Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and anise are simple-yet-exciting solutions for perking up your side dish repertoire during the fall season. These bold flavors often result in distinct and impressive culinary feats, making them useful tools for cooks of all skill levels.
Try your hand at these 10 recipes to infuse your food with the spices of fall.
1. For a dish that is “robust, warm and satisfying,” you need look no further than Produce on Parade blogger Kathleen Henry’s Chickpeas, Sprouted Beans, and Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Maple syrup lends a touch of sweet indulgence, while hearty vegetables and beans make the dish a welcome addition to the dinner table.
2. Brussels Sprouts don’t tend to get top billing on the dinner menu, but we’re starting to think they should. You will, too, after trying these Brussels Sprouts and Leeks with Ginger-Lime Butter from American Heritage Cooking. The sprouts are pan-seared with leeks, then tossed in a bold ginger-lime sauce. The dish takes just 35 minutes to make and yields 4 servings.
3. For a tantalizing and gluten-free alternative to rice, try Healthful Pursuit’s Shredded Cauliflower With Cardamom and Coconut Milk. A rich cardamom sauce blends with mild coconut milk for a warm and comforting side dish. The recipe takes just 25 minutes to make and yields 2 servings.
4. “Mustard, cloves and nutmeg make the sauce savory and something quite special,” Courtney Rae Jones of The Fig Tree blog writes, describing the characteristic richness of her Pumpkin-Maple Macaroni and Cheese. She drapes delicate pasta noodles in this creamy sauce, even adding a cup of beer to lend the dish some extra dimension. Pumpkin, maple, ale, cheese, and spices mingle beautifully in this seasonal side.
5. Plain old sweet potato fries are delicious, but even the most delicious dishes need some sprucing up once in awhile. Enter Amanda, who shares a delectable recipe for Pecan-Crusted Sweet Potato Fries on her blog, The Wholesome Dish. She notes that the “warm, nutty, and slightly citrusy taste” of coriander makes it the ideal complement to sharp cinnamon and a crunchy pecan coating. It takes 35 minutes to make and yields 3 servings.
6. “I made a new twist on standard braised red cabbage,” writes Maggie of Dog Hill Kitchen, whose anise- and clove-tinged variation lends the classic dish greater complexity. Ume plum vinegar was substituted for the standard red wine vinegar, giving the dish an inspired and exotic feel that your family and friends are sure to appreciate. Her recipe for Spiced Braised Red Cabbage yields 6 side-dish servings.
7. “If you roast carrots with nothing but salt, pepper and olive oil they would already taste amazing,” says Memento Bracelet. “But adding some spices, sweetness and lime to the equation triples, no, quadruples the ‘amazing’ in flavors.” These Cinnamon and Agave-Lime Roasted Carrots hit that point home — even including a splash of agave syrup. Yum!
8. “This cozy acorn squash is slow-roasted to perfection and covered in a citrus-y ginger orange glaze,” writes Whole and Heavenly Oven. Simply add glaze before placing the acorn squash in the oven — then, as the squash reaches peak levels of softness, irresistible pools will rise to the surface of the dish. For best results, drizzle a bit of additional glaze over the squash after it has finished roasting. Whole and Heavenly Oven’s Ginger-Orange Glazed Acorn Squash can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
9. This Okra with Fennel Seeds dish from Inspired Recipes draws from Indian culinary influences. The recipe incorporates fennel seeds for a touch of licorice-like anise flavoring, while chili powder and turmeric lend the dish an extra kick. It takes 35 minutes to make and yields 3 servings.
10. “A cinnamon stick broken into pieces gives these potatoes a bit of Middle Eastern flavor,” food columnist Melissa Clark writes for the New York Times. These Cinnamon-Roasted Potatoes are a simple, no-fail solution for your side dish selection. The recipe yields 4 servings.