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5 Insanely Beautiful Seasonal Veggies To Cook This Fall

orzo with purple cauliflowerThe world, simply put, becomes more attractive in the fall: visible not just in fiery foliage, but also in autumnal sunlight, which softens from a glare to a glow. There’s also the riot of colorful seasonal vegetables that begins to spread out on greenmarket tables come late September: breathtaking items such as multi-hued rainbow chard, deep red carrots, and so much more. Not only is such produce lovely to look at, it’s also great for health, packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories such as lycopene, beta-carotene and vitamin C.

To keep your table colorful and nourishing all season long, try out some of the following recipes featuring these bright vegetables that are as delicious as they are beautiful.

Purple Cauliflower
Also known as Sicilian Violet and Violet Queen, purple cauliflower owes its royal hue to its high levels of anthocyanin, an antioxidant that’s also found in red cabbage and red wine. The crucifer’s groovy shade is the only difference here, though—otherwise, it tastes just like its regular ol’ white cousin. We’re celebrating this regal veggie in October with our Cheesy Orzo Risotto with Heirloom Cauliflower, featuring a stunning purple variety of the meaty crucifer. Shipping next week, the meal capitalizes on the vegetable’s nutty quality, roasting florets to a crisp, oven-burnished hue and then scattering them over creamy fontina pasta.
(Image: Plated)

Rainbow Chard
Defying the category of “greens,” these tender stalks feature edible ribs in a variety of striking hues, from bright yellow to deep magenta. To preserve the chard’s color, keep it raw in a bright, lemony salad. Featuring crisp breadcrumbs, a flurry of Parmesan cheese and a jolt of hot red pepper flakes, this is one salad you’ll want to serve all autumn long.

Purple Potatoes
Purple Potato Salad Smitten KitchenPopularized by oh-so-snackable Terra Chips, these earthy beauties aren’t just attractive but are tasty as well. You can sub the violet tubers into any recipe calling for dense, waxy potatoes, but as a suggestion, we’ll defer to potato salad-master Deb Perelman of the blog Smitten Kitchen—Deb’s got a whopping eight recipes for the side dish on her site, but this one’s for sure the prettiest.
(Image: Smitten Kitchen)

Rainbow Carrots
Forget boring old orange—come fall (and spring), gloriously colorful carrots in shades such as magenta and amber hit the farmer’s market. These puppies won’t maintain their color very well if you peel them—most of the pigment is in the skin. Instead choose thin-skinned carrots that you can simply scrub before whipping up these lovely roasted specimens from Home Sweet Jones.

Romanesco
Roasted RomanescoWith its kaleidoscopic appearance that’s part mother nature, part science fiction, bright-green Romanesco broccoli is a marvel of human agricultural mastery. This guy tastes a lot like normal green broccoli, but to display the full glory of this alien creature, opt for this show-stopping whole roasted Romanesco from A Calculated Whisk. With the vegetable’s little spires burnished by the heat of the oven and accented with sparkling crystals of sea salt, you won’t know whether to Instagram this or dive in right away.
(Image: A Calculated Whisk)

Candy Cane Beets
candy cane beet saladSometimes heirloom produce names are confusing—what is Pirat lettuce, anyway?—but candy cane beets are as true to their moniker as a veggie can be, sporting bold magenta-and-white stripes that appear when the beets are sliced. Since these colors can fade during cooking, serve the beets in this work-of-art salad featuring tasty additions including fresh oranges, goat cheese, and roasted edamame.
(Image: Boots in the Oven)

 

 

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