By Rachel King
Everyone’s favorite season has been upon us for a while now, but have we taken full advantage of its presence? I know I haven’t, so here are a few dishes, both sweet and savory, to help you embrace fall in all its delicious glory.
Butternut Squash Soup
In my experience, butternut squash soup is one of the most underrated seasonal dishes. With its creamy base and sweet cinnamon undertones, this inviting amber orange soup delights all who consume it. If you’re feeling daring, try making it yourself on a rainy day for dinner. It will be sure to hit the spot.
There is nothing that excites me more about fall than pumpkin bread. It takes the cake for best snack between classes and it never ceases to make my taste buds melt in pleasure. The only thing that makes traditional pumpkin bread even better is chocolate chips because what isn’t better with chocolate chips? That pair is the ultimate autumn dynamic duo.
Butternut Squash Ravioli
Yes, I do have two butternut squash recipes on this list, but it’s justified because squash, along with pumpkins, are the epitome of fall. Butternut squash ravioli is the ideal balance between the sweetness of the filling and the savory flavor of the pasta. Vary the sauce for different flavor profiles; choose butter for a light and simple sauce or dress it up with a brown butter sage sauce for a more complex, rich palette.
If I could put all forms of potatoes on here, I would, but I was trying to keep this list concise, so I opted for mashed potatoes because of its tendency to be served on Thanksgiving. Mashed potatoes are pretty difficult to mess up, so they’re a great dish for beginners. They can also be easily seasoned with loads of butter, salt and pepper.
In my humble opinion, pecan pie is better than pumpkin pie, so when it returns in the fall from its year-long hiatus, so do I. Pecan pie is an ultra-sugary treat, perfect for those days when you need a pick-me-up or a guilty pleasure. Enjoy it while it lasts because this pie will go fast.
You didn’t think I would make a list without any conventional Thanksgiving dishes, now did you? And mashed potatoes don’t count. Cranberry sauce and its apt tartness perfectly complement almost every other Thanksgiving dish, from turkey to stuffing. It’s also the easiest side to make, with its only preparation step being opening a can. What’s not to love?
Apple and Brie Grilled Cheese
You wouldn’t think apple and cheese pair well together, but surprise: They really do. Brie especially works well with the apples due to its creamy and lush flavor offsetting the apple’s crisp texture and sweet juicy taste. Add caramelized onions to make this sandwich all come together. Make this simple dish for visitors to campus to show them your gourmet cooking skills or at least fool them into thinking you have them.
Apple Cider Donuts
To top off the list are apple cider donuts, the trusty treat everyone treks to the apple orchards for as soon as the leaves start to change color and the air becomes brisk. There’s nothing like biting into that sugary exterior, being flooded with hints of apple cider and having the warm fried dough melt on your tongue to bring a smile to your face. I’ll take a dozen, please!
If you haven’t had a single item on this list, you better get started while the season is still going strong. If you have, then try something new that I mentioned. You won’t be disappointed.