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Showcase Your Fall Harvest With These 3 Recipes Fit for a Feast

It’s that time of the year when families and friends gather to eat and visit with one another. It’s the season of winding down, resting, and feasting in the company of loved ones. Like you, we have our own treasured recipes, and we thought it’d be fitting to organize some of our favorite garden-to-table meals into this collection.

Roasted Root Vegetable Salad, Leek and Potato Soup, and Pumpkin Chili are just three of the many warming and savory recipes that feature the stars of the cool-season garden: beets, carrots, leeks, potatoes, and pumpkins, just to name a few.

Keep reading for three of our favorite fall recipes to bring to Thanksgiving dinner or to grace your own table in between holiday meals.

3 Easy Garden-to-Table Recipes

The following recipes are basic in ingredients and simple in instruction, serving as an accessible entry point for anyone to enjoy homegrown produce and home-cooked meals.

We’ve chosen easy-to-make recipes that come together quickly; medleys that are nourishing and convenient enough for a weeknight meal. These recipes feature in-season produce because we believe strongly in eating with the seasonal garden. Feel free to expand on these recipes, dressing our suggestions up with spices and other ingredients as you see fit.

  1. Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

One of my favorite autumn recipes, this roasted root vegetable salad is adapted from Ronni Lundy’s Appalachian cookbook Victuals. Ronni adds a few slices of crumbled bacon to the salad before serving, but I withheld the bacon to make the recipe vegan. Feel free to add the bacon back in if you don’t have any dietary restrictions.

We like to use Early Wonder Beets for the red beets and Golden Detroit Beets for the yellows in this recipe. Both varieties are quick to mature–50 and 55 days, respectively–and produce moderately-sized roots with excellent flavor. Of course, you can use whatever beets you have on hand! This salad serves four.

Ingredients

  • 3 yellow beets

  • 3 red beets

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

  • 4 red radishes

  • ½ red onion

  • 1 tablespoon of sweetener (such as honey, maple syrup, or molasses)

  • 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉.

  2. Wrap both the yellow beets and red beets in aluminum foil and put both foil packets in the oven to cook until the beets are tender–usually about one hour.

  3. Chop the carrots into rounds and dice the sweet potato into one-inch pieces. Toss the pieces in a bowl with olive oil and transfer to a sheet pan. Season with salt. Roast for 25 minutes, taking the pan out to stir the vegetables about halfway through.

  4. Slice the radishes into thin rounds. Roughly chop the red onion into pieces.

  5. Remove the carrots and sweet potato pieces from the oven and set them aside to cool.

  6. Remove the beets from the oven and open the foil packets to vent. Set the beets aside to cool. When the beets are no longer hot to the touch, scrape off the skins and discard them. Cut the beets into wedges about an inch thick.

  7. Transfer the beet wedges to a large bowl and top with the carrots and sweet potato pieces. Add in the red onion and radish slices.

  8. Drizzle with sweeter and balsamic vinegar. Season with a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Allow the salad to chill in the refrigerator before serving.

You can easily substitute or add other vegetables to this recipe: root vegetables like turnips and parsnips are a great addition, as are other cool-season veggies like kohlrabi, broccoli, and even cauliflower–just note that stem vegetables will roast more quickly than root veggies, so check the pan often to keep them from charing.

Save time by roasting the beets and storing them in the refrigerator the day before you make the salad. This roasted root vegetable salad will keep for three days in the fridge–if it isn’t eaten first!

  1. Leek and Potato Soup

Nothing says winter like a bowl of hot soup. Take your potato soup up a notch with this recipe for creamy, savory Leek and Potato Soup–it’s easy to make and comes together quickly, making this a perfect weeknight meal for the whole family.

The early-maturing Dawn Giant produces such large plants that two leeks may suffice in this recipe. The more moderately-sized Large American Flag takes longer to mature, but the stems have a milder flavor that melds well in soups and stews. This soup serves four, so double the recipe if you’re cooking for a larger crowd.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 3 large leeks

  • 6 medium potatoes

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon minced thyme

  • Ground black pepper

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • Chives, finely chopped

  • Bacon crumbles, optional

Directions

  1. Rinse the leeks and roughly chop the white stem into rounds. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and dice the potatoes into one-inch pieces.

