Eggs, symbols of rebirth and renewal, are usually a topic for springtime, when the biological clocks of most poultry trigger a plethora of these protein rich ovals. Our two Muscovy ducks decided to have a fall fling of broodiness. We do not eat many eggs and most of their production is usually sold to an appreciative friend. However, this recent abundance of large, rich duck eggs with their golden yolks reminded me to try some of my favorite fall dishes that include eggs. Fall too is a time of new beginnings (perhaps programmed into us by the education system) and certainly a season of transitions. A time for heavier, grounding, meals.
Traditional foods of autumn are those that keep throughout the winter….colorful, diverse winter squashes; root crops such as parsnips, beets, and carrots; and flavorful leeks.
Here are a two of my favorite fall recipes that combine eggs with fall veggies. They can also be made sans eggs. If you have a sensitivity to chicken eggs (many sensitivities come from eating too much of a particular food, and commercial chicken eggs are found in a lot of commercial prepared foods) you might try finding a source for duck eggs or even quail eggs.
Parsnips and poached eggs
This simple dish is a grain-free, meat free, yet protein rich and satisfying meal. Freshly harvested fall parsnips are flavorful and sweet, leeks add even more flavor.
When parsnips are slightly soft, mash them into soft chunks. (They look a little like hash browns, only not brown!)
I poach eggs by stirring boiling water into a mini-whirlpool and pouring the egg (pre-cracked into a little dish) into the center of the whirlpool. Turn heat down to simmer a minute or two, depending on size of egg. When the whites have lost their transparency and look cooked, scoop out with a slotted spoon onto a ‘nest’ of the parsnip/leek mixture. (Don’t over cook or you will have a hard yoke!) Garnish with chives and more cumin. Serve with fresh made applesauce while still warm, another fall flavor!
For those who have my cookbook, this is not a new recipe, but it makes such a colorful, hearty autumn meal, I share it here.
These can be made without an egg, add a little more rice and oats for holding it together. If you want to make them without the grains, add an extra egg. If you use neither, it will still taste great, but likely fall apart more. I’ve made them every which way….still tasty!
* pre-cook 1 c. white basmati rice
* grind in a blender or spice grinder 1/2 cup oats (you can substitute oat flour, or any other flour, the ground oats adds texture)
* mix rice & oats with one large egg
* grate 1 – 2 medium beets, 1 medium parsnip, 1 large carrot (works just fine without the parsnip)
* add in 1-2 t. each oregano, thyme and 1/2 to 1 t. Celtic or sea salt
* chop fine the white part of 1 leek
steam sauté vegetables in a skillet with a little water until they soften slightly and cook down in volume, it will only take a few minutes, careful not too over cook. Cool.
Add to rice/egg mixture, mix well (using your hands helps) and form into patties.
Patties can be baked in a 350 degree oven in a glass baking dish, or cooked in a skillet with a little oil, turning to cook both sides.
Cook until patties are hot on the inside but not crisp. Can be served with a garnish of yogurt and chopped chives.
Apples & Pears
In Ayurveda, (which if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you know is the ancient science of health and healing from the Vedic tradition) fruits are generally best eaten cooked and warm by people of Vata constitution and/or in the Vata time of year, which is autumn. My favorite way to enjoy the fall fruits of apples and pears is to bake them. Spicing them with warming spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom or nutmeg make them comfort food on a cool fall day.
An old apple tree that fell on our wood shed last winter, and needs chopping down, has never produced more than a few hard little apples. It has never had good sun exposure or much care. This year it gave us, as it’s swan song, an abundance of crisp apples. The tree, given to us by friends who wanted it out of their yard decades ago, is of an unknown variety, but the slightly tart, with a touch of sweetness, flavor makes for good sauce and we look forward to an apple crisp and some baked apples.
All-American Fall Favorite:
Having never been much of a pie crust maker, I gave up years ago, choosing to make fruit crisps and cobblers. This lovely apple pie, made by my friend Ke, was delivered to our door step last week, a gift of love and friendship on a day where such kindness was deeply appreciated. It was so beautiful, just had to share it! Of course it tasted great…not too sweet, great apple flavor!
Autumn is a great time for soups, you can find a few on my not-very-updated recipe page. Hope to add more soups this fall.