Skip to main content

Fall recipes bring the season home

By Jolene Lamb, culinary coordinator, Community Education, Lincoln Land Community College

I’m dreaming of cool, crisp days and trading in my flip-flops for hoodies, sorbet for soup and the fresh fruits and crisp vegetables of summer for the earthy gourds and the hearty beans of the harvest months. I’ve already gathered some of my favorite fall recipes that feature flavors of pears, butternut squash, pumpkin and Brussels sprouts. I hope you enjoy!

The autumnal equinox takes place Thursday, Sept. 22 and signals the official start of autumn. To celebrate, we have invited guest chef Kevin Sullivan to instruct a Community Education Fall Harvest hands-on cooking class. Chef Kevin is passionate about local foods and creating hearty and fresh dishes from the late summer/early fall harvest. There are a few seats remaining!

Almond pear tart

Adapted from Taste of Home 
Makes 8 servings

  • Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups sliced and peeled fresh pears (about 4 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds

On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a 10-inch. circle. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar and flour; add pears and toss to coat. Spoon over the pastry to within 2 inches of edges. Fold up edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Sprinkle with almonds; bake 5 minutes longer. Using the parchment paper, slide tart onto a wire rack to cool.

Cauliflower and Brussels sprout gratin with pine nut-breadcrumb topping

Adapted from Bon Appetit
Makes 10-12 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed, quartered lengthwise through core
  • 1 head of cauliflower, trimmed, cut into small florets
  • 2 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Cook Brussels sprouts in a large pot of generously salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Add cauliflower to same pot; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain. Transfer vegetables to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well.

Combine cream, shallots and sage in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until mixture is reduced, about 10 minutes. Season with salt. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs; stir until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool. Stir in pine nuts and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Butter a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish; arrange half of vegetables in dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then 1 1/2 cups Parmesan. Arrange remaining vegetables evenly over, then sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups Parmesan. Pour cream mixture evenly over. Save time and make ahead — breadcrumb topping and gratin can be made a day ahead. Cover separately and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

Preheat oven to 375. Cover gratin with foil. Bake covered 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle breadcrumb topping over and bake uncovered 15 minutes longer

Butternut squash soup with cinnamon

Makes 2-1/2 quarts

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 42 ounces vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Crystallized ginger, fresh cracked pepper, optional

In a small skillet, saute onion in butter until tender. Transfer to a 5-or 6-quart slow cooker; add squash. Combine the stock, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon; pour over squash. Cover and cook on low until squash is tender, 6-8 hours.

Cool slightly. Discard cinnamon stick. Add heavy cream and in a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. If desired, top with crystallized ginger and fresh cracked pepper.


Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management and Baking/Pastry, and non-credit cooking and food classes through LLCC Community Education.

Cooking or food questions? Email