower of chopped parsley.
Bryn’s long career in publishing took a left turn sometime around 2010, when she discovered the joy of food writing. Since then, she’s found professional nirvana as the editor of Edible Ohio Valley, author of The Findlay Market Cookbook, and occasional instructor at The Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s. Find her seasonal recipes at writes4food.com.