Put down those potatoes, people. Here at FN Dish, we’re spending a little quality time with one of the most under-appreciated veggie around: the turnip. Odds are it’s not the star of your fall spread. Heck, maybe you’ve never even cooked this root vegetable before. Well, now that turnips are in season, they’re smaller, sweeter and bound to woo you.
More closely related to peppery arugula and radishes than beets or even potatoes, turnips come with loads of benefits. Not only do turnips add a quick zip to sides, mains and more, they’re also inexpensive, meaning you can load up on them at the store. Turnips are loaded with nutrients, especially if you hang on to the greens. Saute, roast, mash or blanch your turnips. Hey, you can even take ‘em raw in a salad.
Turnips are capable of making a statement on the table. Food Network Magazine’s Turnip Gratin with Almonds (pictured above) comes out of the oven bubbling and sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbs, while Herbed Leg of Lamb with Roasted Turnips gives turnips a celebratory edge.
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I am of the belief that collard greens are perpetually misunderstood. Most people I know think these greens can be served only one way — paired with a hunk of smoked meat and cooked until they’re limp and olive-colored.
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against this particular approach and have always appreciated a serving of long-braised greens. It’s just that I think it’s time to broaden our approach to the humble, healthy collard. Who knows, maybe we’ll make it as popular as its cousin kale!
My collard conversion started a few years back. I had gotten yet another bunch in my CSA share and needed desperately to free up some space in the crisper. Without time for a long braise, I decided to treat the collard greens like Swiss chard.
I cut them into thin ribbons and sauteed them in olive oil with lots of slivered garlic until they were just limp. My first bite was uncertain, as I assumed they’d be tough and chewy (because why else would you need to cook them for hours?). But I was delighted to discover they were tender and had married deliciously with the garlic.
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Pull on your first sweater of the season and the craving for all things pumpkin spice immediately sets in. This traditional flavor hinges on seasonality, influencing our lattes, air fresheners and baked goods as soon as the air turns crisp. Though pumpkins from the patch may lead to stoop decoration, they never seem to reach the table. We use canned store-bought pumpkin year after year and pie after pie.
The canned option is convenient, often coming with spice and without the daunting task of dismembering a whole pumpkin. Though getting down to the flesh of a pumpkin — especially that of the smaller, sweeter sugar pumpkin — is a rewarding undertaking. This fall, do more with pumpkin than carving grinning jack-o’-lanterns. Slice it into chunks, use it for its seeds or transform it into a homemade Pumpkin Puree, like Alton’s. These recipes using fresh pumpkin are a great place to start.
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Nothing signals the beginning of the holiday season more than pumpkins do, and just as they start showing up on front porches across the country, they make their way into our kitchens too. Of course it’s possible to cook using fresh pumpkin, but I think that for almost every application, canned pumpkin puree just works better. Fresh pumpkin tends to be a little watery, but canned puree is smooth, rich and flavorful every time. Canned pumpkin is a delicious addition to all kinds of dishes, sweet and savory, and Food Network Magazine’s October booklet has 50 inspiring canned pumpkin recipes for the holidays.
The Pumpkin Pasta Alfredo (pictured above) and Pumpkin Oatmeal are two of my top picks, but another of my favorites didn’t make the list: Curried Pumpkin Ketchup. This spiced ketchup is really easy to make and is truly delicious. In the test kitchen, we sampled it on fries and loved it, and I think it would taste great slathered all over a meatloaf sandwich.
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Coming up with 50 of anything for Food Network Magazine‘s monthly 50-recipe booklet can be daunting — in the past, the booklet has featured 50 tacos, 50 stuffed potatoes and 50 muffins. But this month Food Network Kitchens tackled a single ingredient: canned pumpkin.
Put this fall favorite to good use in soups, scones and more.
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Though I adore the strawberries, plums and peaches of summer, by the time fall rolls around each year, I am ready for apples. To me, they are a sign of cooler weather, cozy evenings and a slightly slower pace of life.
