We’re just weeks out from the official start of fall, which means a whole new wardrobe, pantry and wine list are in order. As the days grow shorter and shorter, we’ll retire our sauvignon blancs, pinot grigios and some of the lighter rosés in favor of pinot noirs, viogniers and cabernets. And while, we’re at it, we’ll stock up on those harvest vegetables for filling and fresh dinner deliciousness. If you’re putting together your own cornucopia this Fall, consider these scrumptious fall vegetables (and the vino to pair with them!).
Arguably the staple fall vegetable, butternut squash is beloved because it offers a hearty, rich flavor for the sweet or savory palette. My challenge to you this year is to skip the bisque, and leave these babies nice and chunky. Oh She Glows has a phenomenal butternut-squash-based veggie burger made with pumpkin seeds that deserves a spot on your fall menu. It’s colorful and nutritious, and offers some beautiful colors for your plate.
Perfect for a lunch or brunch accompaniment, the “Oh Em Gee Veggie Burger” will go well with a wet and buttery chardonnay. Avoid the drier, robust white blends for this kind of meal—you’ll want something that goes down easy with this hearty, veggie-based burger.
Please, please, please…if you don’t make anything else this Fall from this list make some rainbow carrots. Chock-full of nutrients, the various colors of carrots each offer something slightly different in the way of taste. Combined, they make for a truly beautiful plate.
My serving recommendation is to dice into rounds, coat lightly in olive oil, roast until tender, and then baste with a little butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. I know—what about healthy? Well, there’s no reason you can’t indulge a little with a richly prepared vegetable dish. And, speaking of indulgence, a maple finished roasted carrot medley begs to be paired with a spicy, dry cabernet. Since sweet carrots are a great side dish for a roast pork or beef tenderloin, a sturdy red is the way to go.
Kale chips, kale smoothies, kale everything. It’s swept the country in the past couple of years as a must-have leafy green superfood. Prepare it unadulterated this fall by grilling whole kale leaves with olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic, just like Dad Cooks Dinner does it. Left as is, kale has so very much to offer your fall BBQ.
Since this variation is prepared with balsamic, we’ll opt for a pinot noir to compliment the tart, nutty flavors of charred kale. Consider the rest of your menu for this one—something as mild as kale can go with just about anything.
The brussels sprout is my all-time favorite vegetable. It’s hearty, crunchy, slightly nutty and slightly sweet—a vehicle for any flavor profile you desire. People love to hate these miniaturized, cabbage-like veggies, but you have my word that, when properly prepared, you’ll fall in love (see what I did there?).
Prepare a “marinade” of sorts with three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, one-quarter cup of olive oil, a heaping spoonful of Dijon mustard, and a tablespoon of honey. Salt and pepper to taste. Cut about a pound of sprouts in half, and coat thoroughly in our mixture. The sprouts will soak it up. Roast for about 30 minutes (or until tender) in the oven at 350º F.
The honey and balsamic sugars will carmelize while the olive oil keeps these nice and soft. For an added punch, sauté in a little extra marinade with some bacon bits. Then, eat ‘em up with a filet mignon and a healthy pour of merlot.
Stay tuned for more fresh and flavorful fall pairings and platings!