A Guide to Fall Aromatics

Fall is harvest season. Each year, an abundance of delicious fruits and vegetables hits the stands at grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Working with seasonal fall aromatics is one of the best ways to create a flavorful meal.

The following are some of our favorite heirloom and specialty varieties. The best place to find them is at your local farmers’ market, or you can grow them. The seeds are available at seed saver websites.

What are aromatics?

Aromatics are vegetables and herbs that can add rich, deep flavors to your meals. Common aromatics include onions, garlic, and ginger. Many recipes start by sautéing aromatics to create a base flavor profile for your dish.

Seasonal fall aromatics

Garlic: The first ingredient in hundreds of Blue Apron dinners, spicy garlic is a powerful aromatic ingredient. Multiple varieties, including black garlic and Italian purple garlic, are in season in the fall.

fall aromatic fennel

Bronze Fennel: Often used as an ornamental plant. Its dull golden leaves and bulb can be used much in the same way as green fennel. Try fennel in pasta dishes or on top of a pizza.

celery

Celery: Modern celery is derivative of wild celery that has been carefully cultivated to be tender and crisp. This ancient vegetable has been mentioned as far back as Homer’s Iliad. Celery is a key ingredient in mirepoix and sofrito, the essential aromatic bases of French and Italian cuisine.

celeriac

Celeriac: The edible root of certain varieties. Distinct, earthy, yet crisp flavor. Can be eaten both raw and cooked. 

fennel pollen

Fennel Pollen: A fine powder found in the flowers of the fennel plant. Intensely aromatic when heated.

leeks are a fall aromatic

Leeks: Leeks are a type of onion characterized by bundled cylinders of tightly packed leaves. Leeks have been grown in Mesopotamia since at least 2000 B.C.E.

fall aromatic lovage
loveage

Lovage: Perennial herb. In Old English, called “love-ache.” Herbaceous rosettes of leaves. Very strong and reminiscent of celery, but more nuanced and floral. 

Red Celery: Long considered a “gentleman’s vegetable.” Grown in the U.S. since the 18th Century. (At first, only in the gardens of the well-to-do.)

Craving more seasonal produce? Learn more about the types of pears in season this fall.

An Easy (and Spooky!) Halloween Dessert

This recipe by Claire King was the winner of our ~spooky~ Halloween dessert contest on Instagram

Cook time: 30 minutes to prepare, decorating can take as long as you like! 

Serves 10-12

We’re a huge fan of easy dessertsbrownies and blondies alike. There’s no shortage of sweets around Halloween, but if you’re looking for something shareable (not just individually wrapped mini candy bars) it’s best to start baking. Chef Claire King has the easy Halloween dessert idea you’re looking for.  Save time by using brownie mix, and put your energy into the spooky decorations instead.

Easy Graveyard Cake Recipe

  • 2 boxes brownie mix
  • 2 cans chocolate frosting
  • 1 squeeze bottle green frosting
  • 1 sleeve chocolate wafer cookies (crushed)
  • 2 chocolate graham crackers
  • Candy! (Candy pumpkins, candy bones, gummy worms, Halloween sprinkles, peanut butter ghosts)
  1. Bake the brownies in 2 9×9 pans according to the package directions. Let cool completely. 
  2. Place the first layer on a serving plate and top with chocolate frosting. Top with gummy worms, bones, and crushed wafer cookies. Top with the second layer of brownies and frost the top. 
  3. Decorate with candy to mimic a graveyard. This is the fun part, so get creative! You can cut graham crackers with a bread knife to make tombstones. Use the crushed chocolate wafers for dirt. Use the green frosting to draw vines, leaves and grass. Use a toothpick to prop up peanut butter ghosts. Mound frosting in front of tombstones to mimic a freshly dug grave. Spooky!