Photos by Ana Gambuto
Edited by Chelsea Leeds
FALL IS IN FULL SWING and it’s one of my favorite seasons at the farmer’s market. With cooler seasons, our natural intuition asks us to go a bit slower, eat warmer, denser foods, nest with loved ones and I find the more we follow nature’s signals to hibernate, the more in flow we are in all areas of life. With that in mind, I tend to crave more grounding, warming dishes and the best way to listen to my body is incorporate more root vegetables, winter squash and dense produce along with peppery greens that help promote internal heat in my body. Read on for my favorite picks!
One of favorite autumnal ingredient is winter squash. Acorn squash takes nearly no time at all to rub a little olive oil, sea salt and cinnamon and throw in the oven to roast at 400 for about 20 minutes until it caramelizes into a sweet/salty heaven. I’m also a huge fan of honeynut squash. It was developed by a Cornell plant breeder in collaboration with Chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill. Barber presented breeder Michael Mazourek with the task of creating a more flavorful butternut squash and that he did. He not only shrunk it in size, but boosted it in flavor. Dry roasting it at a high temperature, say 425/450 with a sprinkle of curry powder or garam masala lends itself to a soft interior and a natural sweetness unlike any other variety I’ve tasted.
Spending time in nature is extremely grounding for me, so when the opportunity presents itself to get out of the city and into a setting surrounded by trees I’m quick to jump on board- apple orchards included! When the business of life gets in the way and a trip to a nearby orchard is out of the question, I turn to many stands at the farmer’s market. My faves? Honeycrip and Fuji. I also love adding Asian Pears to my green juice. Around this time of year the market is nearly overflowing with apple varieties. Not only do these beautiful apples lend well to juicing, but they’re even better in a cast iron apple berry crumble aka the perfect night cap when I’m feeling extra indulgent :).
Another squash varietal that finds its way into my kitchen this time of year- delicata! Carla Lalli Music also has a great recipe for delicata squash featured on the site. She serves it over a few dollops of Greek yogurt, but if you’re dairy-free, you can totally sub with coconut yogurt.
After a long day running around and corraling the kiddos, I find myself relying on a combination of pantry staples and a handful of veg that I manage to somehow find time to pick up on my way home. This is where spaghetti squash comes in to make life just a little bit easier. It’s neutral in the food combining world, which means you can pair it with pretty much anything for optimal digestion and it only takes being sliced in half and a drizzle of olive oil to be ready to go into the oven. Once it’s done I’ll scoop out all the seeds and squash, mixing the squash with whatever sauce I have on hand and use what’s left of the squash to serve it in! I like to shred raw goat cheese on top and put directly under the broiler for a Bonberi-approved “baked spaghetti,” a throwback to my dad’s specialty 😉
Treviso is a more delicate varietal from the radicchio family, so it’s slightly sweet and bitter but has amazing crunch and serves as the star in the fan-favorite Goldie Salad (also sold at the Shop!) You could also sear quickly in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and balsamic vinegar.
Puntarelle is part of the chicory family and has dandelion leaf-like leaves. I like to rinse, trim, and bath them in a bowl of ice water for about an hour before serving. Since they’re super bitter, I’ll pair them with a saltier dressing like the dulse.
You know garlic is good when it’s strong and pungent in scent, which is a must when you’re making garlic bread. I’ll give it a quick chop and rub it all over whatever fresh loaf I pick up that day. I love getting to see garlic in its natural long stalk form at the market.
While I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, Jude does go crazy for his weekend waffles. Just to be sure I’m ready whenever this craving of his starts comes on, I restock on local Vermont maple syrup whenever I’m at the market. I’ll use it to sweeten the batter and drizzle on top. Make sure you’re looking for wood-fired maple syrup instead of gas-fired! This means that the maple production was powered by wood fire rather than by a petroleum-powered machine, which is much safer for the environment.
Shout for joy, it’s kale season! My favorite is the darker, flat leaf lacinato kale, which I add to my green juice every morning. It’s super alkalizing and just an overall powerhouse ingredient when it comes to detoxification and chlorophyll content. During this season you really feel the “oomph” the kale has since it’s at its highest nutrient level in the fall. If it doesn’t end up in a juice, I’ll use it in my massaged kale salad (a favorite at the Shop!) or tossing it in the pan with garlic and olive oil and squeeze of lemon for a super quick side.
Another amazing neutral veg- brussel sprouts are the best when roasted on high heat! I add a little bit of sea salt, garic and splash of tamari.
Beets are high antioxidants and dietary fiber, which helps keep the digestive and elimination system on track. Find them in my beet hummus! Beets are also a SUPER CLEANSER, so I’ll make one of my favorite juices: carrot, ginger, beet and celery. It’s like True Blood for the cells.
Parsnips are great for baby purees. I introduced them to Jude and Sea when they around 6 months old and they loved them. All it takes is a quick steaming and pureeing in a food processor and voila! They’re also great in fry form, so sometimes I’ll serve them to the kiddos in lieu of your typical potato french fry. Since they’re a neutral veg you can pair them with pretty much anything!
Being able to get fresh ginger and turmeric at the market is such a treat. Both are super effective to reduce inflammation. Note, that in order to get the benefits that come with turmeric, it has to be combined with black pepper- this really ups its bioavailability and gives it its true medicinal effect.