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Get Creative with Fall's Harvest

Summer gardens and farmer’s markets deliver delicious fresh produce suitable for grilling or canning, but fall's harvest is where we look for vegetables that are “good keepers.” Root vegetables like beets, parsnips, turnips, and Jerusalem artichokes; hardy cabbages; and winter squash and pumpkins all, under the right conditions, store well.

Storage Tips

When gathering fall produce from the garden or market, set aside your best, unblemished specimens for storage and serve, freeze, pickle or can the rest as soon as possible. In general, turnips, beets, and other root crops and cabbages will keep best in a moist, cold, but not freezing (35 to 40 degrees F) environment. Sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and winter squash prefer a dry, warm area -- about 50 to 60 degrees F. For maximum storage time and minimum vitamin depletion, most produce is best stored in a dark place.

Fall Spices

To compliment your fall harvest, stock up on your favorite spices from Frontier Natural Products Co-op -- and perhaps a few new finds. Warming spices (allspice, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, mace, nutmeg) are especially appropriate for the change in temperature, but any spice can find a good harvest partner. Try the unexpected:

  • Leek and potato soup is a wonderful fall staple, but also add parsnips and turnips, along with flavorful spices like basil, parsley, savory and chervil.
  • Make slaw out of green and red cabbages, but also try shredded turnips and beets, with a handful of caraway seeds.
  • Mash rutabagas and turnips as well as potatoes, and include nutmeg or garlic, onion, parsley and chives (recipe below).
  • Serve kohlrabi sticks alongside carrot sticks, or steam them together, then squirt with lemon juice and sprinkle with pepper and thyme.
  • Substitute the root celeriac for celery in just about any dish, or sauté it, along with a little fennel and oregano.

Recipe: Mashed Turnips and Rutabagas

1 pound turnips, peeled and diced
1 pound rutabagas, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper

Plus one of the following
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chives
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon onion powder

1. Boil turnips and rutabagas until tender, about 20 minutes
2. Drain. Combine in a bowl with remaining ingredients and mash. Serve immediately.

Chef Suggestions
Top with sautéed onions.

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