Autumn brings a wonderful time of year to the Central Coast: harvest! All around the county tons of delicious produce is being gathered to be enjoyed through fresh recipes and new flavors. We’re lucky to have plentiful farmers markets on the Central Coast, from the famous downtown San Luis Obispo market on Thursday evenings to the oceanfront market in Pismo Beach on Wednesdays. We’re giving you the chance to gather some of the season’s best crops and whip up some amazing new recipes! So head down to one of the Central Coast’s fun and festive farmers market to enjoy this fall produce guide.
Apples are a staple any time of year, but autumn brings some of the most delicious, ripe varieties available! Try out this recipe for baked apples to spice up your average, go-to apple dessert or create a unique addition to a yummy dinner.
• 2 cups dried cranberries
• 1 & 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 cup water
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 6 Gala apples, cored and chopped
Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe dish. Microwave at high fro 20 minutes or until apples are soft. Stir occasionally during cooking.
Mushrooms are at their peak during the fall season, meaning these earthly, hearty vegetables are at their most delicious right now! When purchasing mushrooms, look for even colors and firmness to ensure they’re perfectly ripened. For the perfect side dish to any dinner, try these butter-thyme mushrooms! The best part is most of these ingredients are available fresh and organic from your local farmers market, or you already have available in your refridgerator!
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
• 3/8 teaspoon salt
• 2 (8 oz) packages pre-sliced cremini mushrooms
• 1/3 cup dry white wine
• 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add oil and shallots. Cook for about 1 minute, until shallots are tender. Next, add salt and mushrooms to be cooked for approximately 13 minutes. Mushrooms should be brown and liquid should begin evaporating. Add wine to pan and cook for 2 more minutes. Finally, stir in thyme to be cooked for only 30 seconds, then enjoy!
Pumpkins and fall are the perfect pair! Pumpkins are an obvious choice for a fun Halloween carving activity, and most even love to roast all of those unused seeds for a tasty snack. Pumpkins are also a delicious way to bring fall flavors into any meal, with its rich taste and amazing versatility. There’s nothing better than enjoying a cool, fall day with some hearty soup, so try out this yummy and simple recipe to utilize our favorite fall vegetable.
• 2 whole pie pumpkins
• 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1/3 cup maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon nutmeg
• salt to taste
• extra cream for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and when reaching temperature, cook pumpkins on a cookie sheet until shriveled and soft. Allow pumpkins to cool, then slice in half, scoop out seeds, and remove flesh into a bowl to be used for soup. Heat up pumpkin flesh in a pot on medium head, then add the stock and maple syrup. When simmering, mash out large chunks and then transfer to a blender or food processor to be pureed. Add cream and nutmeg and finish blending. Enjoy!
Figs actually have two seasons, a short one in summer and a longer, more substantial season in fall. Cooking with figs often seem like a daunting task to some home-cookers, seemingly like something only for chefs or trained cooks. Figs are actually surprisingly easy to work with though, and add a touch of elegance to even the most simple dish! Try out this fig appetizer for your next gathering, sure to be a delicious crowd pleaser.
• 1/4 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
• 8 dried figs
• 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
• 1 tablespoon honey
Toast the pistachios in a dry skilled over medium heat for about 2 minutes. After cooling, chop pistachios coarsely and set aside. Then, cut each in half crosswise so they sit easily on a serving dish. Make a small indentation into the cut side of each fig with a small spoon or your finger. Put 1/2 teaspoon of ricotta cheese into each fig and then top with pistachios. Drizzle with honey and serve!