Culinistas's Kitchen

Fall Produce Favorites

by The Culinistas

At this point in fall, farmers markets are overflowing with produce. Leafy greens, sweet onions, and blushing pink potatoes may be your obvious picks, but we’d recommend trying one of the following lesser experimented with ingredients.

Chicories

Endive, frisee, radicchio, and escarole fall into this category. Endive, with its canoe-like structure is perfect scooping dips and salmon rillettes alike. Bitter radicchio can be balanced with seasonal fruit (like pears!) toasted nuts, and a tangy vinaigrette. And escarole brings brightness to a hearty white bean soup.

Fennel

When caramelized, fennel takes on the flavor profile of a sweet onion, which is why it’s a go to for roasts of any kind. We’d recommend slicing it thin and keeping it raw, toss it with citrus and herbs for a crunchy slaw that gets even better over time. Roasting and blending it for a creamy yet delicately flavored soup will expand your repertoire just in time for nesting season.

Parsnips

Parsnips offer a richness and sweetness that potatoes often cannot. Tossing parsnips in olive oil, sage, and rosemary then deeply roasting them in the oven is often the way to go. However, we love the texture of a creamy parsnip sauce, it’s perfect for pasta bakes!

Persimmons

These almost tomato-like bright orange fruits are frequently passed over at the market. There are two varieties of persimmons: astringent and non-astringent. The astringent variety (like the Hachiya) should only be eaten when fully ripe, its flesh is creamy (almost translucent goo) and the perfect addition to desserts. The non-astringent varieties (like the Fuyu) have a firmer texture and hold up well in fruit salads. We’re partial to a Fuyu served with pineapple, brazil nuts, and cardamom on top. 

A special thanks to Sylvie Rosokoff  for the beautiful photograph.