Cooking With Local Produce For Seasonal Side Dishes
Fall is officially here, meaning cooler temperatures, colourful leaves, and most importantly, an abundance of local produce. With such a rich tapestry of fruits and vegetables on offer, now is the perfect time to embrace the flavours of the season with some heartwarming side dishes.
From creamy pumpkin soups to maple-glazed Brussels sprouts and crunchy kale salads, fall is the ideal time to test your culinary creativity. Make the most of seasonal offerings by connecting with your local farmers' markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, and nearby orchards. Incorporating locally grown produce into your meals is a great way to enjoy the freshest ingredients while fostering a sense of community and supporting your local farming economy.
Join us as we celebrate local produce with our favourite seasonal side dishes that bring the essence of fall to your dinner table.
Root vegetables are nature's way of storing sustenance for the colder months making fall a time of bounty for carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets and radishes. These versatile, earthy gems can be roasted to caramelized perfection, whipped into creamy mash, or added to healthy salads.
Try baking some carrots, parsnips and turnips for the perfect side to our 2 Bone French Racks of Lamb. Simply toss them in a base of olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and thyme before roasting in the oven until they're tender (pro tip: add a little local honey before baking for extra caramelization).
Beets and radishes are ideal for transforming boring salads into seasonal sensations. Roast or boil your beets until they’re tender, then chop and combine them with your favourite toppings like toasted walnuts and creamy goat cheese. For radishes, try slicing them thinly and serving them raw to add a nice cool bite to your dishes. Pair these salads with our Brie, Apple and Cranberry Stuffed Chicken Breasts for a complete dose of autumnal comfort.
Though technically a root vegetable, potatoes are so synonymous with fall cooking that they demand their own section! Whether you mash 'em, boil 'em or put 'em in our Beef Tenderloin Tip Stew, potatoes are extremely adaptable, lending themselves to many seasonal side dishes.
When you're craving the creamiest mash to complement our Alberta Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin Steaks, be sure to use potatoes with a high starch content like Russets or Yukon Golds (pro tip: use a combination of the two for unbeatable taste and texture).
Or, for those special festive occasions, try making some herb-roasted potatoes with rosemary and parsley to go with this Garlic Herb Turkey Tenderloin and Gravy recipe. And when the weather takes a turn and the white stuff starts flying, the whole family will love warming up around a creamy bowl of Sweet Potato Soup, packed with hearty quinoa and protein-rich lentils.
Beyond the classics, the local potato also offers a chance to explore some international side dishes. Think potato gnocchi bathed in a sage-infused brown butter sauce, or Potato au Gratin layered with creamy cheese and fragrant herbs.
From iconic pumpkins to colourful squashes, no vegetable captures the essence of fall like gourds. They even have an entire day dedicated to them in the form of National Pumpkin Day (October 26th - mark your calendars!).
Contrary to popular belief, pumpkins are good for a lot more than festive pies and scary Halloween faces. Try roasting them with herbs and olive oil to serve alongside our Beef Meatballs for savoury simplicity. Alternatively, explore the sweeter side of the pumpkin by preparing a velvety soup infused with warming spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.
In the world of squash-based sides, the possibilities are practically endless. Keep things simple with this Roasted Acorn Squash recipe, or up the autumn anti by making this Honeynut Squash with dill yogurt and fresh pomegranate.
Fall provides a diverse and vibrant array of cruciferous vegetables. Proudly thriving in the cool, crisp air, this robust family includes side dish favourites like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
These nutrient-dense vegetables are celebrated for their cancer-fighting properties, rich reserves of vitamins, and heart-healthy benefits, making them a valuable addition to our fall and winter menus.
Try air frying Brussels Sprouts with a maple glaze, or sautéing fresh broccoli in sesame oil and garlic for a quick and easy side dish that pairs perfectly with our Premium Top Sirloin Roasts.
When it comes to preparing hearty fall salads, kale is a great lettuce substitute that won’t fall to pieces the second you add some dressing (iceberg, we’re looking at you here). Try tossing it with cranberries, toasted pecans, and a tangy maple-mustard vinaigrette to serve alongside our Gluten-Free Chipotle Black Bean Burgers (pro tip: massage the kale under warm water before adding to your salad for maximum tenderness).
Fall is a great time to visit your local orchards for some family fruit picking. From apples, pears and figs, to cranberries, pomegranates and persimmons, it's easy to get creative with autumn’s extensive fruit selection.
For anyone not ready to say goodbye to the tastes of summer, try preparing an apple and cranberry coleslaw to go with your Sous Vide Pork Back Ribs. Or make the most of prime pear season with this Pear Balsamic Salad - a delicious combination of summer and fall flavours.
Fig and prosciutto stuffed dates are a mouthwatering combination of sweet, savoury and salty, while an apple and cranberry stuffing will elevate any festive feast. Pomegranates make flavourful and vibrant additions to hearty salads, and persimmon can be mashed into a delicious chutney.
But don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten the pinnacle of fall fruit side dishes: Desserts! From warm apple crisps to velvety pear galettes, seasonal fruit really shines when it comes to sweets. Bored of the usual after-meal offerings? Try this Baked Apple Fries with Rasberry Sauce recipe for a whole new take on the humble apple pie.
Cooking with Local Produce: Tips for Success
Stay Seasonally Informed - Keep track of what's in season in your area by referring to local produce guides and the offerings at your farmers' markets.
Experiment with Varieties - Local produce often includes heirloom and lesser-known varieties that can add uniqueness to your dishes. Don't hesitate to try something new.
Be Flexible - Cooking with seasonal fruit and vegetables is all about working with what's in season and making the most of the freshest ingredients. Be prepared to adjust your meal plans accordingly.
Preserve - Extend the joy of local produce into the winter months by preserving your fall favourites through canning, freezing, or making homemade jams and chutneys.
Cooking with local produce for seasonal fall side dishes is not just about creating delicious meals; it's about embracing the spirit of the season and supporting the growers in your community. By using locally sourced ingredients, you can infuse your dishes with the flavours of autumn, creating memorable culinary experiences that warm the heart and soul.