Feel the coming winter chill? Now's the perfect time to get snuggly with your cheesemonger. Ask for a strong flavored, hard, aged sheep cheese such as a pecorino. The name percorino refers to the sheep (or 'pecora') whose milk is used to make this family of Italian cheeses. Lots of us have tried Pecorino Romano, but other sheep milk cheeses can be equally interesting. Our suggestion? Try manchego, Fiore Sardo from Sardinia, or Pecorino Ginepro, which is cured with balsamic vinegar and juniper berries.
Risotto is an easy and relaxing thing to make on a cozy fall night at home with friends. Everyone hangs out in the kitchen and takes turns stirring, all the while conveniently sipping on the white wine used in the dish. Our risotto has a twist that makes it a bit more healthy too, which is great during this time of year when our lust for vegetables can wane. We up the veg quotient by replacing about half of the rice with cauliflower. It’s just as hearty as usual and no less creamy. The rice does its job of releasing starch while being stirred, creating that signature creamy risotto texture and the pumpkin adds a rich and earthy fall flavor.
There’s just so much to love about this recipe. We gluten-free don’t get to enjoy rye bread, but we can use its defining flavor, caraway, as a seasoning. Cumin, garlic, and celery seed further enhance the deep flavors of roasted chicken, while the gorgeous floral perfume of slightly tart quince provides a beautiful contrast.
We’re expecting a frost in upstate New York this week and that means great things for spinach! In order to keep from freezing the plant converts starch to sugar, so after a frost you’ll find spinach that has a sweeter, deeper flavor. This salad strikes a nice balance as we try to eat healthfully while honoring our seasonal craving for comfort food. It’s a really indulgent little cake of warm cheese with a crust of nutrient-rich seeds on a bed of hearty greens. A wonderful meal for a relaxed weekend chat with a friend, glass of wine in hand.
We’re so excited that the air is crisp and apple season is here! Each region of the country is full of heirloom varieties with different characteristics. Chat with the good people at your apple stand, ask which types are good for baking, and do some experimenting. Here we call for a tart Jonagold, Granny Smith, Braeburn, or Pink Lady, all of which are widely available. You should be able to find them at your grocer, but we think the apples picked right off of the tree taste better, so enjoy the foliage and get out into an orchard!
One of the fun things about going gluten-free is that we wind up really interested in investigating the foods we can have. This can lead to bursts of exploration and experimentation, as it did for us with buckwheat. Buckwheat is actually a seed and does not contain wheat at all. Once toasted, it’s called kasha. We love it’s hearty flavor mixed together with a ton of fall vegetables in this satisfying, stew-like soup.
For us fall really begins with the first cozy fire and a baked dessert. Concord grapes add a wonderful tart flavor and blush of color to this cobbler. Seeding the grapes is messy business. The skins may separate from the flesh and the juice may try to run away, but this doesn’t matter. The grapes cook down anyway, so gather all the seedless juice and skin, mush together, and add it all to the mix of fruit.
We grew tomatillos this year for the first time. They look like paper lanterns as they grow inside a beautiful husk. When first picked, they will be sticky on the outside of the fruit. Tomatillos are sour and look a bit like a tomato. Find them fresh in farmers’ markets. They’re widely used in Latin American for Salsa Verde. We’ve rearranged that green sauce idea here in a fried version.
Grab the last of the summer’s plums and make a quick sauce that will elevate a regular weeknight meal. This one is great with pork or chicken and it will also work well with a robust deep sea fish. Ask your butcher for a paillard chicken breast. It is a very thinly pounded piece of chicken. Because the meat is thin, it won’t take too long to absorb the flavors in the marinade and it cooks quickly.
Fresh beans in season have a depth of flavor we really get into! Use a mix of beans: Romano, wax, or string beans will all work for this recipe. Whatever is in your garden or at the local farmer’s market will do just fine- though we think it looks best with a mix of colors and shapes, so mix it up if possible! Chervil is around fleetingly, in the fall and again in the spring. It has lacey-feathery tender leaves and a light licorice flavor. If you can’t find chervil, use a third the amount in fresh tarragon.
It’s the end of the corn season here in New York. We’ve eaten our fill of grilled and steamed sweet summer corn on the cob. We’re easing into fall with something warm and comforting, while using the last hint of sweetness from the summer. This recipe is vegan as it stands here, but we’d never say no to freshly grated Parmesan--add it in at the end, to taste, by the handful.
We love how hearty winter greens are starting to show up, bit by bit in the market. This dressing has bright flavors. It can stand up to the first hearty winter greens and combine nicely with more delicate greens. It’s an exciting time of year -when that hearty and delicate salad combination is possible.