In the Greater Palm Springs area, the change of seasons is more slowly perceptible, gradually cooling down, as even the quality of sunlight moves from intense yellow with purple shadows to silvery with blue shadows cast in a slightly different direction.
So it’s not until November that “fall” overtakes the desert. Here, “cool temperatures” mean an ideal 70-degrees during the day and low 50-60 degrees at night. All these subtle signals awaken a new hunger for the tastes of fall – pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg, duck, venison, white Alba truffles, Brussels sprouts, squashes, maple, apples, raisins, walnuts, pepitas and almonds.
On cue, restaurants throughout the Greater Palm Springs area have brought forth bountiful tastes of fall for all of us to enjoy – whether we come in shorts and sandals or wrapped in scarves and boots, depending on one’s interpretation of “cool weather.”
One of Greater Palm Springs’ iconic restaurants, Wally’s Desert Turtle, opened for its 38th season with Executive Chef Richard Pelz returning for his third season. Pelz’s sustainable farm-to-table California cuisine incorporates ingredients from local vendors, ranches, farms and fisheries that practice earth-friendly methods.
Tastes of fall on this menu include Hickory Smoked Arctic Char served with Brussels sprouts, lardons, butternut squash and smoked roe in a citrus butter emulsion. Another favorite of the season is Maple Leaf seared duck breast nestled in duck confit black rice set off by salsify, Romanesco broccoli and Tokyo turnips (small, radish-sized turnips) with toasted almonds in Bigarade (hybrid of pomelo and mandarin) bitter orange sauce.
“We love the Brussels sprouts with the Arctic Char…tastes like fall!” said owner Michael Botello, whose late father, Wally, founded the restaurant.
By Pamela Bieri
*Excerpt taken from the original article published on the Greater Palm Springs website