Holy pumpkins, people! It must be the advent of fall, judging from the number of posts already live about pumpkin this, pumpkin that. While your social media feeds may be indicating that pumpkin everything is already in full swing (and thus, unofficially, the fall season is upon us already!), Sunday, September 22 marks the official beginning of fall – us summer-lovers still have a few more days to get seasonal summer everything. I also love the fall season, but I tend to be one of those people who scoffs at the sight of Christmas decorations in stores the day after Labor day. Let’s enjoy the present just a tad bit longer, eh?
All kidding aside, I’m personally still in the mood for a little summer cooking, and I found myself wondering how to extend summer – but still incorporate the fall everything that’s turning up all around us.
One fun way to mark the transition between summer and fall (and to get yourself ready for all those scrumptious fall flavors!) is to combine each season’s staples over the coming weeks – think summer staple meals with fall touches, and fall meals with a summery feel. Or, maybe you just need to use up what’s left of your summer harvest. Either way, here are just a few ideas for some summer-fall combining action:
- If winter squashes are already showing up in your grocery store or farmer’s market, bake them up with summer fillings. For example, filling a squash with a summery pineapple and tomato salsa is sure to confuse (and simultaneously excite) your taste buds.
- Excited for baked apple crisp desserts? Bake one up in your traditional style, but instead of adding any sort of heavy, creamy topping, add some summery chopped kiwi slices for a juicy, tangy twist. Watermelon pieces could also add an unexpected flavor pop.
- Top a pumpkin pie (or cupcake, or latte, or pumpkin anything, really) with fresh blueberries.
- Brussels sprouts are divine when sautéed up with some olive oil, pine nuts, and thinly-sliced apple slices.
- Add peach salsa to the top of a baked sweet potato for a delicious treat.
- The almighty kale is best in fall/winter – add a tropical feel by sprinkling a mix of chopped strawberries and pecans to a heaping pile of steamed kale.
- Making stuffing already? Add chopped zucchini to your mix instead of celery for an unexpected punch of flavor. Sautéed eggplant or fresh garden peas are some other summery optional additions!
- Pecan pie can be livened up with a topping of chopped peaches or apricots.
- Still longing for the cooling taste of cucumber? Make a summer-fall spritzer with cool water, sliced cucumbers, and fresh cranberries.
- Cooking up cabbage? Throw in some sweet summer peppers for a flavorful kick.
Try these ideas to extend that summer feeling just a little bit longer – fall will be here before we know it, and this is just one way to keep your toes-in-the-sand memories afloat well into the snow that’s just around the corner.
Image Source: L’eau Bleue/Flickr