Autumn is here and with it comes some fabulous seasonal vegetables. Here are four of my favourite:
Because of its texture and sweet taste, this root vegetable is great for both desserts, like sweet potato bread pudding, and savoury dishes. A tip from me to you: if you’re planning to host a halloween party, don’t overcomplicate yourself. Just serve some sweet potato fries! They’re easy to prepare and make great finger food. You just need sweet potatoes, some sweet paprika powder, a bit of cumin and a pinch of salt.
How to make sweet potato fries : peel and cut the sweet potatoes into fries, place them on a tray, season and sprinkle with oil. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 230°. Flip them over half way through the baking time to get them golden brown on both sides.
What do you get when you cross a cabbage with a turnip? A wrinkly, yellow looking root vegetable! Rutabagas are not particularly attractive (not even the name sounds all too yummy), but they are actually quite good…very similar to sweet potatoes.
Pureed or roasted, this veg makes an excellent side dish. With a pinch of salt and pepper, some milk (almond or soy milk does the trick) and vegetarian margarine, you can make a really delicious rutabaga puree. Don’t get me wrong, mashed potatoes are great, but sometimes you just need a change. I personally also like to add some walnuts or chestnuts to my rutabaga mash to make it a through and through autumn dish.
How to cook rutabaga: if you want to try the mash, cut the rutabaga in small cubes and let it simmer for about 40 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Poke it with a fork to make sure it`s cooked through. When ready, mash it with a potato masher; add the condiments, as well as the milk and margarine to make it creamier. Season to taste.
Bitter, tiny and green (or purple!). These baby cabbages are probably every kid´s worst nightmare. I personally never had anything against brussels sprout, not even as a child. Its true the taste is a bit ‘harsh’, but I think their negative reputation is a bit misplaced. And I have just the recipe to prove it: oven roasted brussels sprouts with agave syrup, nutmeg and just a touch of pepper. The agave syrup works great in this recipe because it masks the bitterness of the brussels sprouts and also gives them a nice golden brown coat.
All in all, this dish is cheap, easy to prepare, incredibly delicious and will surely change the way you feel about these tiny cabbages.
How to cook brussels sprouts: roast in the oven at 200° for approx. 50 minutes.
With Halloween just around the corner, pumpkins come to mind! Pumpkin lanterns, pumpkin seeds, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin cake…it’s sweet, easy to cook, rich in vitamins A and B, and is an excellent source of fibre. Come to think of it, I think it’s my favourite kind of squash.
The only problem with these orange blobs of goodness is cleaning them. With a strong knife, you’ll need to cut off the top, and with the help of a spoon, remove all seeds and stringy bits. If you’re like me and you don’t particularly enjoy pumpkin skin, you can chop the pumpkin into smaller pieces and carefully remove the skin with a sharp knife. It’s not exactly what you would call an easy job, but I guarantee you it’s worth it! After all, there’s nothing quite like a delicious plate of roasted pumpkin with cous cous and dried fruits, or a slice of pumpkin pie topped off with some homemade coconut whipped cream…yummy!
How to cook pumpkin: roasted in the oven (approx. 40-50 minutes at 200 – 220°) or boiled (approx. 20-25 minutes)
Your turn! What’s your favourite autumn vegetable?