As we are heading full steam into the fall season, we quickly begin to forget the summertime flavors of fresh summer vegetables. As much as I lamented in our last post about giving up the tomatoes (and also things like fried okra, stewed summer squash, fresh cucumber slices and of course fresh garden corn) I begin to anticipate the tastes of this cooling season. And now as I sit inside on this cool November morning, I have no desire to eat a tomato sandwich as the fall weather begins to engulf the Carolinas.
My heart turns to the taste of this weeks harvest. From Fisher Farms, New Town Farms & Matthew’s Farmer’s Market here is what will make it’s way to the table: pumpkins of all types, collards, sweet potatoes, new crop pecans, Austrian crescent fingerlings, green onions, carrots, white and red turnips, assorted radishes, beets, varieties of kale, braising greens mix, baby fennel, mustard spinach, mustard greens and assorted winter squashes.
One of my favorites will be oven roasted pumpkin. This is where we skin and cube pumpkin flesh and roast in a wood-fired oven until tender – wonderful and so tasty on cold fall evenings. The last of the peas and beans we have (or can still get) will make their way to cassoulets for pairings with house cured bacon, lamb or pork braises and roasts. Soupe a l’oignon gratinee will also taste oh so much better when we are wearing warm coats and jackets as we make our way to restaurants and friends’ homes for dinner. Let’s not forget the wild game and fowl we will enjoy from the opening hunting seasons, like venison, pheasant, quail and Texas antelope.
As much as I love each season we are find ourselves in, and the cuisine we receive from the local farms and markets in its season, I am reminded of how much I enjoy living in the Carolinas – with its ever growing local farms bounty!