In Spring we look forward to the rebirth of life. Part of this are the young shoots, whether peppery or sweet, they are intense with flavor and awaken our palates to remind of the things to come. In the Summer, we harvest the “fruit” of plants, for example zucchini or cucumbers. But in the Fall we look to the stalks, leaves and roots and as the long warm days of summer wane we literally reap the harvest of sewn seeds.
There is a distinct difference between Fall and Summer vegetables – their textures, how they taste, the way in which they are prepared, and how we eat them. Generally Fall vegetables are cold resistant. Cruciferous vegetables like kale or cabbage can survive the freeze from an early frost and bounce right back. In the Fall we harvest the bulbs of plants, like root vegetables, that grow below ground. Fall vegetables can also be the stalk of many plants, as in the case of celery or Swiss chard.
Fall vegetables tend to be hearty, which requires more cooking and subsequently deeper flavor development. They are also earthier, bold in flavor, and are then paired or prepared with less tender meat cuts that also require longer cooking and therefore a higher more complex flavor profile. Fall vegetables go great in soups or stews or when accompanying braised or roasted meats.
When creating our new Fall menu, we chose to incorporate these vegetables throughout. Our focus was to create bold, complex flavor that pronounce the complimentary aspects of these vegetables without over powering them:
White bean biscuit with smoked duck gravy
Frilly Mustard Greens with pomegranates, Roasted Acorn Squash and aged Manchego