October 12, 2011 - 10:12am
Rather than dining out and spending an exorbitant amount of money for an exotic and romantic meal, try creating your own autumn atmosphere at home with fresh produce from the North Park Farmers' Market. This week, the stalls will be overflowing with pumpkins and winter squash of all shapes and sizes- perfect for roasting in the oven and pairing with hearty cheeses, breads, apples, and dark leafy greens.
Try something new and go for fondue! Roasted pumpkins or Kabocha squash from JR Organics make perfect bowls, and their earthen flavors create a taste sensation when paired with any soft, creamy cheese like a Gruyere from Taste Cheese. Add a dash of white wine to perfect the fondue. Cut out a lid from the squash, remove the seeds, (save them to bake) and some of the flesh. Rub the inside with olive oil and a few springs of thyme or sage. Bake at 375 degrees for around 30 minutes, with the "lid" of the squash in place. Get really daring with your fondue and enjoy a gooey, warm goat cheese from Nicolau Farms (you can find an excellent fondue recipe here).
Serve individual pumpkin bowls sprinkled with roasted & salted pumpkin seeds and a fluffly loaf of sourdough bread from Belen Bakery, and a side of roasted honeycrisp apples from Smit Orchards, topped with cinnamon and honey.