Favorite Fall Ingredients

What I'm buying and eating now.
  1. Brussels sprouts
    They're the vegetable people vehemently hate as children, but then learn to love as adults. The secret is to slice them in half before pan-frying or roasting in enough fat so that their outer skins get crispy. I like to add chunks of bacon, caramelized onions, or whole garlic cloves to the pan, and then top them with toasted seeds or nuts, and/or a squeeze of lemon.
  2. Delicata squash
    Sweet but not overly so, with flesh that gets super creamy when roasted, and a skin that is tender enough to eat.
  3. Acorn squash
    Super simple. Slice into rings, toss with olive oil, top with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Clean the seeds and toss them with oil too. Roast both at 400 F for a great side dish and a bonus crunchy seed snack.
  4. Bitter greens
    I love greens like kale and radicchio all year long, but their heartiness is especially welcome when the air gets crisp. Try them sautéed with onions and garlic, or sliced super thin in a salad with apples and nuts.
  5. Aged white cheddar
    Cheddar is always good, but the super aged kind goes so well with autumn foods. It's nutty and rich, and melts like a gem.
  6. Pomegranates
    They're crunchy and bright and sweet and tart, and fun to eat! Hint: there's nothing better than a really fresh pomegranate, but if you want the seeds without doing the work, Trader Joe's sells containers of shucked seeds.
  7. Fresh figs
    Ripe, sweet figs are amazing sliced in a salad, layered on a prosciutto-cheese sandwich, or even thrown on a pizza with a little Gorgonzola. They're also perfect eaten plain. Their season is short, so enjoy them while you can!
  8. Apples
    We can get apples anytime in the US, but the really good, in-season ones are being harvested now. Try Gravensteins or other heirloom apple varietals. Eat them plain, make a pie, or chop them (leave the peel on), and add to salads for crunch and sweetness.
  9. Cauliflower
    I am obsessed with cauliflower. The preferred way to cook it in our house is to cut into florets, douse it with olive oil, and roast the hell out of it with whole garlic cloves, chili flakes, salt, pepper, and lemon. A crispy, deeply umami side dish is the result.
  10. Sweet potatoes and yams
    I almost always go for the orange-fleshed red garnet yam. Slice into wedges, toss with olive or coconut oil, salt, and chili powder and roast at 400 F for restaurant-worthy oven fries.