Falling For Fall… Fruits & Veggies
By Chef Rachel Tribby, Executive Le Cordon Bleu Chef at Rosewood Ranch
There is no better way to welcome autumn than to visit the clusters of warm-colored fruits and vegetables heaped in fragrant mounds at your local farmers’ market or grocer. The cooler air and change of leaves allows an invitation to shop and explore the essence of fall in your kitchen once again. In our modern day culture we’ve become somewhat spoiled with the ability to attain most produce year-round, however, we cannot fully appreciate and enjoy fruits and vegetables unless they are naturally ripened to their fullest potential at the peak of their season. It is important to get to know your local harvesting seasons in order to feed yours and your family’s insatiable appetite for good food. To get the best of what fall has to offer you can find an interactive seasonal food map here.
Besides shopping for fruits and vegetables at their peak season, it helps to know how to spot, smell and feel the very best in firmness, flavor and aroma. LET YOUR SENSES BE YOUR GUIDE! A pear should be slightly firm but give under pressure and should smell like a pear. It is also good to know which of your tawny produce this fall will continue to ripen at home after they have been harvested and carefully selected; apples, figs, pears, persimmons, plums, kiwis, apricots, tomatoes, spinach (known as climacteric). Those that will not further ripen off their plant are known as nonclimacteric and should to be purchased ready to eat; grapes, most citrus, most berries, melons, pomegranates, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, corn, peas and peppers. So as you take time to shop, make the most of the fall harvest this year with Rosewood’s recipe for our Pumpkin Pie Almonds and Seeds Snack Mix or rediscover a love for butternut squash, pumpkin, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and more.