Written by Nicole Oveisi, Fair Farms Intern
With one more month left in the season, we thought it would be fun to share our favorite fall ingredients and recipes! Check out each staff member’s top pick and information about where to find these seasonal favorites.
Bernard’s Pumpkin Beer Bread
Bernard is the Communications and Outreach Associate for Waterkeepers Chesapeake and works closely on the Fair Farms campaign. His seasonal favorite is pumpkin beer! According to Bernard, Maryland’s must-try pumpkin beer is the Great’ER Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer. With this pumpkiny beverage, Bernard enjoys baking this delicious, seasonal bread.
- 3 cups flour (sifted)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder (omit if using self-rising flour)
- 1 teaspoon salt (omit if using self-rising flour)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 can (12 ounces) of pumpkin beer
- ½ cup of melted butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix dry ingredients, then stir in beer. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes!
Cindy’s Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes
Cindy the Administrative Manager and Bookkeeper for Waterkeepers Chesapeake. Her fall go-to are the vibrant purple sweet potatoes! There is one vendor at the JFX Farmers Market in Baltimore that grows these. However, she did find some that were locally-grown at MOM’s Organic Market in Hampden. Her recipe is inspired by Know Your Produce.
- 2 purple sweet potatoes
- ½ small red onion
- 1 tablespoon high smoke point cooking oil
- Salt to taste
- Parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop up purple sweet potatoes and red onion into small pieces. Toss veggies in oil and place onto baking sheet. Bake for 15 minute and then toss. Continue baking another 10-15 minutes or until desired crispiness. Season with salt and garnish with parsley!
Her “next to favorite” fall produce are the Black Twig or Black Arkansas apples. She gets them at either 32nd Street Farmers Market or JFX Farmers Market. Be sure to try them! Enjoy them straight up or in an apple pie.
Shelby’s Chicken of the Woods Farro Risotto
Shelby is Fair Farms’ Campaign Manager and has been working for the campaign for almost five years. Her seasonal must-have is Chicken of the Woods mushrooms. If you are feeling adventurous, you may forage for some in the woods (or a friend’s backyard), however, if the weather doesn’t permit, Shelby suggests King Mushrooms at 32nd Street Farmers Market! If unavailable, substitute with another mushroom of your choice. Farro is available at Migrash Farm in Baltimore County.
- 8 cups of vegetable stock
- 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter (can substitute with vegan alternative)
- 2 large yellow onions, sliced
- 2 lbs of Chicken of the Woods mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
- 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme
3 cups of Farro from Migrash Farm
- 2 cups of dry white wine
- 1 ½ cups of nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
Put butter in Dutch Oven or heavy-bottomed pan. Add mushrooms and onions and cook on medium heat until onions become translucent. Add garlic, thyme, and farro and cook until farro starts to crackle (about 2-3 minutes). Add vegetable stock and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid, add white wine, and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is cooked down. Once dish is finished cooking add lemon juice, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper.
Robin’s Butternut Squash Soup
Nothing says autumn more than butternut squash! Robin, Waterkeepers Chesapeake’s Deputy Director, told us she uses various recipes for her soup, but she usually just wings it. While she grows them in her front yard garden, she suggested a great place to get butternut squash and other fresh veggies is at Westover Farmers Market in Arlington, VA. This recipe is inspired by The Pioneer Woman.
- 2 lbs of cubed butternut squash
- 1 medium onion, halved and sliced into wedges
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of avocado oil (can substitute with other heat-safe oil)
- 2 cups of chicken broth (can replace with vegetable broth)
- 1 can (about 13 ounces) of coconut milk or heavy whipping cream
- Salt and pepper
Place squash, onion, and garlic cloves on baking sheet. Toss with oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, tossing occasionally. Put roasted items into large pot, add broth and heat to a simmer. Let simmer for about 5 minutes before using a hand-held blender to puree. Stir in milk or cream. Add more salt if needed.
Morgan’s Southern-style Candied Garnet Yams
Morgan is the Staff Attorney at Waterkeepers Chesapeake and spends time working on the Fair Farms campaign, especially during legislative session. Her favorite fall ingredient is the garnet yam. The “fabulous root veggie” appears in a lot of family recipes, most notably used for candied yams. In an effort to curb confusion on yams and sweet potatoes, Morgan sent us this chart to help spot the differences. Morgan suggests grabbing these delicious garnets from the Takoma Park Farmers Market. Additionally, Catherine’s Kitchen in D.C. is a soul food restaurant that also serves phenomenal candied yams, and they offer both pickup and delivery. Her recipe is inspired by I Heart Recipes.
- 5 garnet yams
- 8 tablespoons of butter
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon of ground clove
- ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- ¼ cup of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel and chop yams and place onto baking dish. Melt butter in pot. Mix in both brown and white sugar and all spices. Turn stove off and add vanilla extract. Cover all yams with candied mixture. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove yams, and baste in candied mixture. Cover dish with foil and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and let sit for 10 minutes before serving!
Nicole’s Vegan ‘Fesenjan’
Pomegranates are finally in season! This means Nicole, Fair Farms’ Communication Intern, will be cooking her favorite meal, “Fesenjan” (pronounced fess-en-joon) for the next three months straight. It’s a Persian stew made with pomegranates, walnuts, and (traditionally) chicken, however Nicole’s dish requires no animal products. The dish sits perfectly atop a bed of fluffy Basmati rice. You can find fresh pomegranates at Eastern Market, D.C. as well as many others, or you can order some from Caspian House of Kabob in Gaithersburg, MD.
- 1 ½ large yellow onion
- 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 8 ounces of walnut halves
- 3/4 cup of pomegranate concentrate
- ½ cup of pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup of cold water
- Salt and pepper
In a large stockpot, fry onions with vegetable oil until golden brown. Add walnuts to food processor until it becomes a tan paste, then add water into the processor. Add walnut paste, salt and pepper to onions. Drizzle in pomegranate concentrate and seeds to pot. On medium heat, bring pot to a boil (avoid high heat so the pomegranate doesn’t burn), then reduce to a medium-low heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Reduce heat again to low and simmer for an additional hour or until the sauce has thickened. Stir periodically to make sure sauce isn’t sticking to pot. Serve over Persian steamed rice.