Fall Bounty and Winter Toad Melons
Post and Photos by Barb Skinner
Late fall is a wonderful time in the NW growing season, and while my own urbanized inclination is to think that keeping locally grown nutritious veggies in my diet is more difficult, nothing could be farther from the truth! It’s more important now than ever to have delicious and healthy recipes up your sleeve.
Yes it’s cold, and yes Portland Farmers Market is down to one weekly market on Saturdays at PSU, but the opportunities that root vegetables and winter crops present are truly exciting IF you have some interesting recipes to try. Allow me to expound…
A lack of fresh summer berries can seem like a major loss in the fruit category, but PFM currently has delicious pears, apples, and Winter Toad Melon… wait WHAT? If you have never heard of Winter Toad Melon (like me), you are missing out. This delicious winter melon, like rich honeydew, has allowed me move on from those succulent summer berries. Stop by the La Mancha Orchard booth to sample it yourself. Another wonderful market treat is Kiyokawa Orchard’s Mt. Rose Apples – with a beautiful pink interior and crisp flavor, these are perfect to munch on or to make a beautiful cobbler!
The options for winter squash are endless and many of the vendors have them coming out the ears. Roasting almost any type of winter squash with potatoes, onion, rutabega, carrots, or whatever you have around the house with some simple herbs draws out its deep and delicious flavors, and it’s fun to get creative! Try this savory vegan Pumpkin and Sage Pasta as an alternative to a fattier mac’n’cheese.
Late fall also yields some oddballs like celery root – this potato salad alternative is a light option, especially if you sub Greek yogurt for the mayo. But even if more unusual recipes like this are not your style, the beauty of Portland in late fall is that greens are available all year long for traditional salads too.
Speaking of both squash and salads, PFM staff will be at Director Park this Saturday from 2-4pm cooking up two tasty dishes to simplify your holiday cooking: a raw kale and chickpea salad as well as sauteed delicata squash with chili. Stop by to sample the goods and pick up the recipes!
Barb this is so inspiring to a New Englander who has limited options for winter food creativity. Thanks for your recipies and creativity.