Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall Veggies with Herbs & Sausage

I've been working on the "Fall" section of a book proposal I'm writing, a book proposal based on this blog.

It's been easy to write because we're in the midst of autumn, and in Colorado it's turning out to be a rather cold one.

The bears have been particularly active around my cottage in Chautauqua Park foraging for the last of the apples and the now shriveling berries, and unfortunately trash, which though it's sealed in bins, the bears still manage to pillage.

Their frenzied activity, according to local bear watchers, portends a cold winter. But before we think about winter, here's what I had to say about fall in my proposal:

"As the weather transitions, our inclination to eat cooling, water-dense salads naturally shifts to a preference for warming autumnal foods such as fall's harvested vegetables: acorn squash, dense and fleshy pumpkin, egg plant, texture-rich cabbage and brussel sprouts, beets, carrots and turnips.

Softer in color compared to summer's rainbow-hued cornucopia, fall's produce is nevertheless imbued with strong, earthy flavors. We're drawn back into the kitchen to cook hot meals with those earthy root veggies which are great flavor pals to gamey-flavored turkey, pork and lamb.

Adding garlic, leeks, and rosemary to braised pumpkin or acorn squash and tossing in chunks of grilled pork and cranberry or lamb and garlic sausage makes for a deliciously warming and aromatic meal."

I love to use various kinds of sausages as an addition to hearty vegetable meals; they add great flavor and texture and make economical meals for one or more.

You may recall that earlier this year, I posted several meal ideas with golden beets (pic left).

Red beets, featured in the colander of fall veggies in the pic above, are abundant right now and would be a fabulous color addition to the simple meal to the left, which also includes chicken sausage, shelled peas, and corn.

Braising any fall veggies with onions and garlic and tossing in fresh sage, rosemary, and dried fruits like cranberries or raisins, and your choice of grilled sausage makes for a nutritious, colorful and tasty lunch or dinner.

I made the meal to left at the end of summer. It features fried green tomato, fresh cucumber and basil polenta topped with chopped chives and to the side, sliced grilled turkey sausage.

This week at Whole Foods, made-in-Colorado Continental Veal Brats are on sale for a savings of $2 per pack. I have a pack in my freezer which I intend cooking up this evening with that colander of chopped veggies above.

I'll lightly grill the brats (since they're pre-cooked), slice them, and serve them atop the veggies which I'll braise in my skillet and season with dill seed that I foraged here in Chautauqua from the drying plant.

On the side, I'll have some Seeded German Mustard; it will add piquancy to what I imagine will be a very colorful and warming autumnal meal.

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