Image: Jodi Pudge
The sheer abundance of these ingredients is enough to make us feel spoiled. Learn how to cook with some of our favourites.
Fall’s arrival is a true cause for celebration: the coziness of a favourite sweater, dinner parties that stretch late into the night and the warming notes of pumpkin spice on just about everything. But the bountiful variety at local markets is its own reason for rejoicing. Whether you’ve got Thanksgiving on the brain or are just looking forward to cooking with some of our country’s most comforting ingredients, we’ve rounded up the five foods you need to cook with this season and a few mouthwatering recipes to get you started.
Must-Make Recipe: Veggie-Stuffed Squash Bowls
If the very concept of fall were embodied in a fruit or vegetable, it would probably be in squash. Butternut and sugar pumpkin (sometimes called "pie pumpkin") tend to hog the spotlight, but across the country, we grow a number of different varieties that differ in sweetness and texture. If you’re looking to mix it up, try cooking with hubbard, buttercup, delicata, red kuri, acorn, spaghetti and kabocha varieties instead.
Must-Make Recipe: Sticky Caramel Apple Buns
In terms of iconic fall foods, apples really give squash a run for their money. Different regions in Canada grow different varieties, but the most popular nation-wide are McIntosh, Cortland, Paula Red, Spartan, Empire, Delicious and Russett.
Different apples have different applications (some melt away into the perfect applesauce, while others retain their shape after cooking and are great for pies), so choose the varietal best suited to your needs. Looking to branch out beyond sauce and pies? We rounded up 22 of our best apple recipes for you to try.
3. Root vegetables
Must-Make Recipe: Root Vegetable Salad With Dill and Yogurt Dressing
Get ready for an abundance of carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips and rutabagas. These colourful tubers are exciting enough to merit their own individual spots on this list, but we happen to love them when they’re cooked in combination.
Root vegetables don’t need a lot of fuss: A roasted platter-full is already an elegant and delicious side. That being said, they make terrific fries, a wonderful and surprising crumble and hearty, filling salads.
Must-Make Recipe: Cranberry Shortcakes
These little gems get harvested in the early fall, usually a couple weeks shy of Thanksgiving. Although some associate cranberries with the processed, store-bought gloop that comes out of a can, they can actually add tremendous brightness to a dish.
Fresh cranberries freeze well, so if you buy a bag for your holiday meal and can’t finish them all, just seal them up and freeze for later use. They’re gorgeous layered over a berry pavlova, dolloped onto shortcakes, cooked down into a rich homemade sauce, or sliced into sweet-tart bars.
5. Brussels Sprouts
Must-Make Recipe: Roasted Sweet and Spicy Brussel Sprouts
If you or someone you know doesn’t like sprouts, chances are that’s because you’ve been served them steamed or boiled in the past. Unfortunately, cooking sprouts this way releases their naturally-occurring sulfuric compounds, leading to some less-than-desirable aromas.
The good news is that there are new and improved cooking techniques for sprouts these days, which produce such delicious results, you’ll become an instant convert. Try them roasted and glazed, or thinly sliced and then creamed. For a fresh twist, give ‘em the Caesar treatment or pair them with halloumi in a vibrant salad.