Fall Food!
October 7, 2009 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Help me plan a vegetarian, autumn-inspired menu!

I'm cooking for a lovely group of friends, all hilarious young women, one vegetarian. We cook for each other about once a month and the meals have been getting more and more impressive!

I know I'm going to make a pumpkin pie for dessert because pumpkin pies are awesome! I love them.

And I wouldn't mind a savory apple dish as part of the main course. And if there is some hint of traditionally-Jewish food that would be good, too. I've been looking into making latkes, but frying things . . . well, that is straight-up tricky for this girl. And I've heard the baked ones aren't so scrumptious.

Simplicity is good.
posted by ihavepromisestokeep to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Diced red potatoes tossed with a little seasoning/herbs and oil then broiled are very quick and easy. They can also be seasoned to match whatever meal you are making.
posted by stubborn at 10:08 AM on October 7, 2009

Ratatouille is technically primarily made up of late summer vegetables, but it's always struck me as a fall dish.

It's not quite savory, but Apple Roesti is an easy to make, moderately sweet dessert that absolutely smacks of fall to me. Here's a great video showing its preparation.
posted by jedicus at 10:13 AM on October 7, 2009

Cubed squash, tossed with a couple tablespoons of flour, some parsley, three or four chopped cloves of garlic, a few tablespoons olive oil, in a 325 degree oven for a couple of hours, coupled with a spinach salad with sunflower seeds, gorgonzola cheese, an apple or pear, red onion. Crusty bread.

Pinot noir.

I'm coming over.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:14 AM on October 7, 2009 [7 favorites]

I humbly recommend my kale, chickpea, quinoa concoction.
posted by rmless at 10:25 AM on October 7, 2009


It's a one dish meal, very warm and satisfying. It's like sophisticated comfort food. The recipe linked above is with butternut squash, but you can substitute what ever squash or veg you'd like. A combination I just saw (but haven't personally tested) is apples, pumpkin and caramelized onions.

I'm totally in love with this sweet potato soup. Start with an arugula, roasted beet, walnut, goat cheese salad with a simple balsamic vinaigrette, and I don't think you could get more fall/wintery.
posted by fontophilic at 10:42 AM on October 7, 2009 [3 favorites]

Sauteed mushrooms over polenta, topped with parmesan.

Squash soup with homemade croutons- I like a little kick of cayenne in mine.
posted by mkultra at 10:45 AM on October 7, 2009

Butternut squash lasagna. Not figure friendly in the least, but amazingly delicious. Makes me think of fall every time. (I've done that one with out the hazelnuts.)
posted by misskaz at 10:59 AM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yes, squash soup! I actually had a really delicious butternut squash & tart apple soup last night. Also, potato soup! Or butternut squash risotto!

Apple stuff is traditional for this time of year (though it's a little bit past Rosh Hashanah). Don't bother with latkes -- it's too early in the year for those anyway.
posted by oh really at 11:01 AM on October 7, 2009

My wife and I have been playing with fall flavors lately in our cooking, so I have a few suggestions:

Pumpkin, Feta, and Cilantro Quesadillas. This things are addictive and delicious. We make a whole bunch of the pumpkin at once, because it keeps rather well in the fridge - or at least the for few days that we manage to keep it around. Fresh Feta makes it even better.

Butternut Squash Risotto. Also amazing. Cover with a bit of fresh bleu cheese for something that's even tastier (according to my wife. I can't stand the stuff).
posted by SNWidget at 11:28 AM on October 7, 2009 [2 favorites]

Roasted potatoes, parsnips, carrots, onions, garlic, and tart apples. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, some spice and some good-smelling herbs, and you're good.
posted by dizziest at 11:36 AM on October 7, 2009

Cornbread stuffing with chopped apples! Recipes are easy to find, leave out sausage if it calls for it and make sure any broth you use is vegetable.

When I was vegan, I used to split a squash in half lengthwise, fill the cavity with stuffing, and cover both halves with foil. Bake until a knife jammed into the squash goes through easily.
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:41 AM on October 7, 2009

Vegetarian shepherd's pie, I made this last night for dinner, just chucking in the vegetables I had available, and used shiitake mushrooms to make the gravy. I skipped the nuts, because it is already heavy enough. Good god, was it delicious. It makes plenty of leftovers, to boot.
posted by msali at 11:42 AM on October 7, 2009

Sliced persimmons, if you can get persimmons in your area, are an excellent side to autumn-y veggie dishes, or as a good before or after snack for that in-between palate clearing.
posted by runaway ballista at 12:16 PM on October 7, 2009

Another vote for ratatouille -- very simple and autumn-y to me, too. Here's how I make it (note that I forgot to mention that you can throw in a couple of bay leaves at the beginning, right after sauteeing the onions/garlic, and that in the fall I prefer using dried tarragon in lieu of fresh basil at the end).
posted by scody at 1:12 PM on October 7, 2009

Nthing the fact that ratatouille is dead easy and impressive. My version is here.

Butternut squash makes a great soup and it's totally seasonal, too. The one we make at my house (has an Indian Subcontinent twist) is here. Remember to use veggie stock instead of chicken stock if cooking for vegetarians.

Apple pie is always appropriate but it'll also make a cobbler or a crisp if you're not in the mood to deal with a full-on pie. Stayman Winesaps are my favorite for baking and have just come in season at my local orchard.
posted by which_chick at 2:22 PM on October 7, 2009

This delicious sweet potato salad was a big hit at a recent potluck. (Courtesy of the NY Times - The Minimalist: A Potato Salad of a Different Color (September 30, 2009))

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 large onion, preferably red, chopped

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh hot chili, like jalapeƱo

1 clove garlic, peeled

Juice of 2 limes

2 cups cooked black beans, drained (canned are fine)

1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro.

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put sweet potatoes and onions on a large baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, toss to coat and spread out in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until potatoes begin to brown on corners and are just tender inside, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven; keep on pan until ready to mix with dressing.

2. Put chilies in a blender or mini food processor along with garlic, lime juice, remaining olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Process until blended.

3. Put warm vegetables in a large bowl with beans and bell pepper; toss with dressing and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to a day.

Yield: 4 servings.
posted by cachondeo45 at 6:00 PM on October 7, 2009 [2 favorites]

bell peppers stuffed with rice. Cook rice with diced tomato, basil, mint, parsley, garlic, almonds. Peppers get roasted in the oven on a cookie sheet with a little water, then stuffed with rice and then back in the oven again. I'm sure there are lots of great recipes online. I like the one in the Vegan Table cookbook.
posted by sadtomato at 7:42 PM on October 7, 2009

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