When they’re in season, I often buy apples by the half bushel. One of my favorite local orchards offers an amazing deal at our Sunday farmers market. You can fill up an entire crate of apples for $20. It means that they’re able to move a mountain of apples and I feel like I’m getting a bargain. The only trouble is that I then have 20+ pounds of apples to eat, use and preserve.
And so, I get to sorting and cooking. I fill up one whole crisper drawer with the best-looking apples for eating whole or slicing to dip in peanut butter (that is one of my all-time favorite snacks). I make applesauce, apple butter and little jars of honey-colored jelly.
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It’s officially fall. I know this not because I went shopping and saw Christmas decorations this weekend (although I did), but because I’ve seen the numerous Facebook photos of people posing with their first pumpkin lattes of the season. Meanwhile, I barely managed to get the requisite first day of school photo posted of my actual children, let alone of a cup of coffee. So if I am to believe Facebook and Twitter (I do), then autumn has arrived somewhere in the United States. I take that on faith, however, because I’m living in a heat wave without the benefit of air conditioning in either my home or office. People are raving about the joys of wearing a cardigan, while we are taking cold showers and standing under the ceiling fan to cool down before we crawl into blanket-less beds at night. We are not seeking out and photographing steamy drinks.
But I have a love affair with all things pumpkin, and it lasts all year long. I’ll open a big can, freeze half and stick the rest in the fridge to fortify muffins, thicken a soup or make a smoothie. It’s full of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and a few grams of protein — a veritable nutritional bargain at 50 calories a serving. (I remind us all that this is squash. We drink squash with our coffee. I love America.)
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When apple crisp, apple crumble, apple pie and all things apple start flooding your recipe wish list, you don’t need to look at the calendar to know that fall is right where we want it. Apples are the stars of this coveted season — and rightfully so. We lug them by the bagful from the produce section and, sometimes, we even trek to the nearest farm to do the picking ourselves.
As the old adage goes — say it with me now — “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Instead of relegating apples to dessert, start strong by incorporating crisp, juicy apples into your breakfast regiment — or add them to the brunch table if you’re sleeping in. These apple recipes make any morning meal a celebration.
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This week, FN Dish is trading in the grill-kissed ears of corn and pitchers of iced tea for the comforting dishes of early fall. And, hey, who’s complaining? To ring in the crisp air, pumpkin lattes and all that screams fall, we’re turning to the potato to reintroduce our favorite seasonal recipes.
As an ingredient, the potato straddles the line between french fry and mashed potatoes, so it’s the perfect ingredient to usher us into these first days of fall. Each of these potato dishes will remind you of all that we’ve been missing. Many are rich — and all are comforting.
When pureed, potatoes make for a mean soup. Smooth and filling, Ina’s Roasted Potato Leek Soup is nice and elegant, and it works as the idyllic dinner party starter. Food Network Magazine’s Curried Sweet Potato Apple Soup is perfect for a special family meal, especially during those first few weeks of the school year. As for Alton’s Leftover Baked Potato Soup, leftover baked potatoes are reborn in a soup that’s silky, luxurious and super rich.
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You know when you have a good batch of grapes on your hands. Each sphere of green or red deliciousness is firm — never bruised — and comes down with an almost audible burst before flooding your mouth with sweet, tart lusciousness. They typically require little intervention; we’ll pop ‘em straight from the fridge or zip them into baggies for easy eating.
Well get this: Grapes are perfectly in-season right now, so they’re extra crispy and juicy. With this in mind, FN Dish is ringing in Wednesday by showcasing some seriously grape-forward recipes. This time, grapes go way beyond PB and J with the crusts cut off.
Let’s face it, grapes are meant to mingle with cheese. Food Network Magazine’s recipe for Sweet Roasted Grapes simmers the fruit in honey until syrupy, keeping the spherical texture of grapes for a different cheese mate. Next, Food Network Magazine’s Grape-Walnut Conserve is bright and zesty when smeared on a cheese-donned baguette, especially with its merging of orange zest, raisins and lemon. And though tapenade is typically made of chopped or pureed olives to spread on bread, Food Network Magazine turns to fresh, juicy grapes for a sweet Cheese Plate with Grape Tapenade that’s fit for the most elegant dinner party.
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