Gourmet Live’s Fall Harvest issue coincides with the juxtaposition of the last of the summer’s corn and tomatoes, alongside the winter squashes and dark leafy greens at farmers markets in many parts of the country. Actually, the greens have been around most of the summer, but they’re at their sweetest best as the weather cools and the first couple of frosts nip the air.
During the dog days of July and August, we automatically pair corn with zucchini and other summer squash, but as the daylight shortens in September and October, fresh corn becomes more appealing in squash soups and hearty chowders. One of my favorite soups is a purée of calabaza or kabocha squash (you can even use butternut squash) and coconut milk, topped with a corn relish spiked with lime juice and cilantro. Our cheesy corn chowder is a colorful hodgepodge of late summer and fall vegetables, all cut in small dice to match the size of corn kernels.
Then again, there’s minestrone, that Italian staple that joins the last of the zucchini, green beans, and tomatoes (feel free to substitute fresh for the canned in this recipe), along with the heartier members of the fall garden: kale, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. My family pasta standby, kale, caramelized onions, and lentils tossed with penne, gets extra color and juiciness at this time of year with the addition of pan-roasted cherry tomatoes. For a real knockout fall main course, try our kale, butternut squash and pancetta phyllo pie. Doesn’t everything looks better wrapped in phyllo?
So grab the gusto and embrace this transitional time of year when the best of two seasons of produce are just waiting to be tossed together in your kitchen. Who knows, your ingenuity coupled with their flavors could result in an exciting new harvest creation. Whatever you’re concocting, we’d love to know about it!