As we ease into these cooler months, we tend to crave warm, heartwarming comfort foods like roasts, stews, casseroles and soups. Though it probably doesn’t first come to mind when thinking of autumn and winter foods, salad certainly shouldn’t be an option that’s taken off the (dinner) table. Sure, iceberg with Ranch dressing will be a little out of season to serve, but there are many other roughage and topping ingredients that are plentiful in the produce aisle during these next two seasons. Apples, avocado, citrus, beets, figs, and grapes, are great fruit and vegetable options, while arugula, spinach, escarole, baby kale, and endive all make great lettuce bases.
A great example of a salad that’s fit to serve in fall or winter is the following recipe that features citrus, crisp and salty Pancetta, hearty baby kale greens and a tangy, salty, sweet vinaigrette. Best of all, this salad can be served warm, as the vinaigrette is essentially cooked and and be rewarmed on the stove top just before serving if need be.
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Get a taste of fall with this one-pan roast chicken and sausage recipe
It’s funny how the autumnal equinox can make an almost immediate change in the weather — with the overnight switch from summer to fall you can start to smell the faint hint of autumn in the air almost overnight. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I swear the slightest breeze feels just a tad cooler the day after the calendar date of this change of seasons. And with this real or imagined cooler weather comes the itch to crank up my oven and start using the warm and comforting flavors of this time of year. Hearty herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme are hallmarks of fall tastes; citrus, apples and pears are in season, and baking and roasting are the cooking methods that prevail.
For my first recipe of the season, I’m giving plain old chicken an injection of fall flavors with the addition of rosemary, orange and smoked sausage in a one-pan roast. Pan-seared chicken legs and thighs are nestled in a bed of onion, apple, smoked sausage, seasoned with orange zest and fresh rosemary, and then roasted to golden-brown perfection in the oven.
On its own or paired with a few sides, this dish is a savory and flavorsome addition to your autumn recipe repertoire. It’s also very versatile: use lemon in place of the orange, sage or thyme to replace the rosemary, and you can even switch up the smoked sausage and use cured Spanish chorizo in its place.
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Have you been to the grocery store and seen the prices on produce these days? No wonder people don’t want to buy fresh food that’s actually good for them, when they can save a buck by buying processed, pre-packaged food that is full of chemicals and fake ingredients. It’s also dejecting to think how far food travels before it reaches our tables — going from farm to processing and packing plants, then shipped off hundreds of miles away to grocery stores.
I am making a personal effort to buy more locally grown food. It saves me money and it keeps the local farmers in business. Last weekend, I ventured out to Plant City to check out some of the local farmers’ markets and found Parkesdale Farms Market. Parkesdale Farm has been in operation by the Parke family since 1956, growing an array of vegetables, fruits, and various plants and flowers over hundreds of acres. They are now the largest strawberry, citrus, and produce market in Florida. Read the rest of this entry