Despite the recent return of summer temperatures, the spread at the local farmers market this past Sunday was decidedly “fall” in nature: Carroll Gardens Greenmarket farmers were boasting bountiful displays that ranged from the last of the peppers and tomatoes to harbingers of the autumn harvest season; namely mushrooms, potatoes, garlic, winter squash and some particularly lush-looking greens.
Apples sparkled and celery beckoned, and so this week, Patch decided to ask our farmers for their favorite fall recipes, featuring the crops of their choice. Below is a list of simple instructions for some spectacular foods sure to be found at the market in the weeks to come. Enjoy!
Pan-fried Celeriac, Fishkill Farms:
Farmer Ezra Arao recommends this simple recipe for cooking up this celery relative, which is grown for its root, rather than its shoots.
Remove greens. Rinse the root and pat dry. Finely grate the celeric, then pan fry in butter or olive oil until crispy. Arao recommends sprinkling salads, soups or mashed potatoes with this delicacy!
Roasted Brussels sproats is another favorite of Arao's:
Snap the sprouts off their stalk. Soak or wash, then drain. Cut into halves or pan-fry whole on medium-high heat with “lots of butter” til bright green. The less you cook, the more nutrients you get!
Maitake Mushroom Omelette, Madura Farms
Farmer Dan Madura offered an easy, no-frills recipe using his Maitake mushrooms (also known as “Hen of the Woods”). These mushrooms resemble a coral reef or sponge – they are round and dense. They are, as Madura says, “a nerve tonic, good for cleansing the organs.” Maitakes contain the polysaccharide Beta-d gluten, a long-chained molecule, which requires heat to be broken up so nutrients can be assimilated in the body.
First, cut off the smooth root base, leaving the sponge-like portion for cooking. Slice 1-2 Matiake mushrooms as you would bread – the mushroom will fall apart into smaller pieces. Whisk 1-2 eggs in a bowl with salt and pepper. Saute the mushrooms in about 1 Tablespoon of butter or olive oil (or a blend) for three minutes over medium heat. Pour the egg batter over the mushrooms, and fold over when cooked.
Optional: add some chopped Rosemary or Sage (“good for arthritis,” says Madura) to the egg batter for extra flavor.
“I add it to an English muffin and I’m set for the morning!” says Madura.
Madura has been growing mushrooms since 1977. His mushrooms are grown indoors in a controlled environment in Goshen, NY.
In contrast, Madura also suggests “floating” some of his delicate Enoki mushrooms in a soup or raw on top of a salad. Unlike Maitakes, the Enoki are meant to be eaten raw. Enoki mushrooms help regulate blood sugar, and are thus an excellent choice for diabetics.
Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes, Rogowski Farms
Farm staffer Kristen Kettenring loves to point out Jerusalem Artichokes (or “Sunchokes”) as a lesser-known, yet supremely delicious fall root vegetable.
“They have a soft, mild flavor – they’ll crisp up on the outside and stay creamy on the inside.”
To roast to perfection, choose your Chokes (Kettenring recommends small ones so as to forgo chopping), rinse and then toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. If using larger chokes, chop into ¼” slices first. Spread out on a baking dish and roast for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Jersusalem artichokes are very versatile – they can also be mashed like potatoes, pan fried in a skillet, or shaved raw onto salads – arugula is a good pairing.
Another fall ingredient available at Rogowski Farms is green garlic – due to severe flooding on the farm after Irene, the Rogowskis lost their garlic crop. However, the garlic continued to grow underground, and eventually the cloves split off to form new sprouts. The result is “green garlic,” a scallion-like allium with garlic flavor!
Pawlet Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Consider Bardwell Farm
Poul Price, NYC Sales Manager for Consider Bardwell Farm, touts their raw Jersey cow’s milk cheese, Pawlet, as ideal for grilled cheese sandwiches.
“It’s our favorite on the farm,” he says. Sometimes farm staff add in something else that’s in season – a tomato, or a little onion. If Chutney is on hand for dipping, so much the better.
If these recipes don’t whet your appetite, stop by the farmers market for some ready-made samples to alight your taste buds and ignite your cooking aspirations, such as spicy sausage from DiPaola Turkey Farm, or Japanese Long Beans tossed in garlic and olive oil from Lani’s Farm.
Add to this more options like Sweet Potato Leaves at Lani’s, seasonal fish like Black Fish and Striped Bass at Seatuck Fish Company and seasonal fruit like apples and pears at Fishkill Farms, and you’ve got plenty to try out in the kitchen this fall… If temperatures drop to a suitably autumnal level, that is.