Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, as it contains flavors, produce, and cooking techniques that sing to me. As the temperatures slowly drop, the cooking techniques take on more time. This means more soups and stews, braised meats, and roasted vegetables.
Spices are more warming like cinnamon and curry, and herbs are heartier like thyme and rosemary. Maple syrup and brown sugar tend to be the sweeteners of choice and butter or ghee the cooking fat of choice. We are warming up, slowing down, and getting ready for the stillness and slumber of the winter months that are just around the corner.
Here are five of my favorite fall recipes that use seasonal veggies, herbs, and spices common to this time of year. I’ve already started incorporating them into our weekly meals. Enjoy!
1. Roasted Mushrooms with Rosemary
Mushroom’s earthy, umami flavors are perfect for fall. This recipe comes from one of my favorite websites: SeriousEats.com. It utilizes two herbs that I love to pair with mushrooms – rosemary and parsley. The mushrooms are roasted with garlic cloves and fresh rosemary sprigs and finished with parsley. Any type of mushroom works well with this recipe! Any leftover mushrooms that don’t get eaten, will get tossed into a salad for next day’s lunch.
- 1 pound button or baby bella mushrooms, washed, trimmed, and quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with the flat blade of a knife
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Toss mushrooms with garlic cloves, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and spread into an even layer.
- Spread rosemary sprigs on top of mushrooms. Transfer to oven and roast until mushrooms release liquid, about 15 minutes.
- Carefully drain liquid into a separate container and reserve for another use. (It is like a soy-free soy sauce – loaded with umami!)
- Return mushrooms to oven and continue roasting until browned but still tender, about 30 minutes longer.
- Discard the rosemary. Transfer to a bowl and toss with parsley. Serve immediately. (Serves 4)
2. Carottes Étuvées Au Beurre (Carrots Braised in Butter) with Maple Syrup
This recipe comes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking (50th Anniversary) and utilizes my favorite sweetener – maple syrup. The original recipe uses granulated sugar; however, I prefer the rich, robust flavor maple syrup adds to the carrots and butter.
This is a kid friendly recipe and one of the ways I can get my kiddos to eat cooked carrots. They are an easy side dish to add to your favorite protein. We have also puréed them with a touch of cream and enjoyed them like mashed potatoes.
- A heavy-bottomed, 2-quart, enameled saucepan
- 1 ½ pounds carrots, peeled, and sliced or quartered (about 5 ½ cups)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Parsley for serving
- In the saucepan, bring the carrots to a boil with the maple syrup, water, butter, and salt.
- Cover and boil slowly for 30 to 40 minutes or until the carrots are tender and the liquid has evaporated.
- Correct seasonings. Sprinkle with minced parsley and serve.
3. Roasted Potatoes with Thyme
I honestly could eat potatoes roasted in ghee every day of my life! This recipe is on heavy rotation in our household. I have used both garlic cloves and garlic salt and I prefer the garlic salt, as it provides a bolder garlicky flavor in each potato bite. And, nothing pairs better with roasted potatoes than thyme! If there are any leftovers, they make a great addition to a breakfast scramble the next morning.
- 1 ½ pounds Yukon Gold or red potatoes
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons Organic Valley ghee (or LaTourangelle avocado oil)
- Simply Organic Garlic Salt
- Couple sprigs of fresh thyme
- Fresh black pepper
- Scrub the potatoes well, then put them in a bowl of water with a few tablespoons of salt and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Drain the potatoes and pat dry with a towel. Cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
- Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet and toss with ghee. You can either melt it and pour it over the top or use your hands (preferred method!) and rub it on the potatoes. Make sure the potatoes are in a single layer and then season with a healthy dose of garlic salt, add the thyme in the middle of the potatoes, and sprinkle with black pepper.
- Bake until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife and they are starting to turn a golden brown, 25-40 minutes depending on size of potatoes). Turn potatoes several times while they are cooking so they brown evenly.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately. (Serves 4-6)
4. Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Cinnamon
Butternut is one of my favorite winter squashes and I almost always prepare it as this soup. It is warming, comforting, and full of fall flavors like cinnamon and sage. Sage is an herb that I use almost exclusively in the fall and winter. And cinnamon is one of my favorite spices that I use daily year-round; however, it finds itself into many more fall recipes than any other time of year.
I usually prepare the butternut squash ahead of time by roasting it which allows this soup to come together in just over 30 minutes. Perfect for your busy weeknights! This soup freezes well, so make a double batch and use leftovers when you are seriously crunched for time.
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons ghee or another high heat oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 sage leaves minced
- 4 cups chicken bone broth (or vegetable broth)
- Black pepper
- ¼ cup heavy cream or coconut milk
Preparing the Squash
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Rinse and dry the outside of the butternut squash. Taking the tip of a knife, poke tiny holes over the entire surface of the squash.
- Place in a roasting dish and bake for an hour, a knife should easily insert all the way through the squash.
- Remove and let cool.
- Cut butternut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
- Scoop the butternut squash flesh into a mixing bowl and set aside.
Making the Soup
- In a large soup pot, heat ghee or oil over medium heat.
- Add onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sauté until onion is translucent, 5 minutes.
- Stir in the nutmeg, cinnamon, and sage; coat onion mixture with spices.
- Add the butternut squash, chicken stock, 1 teaspoon salt, a dash or two of pepper and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for 30 minutes.
- Turn off heat and puree in a blender or use an immersion blender.
- Stir in the cream, adjust seasonings, and serve. (Serves 4-6)
5. Collard Greens with Smoked Paprika
There is no better time of year than fall to enjoy collard greens! The cooler temps help cut the bitterness out of the leaves and makes them more tender. This is my favorite way to prepare collard greens and it uses one of my top three favorite spices ever – smoked paprika.
The sauce that remains in the pan is absolutely delicious and shouldn’t go to waste! We usually drizzle it over the protein we are serving with this dish or grab a hunk of bread and sop it up!
- 1 bunch collard greens
- 6 to 8 slices of Smoking Goose Jowl Bacon or applewood smoked, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 cups broth or water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 or 5 large mini sweet peppers, sliced and seeds removed
- Salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon Bourbon Barrel Smoked Paprika
- Hot sauce
- Wash collard greens making sure to remove all the sandy sediment.
- Lay each leaf out and cut the tough central stem from the collards.
- Stack the leaves and roll them lengthwise. Slice into ½-inch strips.
- In a deep pot over medium heat, cook the jowl bacon until fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Turn the heat to low and add the garlic, onions, and a couple pinches of red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it). Cook, stirring frequently, until onions and garlic are soft and turning golden, 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add the collard greens by the handful and stir until wilted.
- Add the bacon back to the pot. Pour in the broth or water, add the vinegar and the bell pepper. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and add the smoked paprika.
- Bring to a low simmer, cover, and lower the heat. Cook for 30 minutes, or until greens reach the tenderness you prefer. Taste for salt and pepper and serve with a bottle of hot sauce. (Serves 4-6)
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About Organic Beth
Beth Blessing (Organic Beth) has a Masters in Nutrition and is the co-founder of Green Bean Delivery. She is a mother of three who loves supporting family farms and searching for unique, artisanal products. Her goal is to help others eat better and live a more natural, holistic life through healthy recipes and practical tips.