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Eating Seasonally: A Taste of Autumn

The Gather Company


Eating seasonally is one of the best ways to enjoy all that nature has to offer. In-season produce is less expensive, fresher, tastes better, and is more likely to be produced locally. Not sure what’s in season? Or what to do once you leave the grocery store? Check out some of our Fall favorites below!


“Root” Vegetables

Sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips oh my! Break out the roasting pan and EVOO ‘cause these starchy vegetables are best right now. We like to serve up these ultimate comfort veggies in every way possible, but our absolute favorite? One word, wait for it: Agrodolce. This Italian sweet and sour technique gives these vegetables that “extra something” and it’s easy to do!

For Fall, we like to reduce equal parts of apple cider vinegar with real maple syrup over medium to medium-high heat (try ¼ cup of each for your first time and adjust from there). Once the mixture has thickened to where it coats the back of your spoon and leaves a clean space when you drag your finger along it, toss the reduction with your favorite sauteed, roasted, or caramelized root vegetable. We LOVE agrodolce caramelized onions and butternut squash. Eat it on toast, toss it in a salad, fold into pasta....You can thank us later.

Some to try: Beets, Carrots, Celeriac, Garlic, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Rutabagas, Shallots, Sweet Potato, Sunchokes, Turnips, Winter Squash


Fall Fruit

Hooray! You took the kids apple picking! Now what? When life gives you apples you’ll most likely make apple pie. But with all the stick-to-your-ribs comfort foods you’ll be stuffed with this season, we like to search for ways to lighten things up. For this we often turn to fall fruits for a nice sweet crunch. Try a fresh apple slaw to go with those pork chops. Sprinkle some pomegranate seeds on that grain salad, or make a second meal of that rotisserie chicken with our seasonal take on chicken salad.

No-Recipe Waldorf Chicken Salad:                                                                                                         Toss pulled chicken (or turkey), diced apples, celery, halved grapes, and green onions with whole grain mustard and Hellmann's Mayo (it’s the only mayo as far as we’re concerned). Add chopped walnuts, almonds, or pecans for extra texture and heartiness if you’d like. Serve on croissants, your favorite sandwich bread, crackers or just a fork!

Some to try: Apples, Cranberries, Grapes, Pears, Persimmons, Pomegranates


Side-Dish Staples

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, Fall is the time when supermarkets begin stocking up on entertaining favorites. (Eek!) Have no fear, we’re here to help. When planning your dinner-party or upcoming holiday menu, opt for easy and reliable side dishes that pack a punch.  

Try roasted brussels sprouts sprinkled with bacon lardons and dried cranberries, Sauteed green beans topped with quick-pickled shallots, or try tossing broccoli and cauliflower florets with a liberal amount of olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice and thyme. When in a real bind, “browned-butter-anything” topped with hazelnuts is your answer. We’ll save that dry turkey for another post.

Some to try: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Green Beans, Leeks, Mushrooms, Parsley, Rapini, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme


Salady Things

Salad. Such a general term for all things delicious. While others wait all year for their pumpkin-spiced-thing, we’re just over here waiting for hearty salad season. We love the grains, fresh fruit, roasted veggies, nuts, and the dressings! Sweet, acidic and salty, they can’t be beat. So here’s a few tips on Autumnal salad making.

  1. Kale - No one wants to look like Bessy chewing cud. Please do everyone a favor, toss the greens in dressing early, massage the dressing into the leaves to break them down or cut the leaves into thin manageable ribbons.
  2. Chicory Salads - These greens are so flavorful it’s best to keep the dressing simple. Highlight the spice in the greens with a light lemony vinaigrette and just a hint of honey. Be sure to sprinkle a little sea salt and fresh cracked pepper right on the salad.
  3. Focus on your cuts - When making a hearty salad it’s easy to dump everything under the sun into the ‘ole salad bowl. But if you take the time to think about the composition of the salad it can really knock your socks off. Try shaving dense vegetables and leaving some softer lettuces larger. It’s all about texture. Sprinkle in a variety of nuts, some chewy dried cranberries, some salty soft cheese and really celebrate the harvest!

Some to try: Belgian Endive, Cabbage, Celery, Chard, Escarole, Fennel (don’t forget the fronds), Frisee, Kale, Kohlrabi, Radicchio, Radishes (larger varieties)

What are some of your favorite Fall ingredients? Comment below!