  2. Melt butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and leeks, stirring frequently so as not to burn. Cook until the leeks become translucent, about 10 minutes.

  3. Add the potatoes and broth to the pot. Bing to a boil, then reduce heat.

  4. Add the bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

  5. Remove the bay leaves and puree the soup with an immersion blender, or use a blender or food processor to puree the soup in batches.

  6. Return the pureed soup to the stock pot and add heavy cream. Bring to a simmer. The soup with thicken as it simmers, but you can easily adjust the consistency of the soup by adding more stock if needed.

  7. Remove from heat and add fresh thyme and parsley.

  8. Top with chopped chives and bacon crumbles if desired. Serve with bread or soup crackers.

Make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the bacon crumbles. Leek and potato soup is a classic in French cuisine and makes the perfect light lunch. Make leek and potato soup the main dish by serving the soup alongside fresh rolls and a side salad.

  1. Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkins aren’t just for carving, and if that’s all you use pumpkins for you’re missing out on a tasty and nutritious fall vegetable! We love growing Small Sugar Pumpkins for all of our baking needs, but the award-winning Orange Smoothie Hybrid Pumpkin is versatile enough for carving, canning, and baking.

This pumpkin chili serves six, but the leftovers can be frozen for future meals. You only need a small, one-pound pumpkin for this recipe–more than that will overpower the other flavors. A one-pound pumpkin will make about four cups of raw cubed pumpkin or one cup of pureed pumpkin. Either will work in this recipe–if you prefer, you can cook and puree the pumpkin pieces for a smoother sauce.

Ingredients

  • One small pumpkin

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large onion

  • 2 jalapenos

  • 3 celery stalks

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 3 teaspoons salt

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • 2 cans red beans

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes

  • 4 cups chicken stock

Directions

  1. Prep the pumpkin by cutting it in half and scooping out the seeds (set the seeds aside to make roasted pumpkin seeds later!) Peel the skin off the pumpkin with a vegetable peeler or cut the flesh away from the skin with a sharp knife. Chop the pumpkin into one-inch pieces.

  2. Dice the onion and peel and mince the garlic. Roughly chop the celery stalks into pieces.

  3. Cut the jalapenos in half and remove the inner seeds and stems with a spoon. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching the jalapeno seeds–they are hot and can irritate the skin and eyes! Dice the jalapeno.

  4. Heat half the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and celery, cooking until the onions become translucent and fragrant–about three minutes.

  5. Add the minced jalapeno and chopped pumpkin and cook for another seven minutes. Stir frequently to keep the vegetables from burning. Add chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.

  6. Warm half the oil in another skillet and cook the ground turkey until cooked through.

  7. Add the ground turkey, beans, crushed tomatoes, and broth to the stock pot and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender.

  8. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and diced green onions.

Most chili recipes are forgiving when it comes to substitutions and additions, and this pumpkin chili is no different. Substitute the ground turkey for ground beef or ground pork, or leave the meat out entirely to make this recipe vegetarian-friendly. Vegetable stock is just as good as chicken stock, and feel free to switch out the red kidney beans for black beans or another type of bean–we think that garbanzo beans would be an excellent choice.

Hard-skinned winter squash varieties like Waltham Butternut or Bonbon Buttercup can be used in place of pumpkin in this recipe. For a less spicy and sweeter chili, substitute the jalapenos for poblano peppers like Trident Hybrid or Ancho 101. Both varieties have an earthy flavor with only a hint of heat.

Conclusion

As you cook these vegetables, consider the season’s worth of sunshine, water, and sweat that went into their making. A thoughtfully prepared meal is at once a satisfying reward for hard work and an unexpected gift to be shared. We hope you find your harvests and these recipes to be a little bit of both.

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