Cooking what's in season: Some recipes using the freshest produce available

MILWAUKEE -- Rob Heotis from Pete's Fruit Market joins Real Milwaukee to talk about root vegetables. Root vegetables are grown underground and provide us with energy in the form of carbohydrates while staying high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Sweet potatoes are grown worldwide and come in orange, white, or purple. They are high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Brussel Sprouts are related to cauliflower and kale and are high in fiber, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C.

Bulb Fennel is a flowering plant in the carrot family! It indigenous to the Mediterranean but has become widespread all over the world. It can be used fresh in salads or roasted.

 Roasted Veggies and Root Vegetable Medley

● 3 pounds root vegetables- sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, Bulb Fennel, Brussel sprouts,
● 1 small red onion
● 1/4 cup olive oil
● 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
● 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
● 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Peel 3 pounds root vegetables, if desired, then cut them into similar sizes, roughly 1-inch thick. Cut 1 small red onion into 1-inch chunks. Place the root vegetables and red onion on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil, sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, and toss to evenly coat. Spread out in an even layer.
3. Roast for 30 minutes.
4. Chop 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, sprinkle the vegetables with the rosemary. Continue to roast until vegetables are tender and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Baked Apples with Pecans and Raisins

Some of the popular apples that are in season in the late fall and winter are Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith. Today I will be using HoneyCrisp and Granny Smith apples.

Honey Crisp are sweet, Granny Smith are sour.

● 6 apples (Granny or HoneyCrisp)
● 3/4 cup brown sugar
● 6 tablespoons butter (softened)
● 3/4 cup pecans (chopped)
● 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
● 1/4 cup dried cranberries
● 1/4 cup raisins
● 1/2 cup water
● 3 tablespoons lemon juice (divided use)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cut the top off the apples to make a flat top.
3. Cut the core out of the apples, making sure not to core all the way through.
4. Brush the apples with a tablespoon of lemon juice.
5. In a small bowl combine remaining ingredients except for the water and remaining lemon juice. Stuff apples with this mixture. Mound any remaining mixture on top of the apples. You can top each apple with the top that you cut off, if you'd like.
6. Place in a shallow baking dish and pour 1/2 cup water and remaining 2 Tbsp. lemon juice around apples.
7. Bake the apples, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until apples are tender when pierced with a fork.
8. Let cool 15 minutes before serving. Add ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Butternut Squash Cream Soup with Roasted Pecans

Butternut squash is one of my favorite varieties of winter squash. It offers a great supply of vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. Its thick, tough exterior and firm flesh make it a great choice to have over the winter months.

● 2 tablespoons butter
● 3/4 cup chopped onion
● 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, halved, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
● 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
● 1 can (14 ounces) vegetable broth
● 1/3 cup orange juice
● 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
● 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
● 1 cup half-and-half
● 6 tablespoons sour cream
● 1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans


1. Melt butter in large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 4 minutes or until slightly softened. Add squash and apple; cook and stir 1 minute.
2. Stir in vegetable broth, orange juice, cinnamon and turmeric. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 25 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring occasionally then let Cool slightly.
3. Puree soup in a blender on high speed until smooth . Return pureed mixture to saucepan. Stir in half-and-half. Cook on low heat until heated through. Ladle into soup bowls. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and chopped pecans.