5 Recipes to Transition
You to Autumn

This year the spring season got off to a late start, which means a late harvest for some of summer’s star items, including tomatoes, watermelon, and corn. Before you turn your sights to pumpkin pies this September, take advantage of the late summer bounty. This month you’ll also start to see some of fall’s favorites—apples, pumpkins, and squash that are essential to your seasonal recipes. Here are five recipes that will cover both your late summer cravings and newfound fall flavors.

 

1. Chive and Ricotta Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Looking at a tomato overabundance as the vines ripen all at once? Make cherry tomatoes the star of your meal or gathering!

24 large cherry tomatoes
3/4 c whole milk ricotta cheese
2 Tbs. fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tops of tomatoes and, using small paring knife, remove seeds. In small bowl, combine ricotta, chives, salt, and pepper. Using small spoon, fill each tomato with ricotta mixture.

Place stuffed tomatoes on baking sheet & bake for 8 minutes or until warmed through. Serve warm.

 

2. Basil & Watermelon Salad

Watermelons are the epitome of summer deliciousness, as well as basil, which should also be found in abundance anywhere you look. Combine the power of these two summer staples for a fresh, flavorful salad to celebrate the end of the season.

1 small shallot, finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 jalapeño seeded and finely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed, bottom 4 inches only, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 quarts diced watermelon (about 1/2-inch dice)
*1 pound lychees, peeled and flesh torn into rough chunks (about 1 1/2 cups lychee pieces) 
5 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup roughly chopped basil leaves

 *Available at your local grocery or gourmet food store.

 Combine shallot, chili, lemongrass, honey, soy sauce, and vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle olive oil into bowl while whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Combine watermelon, lychees, feta, and basil in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine. Season to taste with more salt as desired. Serve immediately.

 

3. Corn Chowder with Jalapeño

Fresh corn has started to pop up around the county, so stock up while you can and get ready to warm up on the cooler nights with a tasty recipe like this one, which is both warm and spicy.

1 small sweet onion, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ears sweet corn, husk and silk removed and cut from the cobb
2 fresh jalapeños, seeded and chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese (room temperature so it melts well)
⅓ cup heavy cream
1½ cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (Cabot New York Vintage is my favorite)

Heat a large saucepan or dutch oven to medium heat. Add olive oil and chopped onion, sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add corn and chopped jalapeños, sauté for 2 more minutes. Add broth, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper and stir well. Cover and reduce heat to medium low, let simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove lid and add cream cheese and cheddar, stir well. Let simmer uncovered for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with cilantro and green onions if desired.

 

4. Cinnamon Apple Pork Chops

Apple season is just around the corner, which is the perfect pairing for pork chops. Throw in some cinnamon for a hint of sweet spice and you’ve got yourself a fantastic fall entree.

2 tablespoons reduced-fat butter, divided
4 boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 medium tart apples, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped pecans 

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add pork chops; cook 4-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145°. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Remove chops; keep warm. Add apples, pecans, brown sugar mixture, and remaining butter to pan; cook and stir until apples are tender. Serve with chops.

 

5. Maple Cinnamon Apple Sauce

Don’t let those baskets of apples to go waste—make apple sauce for the months to come! Use a mixture of apples to get different levels of sweetness and tartness too.

3 Gala apples (or another variety of sweet red apple)
3 Granny Smith or pippin apples
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons real maple syrup*
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
Dash of sea salt

Peel, core and chop the apples into 2-inch chunks. In a heavy, nonreactive Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat, combine the apple chunks, maple syrup, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Cover and simmer for about 12 minutes, or until the apples have softened up a bit.

Uncover the pot and continue cooking, stirring occasionally to break up the larger chunks, until the apples are soft but still have some texture (5 to 10 minutes). Remove from heat and, if necessary, add more maple syrup, cinnamon, or lemon juice, to taste. Serve warm or chilled; let it cool to room temperature before storing it in the fridge.