A taste of fall: Local farmers share their go-to autumnal dishes

The Recorder, October 30, 2018, by Andy Castillo

Pumpkins are everywhere this time of year. They decorate doorsteps and kitchen tables. They’re for sale outside supermarkets. They overflow from farmstands on the side of the road, and at a recent Tuesday Market in Northampton, along with gourds and roots, they were a seasonal centerpiece at most booths.

As shoppers browsed for groceries, a few farmers paused to share some of their seasonal favorites.

Red Fire Farm

Along with pot roasts and pumpkin pie, Claire Brodhead of Red Fire Farm in Montague said her favorite dish to make around this time is stuffed honeynut squash.

Honeynut squash is sweeter and richer than butternut squash, Brodhead said, and a little smaller — perfect for one person without much cleanup if the squash is used as a bowl.

“They’re a good size,” said Brodhead, who most recently roasted a squash with beans, cilantro, onions and Swish cheese on top.

Hart Farm

At Conway-based Hart Farm’s booth, Anna Meyer said that besides stuffed vegetables, she enjoys cooking with rutabaga, a root vegetable similar to a potato or turnip.

“They’re nice to roast with other vegetables,” Meyer said. She also mashes them like potatoes, mixes them into stews, or cuts them into strips to make fries “with some salt and herbs like thyme.”

Old Friends Farm

At the Old Friends Farm booth, Emily Coble said she adds a teaspoon of fresh turmeric to rice and a teaspoon of ginger to her smoothies for a little bit of the seasonal flavor.

Beside her at the cash register, Meghan Ecclesine suggested “roasting sweet potatoes with a little bit of maple syrup,” or roasting butternut squash with a scoop of peanut butter.

“Carrots are good with maple syrup, too,” Ecclesine said.

Crabapple Farm

“We’re getting into the colder season. It’s time for roasting and stews,” said Tevis Robertson-Goldberg of Crabapple Farm in Chesterfield. “The summertime is quick-cooking season. This is the time you can do slower cooking.”

With his wife, Rachel, who was helping to manage the booth, Robertson-Goldberg often makes a pot roast with meat and potatoes, onions, garlic and various seasonal vegetables like cauliflower, artichokes, brussels sprouts or squash. Because he piles the roast on top of the vegetables, the meat cooks a little bit slower than it would without them, and it’s tender on the bottom and slightly glazed on top.

“(My wife and I) have slightly different tastes on how we like our meat cooked,” Robertson-Goldberg said.