Depending on where you live, you may think of fall as a time of culinary abundance. It’s harvest season for many of us in the northern hemisphere, the only time that cornucopia thing (hollowed goat’s horn, anyone?) comes to mind.
With all the fresh produce we work with and have at our fingertips, knowing what to do with the bounty can only help our business and our own diets.
These new cookbooks coming out this fall are laden with fresh produce creations. Use the ideas in your marketing, merchandising, sales and even in how you ship and distribute.
1. “Umami Bomb: 75 Vegetarian Recipes That Explode with Flavor,” by Raquel Pelzel
This cookbook bucks the notion that being vegetarian is somehow a discipline of denial. Umami, the fifth flavor our tongues taste besides sweet, sour, bitter and salty, is akin to savory broths, miso and meat.
In these recipes, mushrooms can pack the richness of bacon or ham in Southern blacked eyed peas and greens. Caramelized onions? Those just elevate anything. Roasted tomatoes add umph and eggplant meatballs mean alternative meat doesn’t disappoint.
I had the pleasure of peeling, coring and slicing pounds of apples with Pelzel for her Dutch Apple Pie Toast recipe during her book tour for “Toast: The Cookbook.” She knows her fall fruit. Formerly an editor at Cook’s Illustrated and the senior food editor and test kitchen director for Tasting Table, Pelzel has written more than 20 cookbooks and has judged Food Network shows including Chopped Junior and Beat Bobby Flay.
2. “Whole Food Cooking Every Day,” by Amy Chaplin
This book by Chaplin, James Beard Award-winning author of “At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen,” features ingredients in their most natural form — like the fresh produce we deal with daily in our industry. This book helps you make a base recipe with what’s in season and in your pantry — and then transform it into multiple meals throughout the week. That’s a relief to those of us with good intentions but busy schedules.
3. “Lush: A Season-by-Season Celebration of Craft Beer and Produce,” by Jacquelyn Dodd
This book by The Beeroness blogger may appeal to those of us who fall for football, beer and burgers this time of year. Still, this is not your old college roommate’s beer can turkey. This cookbook offers 80 produce-forward recipes, all made with seasonal craft beer. It’s not simply beer braises or soups. The creativity will twist your noggin with recipes such as Gochujang ISA Shakshuka, Grilled Apricot Saison Shortcakes and Doppelbock Rutabaga Mash.
4. “Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors from My Israeli Kitchen,” by Adeena Sussman
Sussman’s book features the way she cooks and eats at home in Tel Aviv. I met this kind woman at a food media event a few years ago when she lived in New York, and she is highly respected. She’s co-authored almost 12 cookbooks, but Sababa, which means “Everything Awesome,” is all Sussman. Learn great combinations with your fresh produce that you may not have thought of yet, such as freekeh and roasted grape salad and tahini-glazed carrots.
Bonus: “Antoni in the Kitchen,” by Antoni Porowski with Mindy Fox
With his first cookbook out Sept. 9, this food and wine expert on the Emmy-winning Netflix series, “Queer Eye,” headlines The Packer’s Global Organic Produce Expo in January at the Fontainebleau in Miami.
Porowski’s take is simple, homey and approachable. No worries about recipes with dozens of hard-to-find ingredients. It’s low-stress and good for weeknight dinner planning.
Better yet, bring your used, stained copy to GOPEX and get him to sign it.
Amy Sowder is The Packer’s Brooklyn-based Northeast editor. E-mail her at [email protected]