Fall Season Recipes

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Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Beluga Lentils and Sage-Flavored Croutons Recipe

The butternut squash risotto was such a success last week that everyone was asking for more. I've learned that it's not a great idea to repeat the same dishes too often, even when requested, because eventually everyone gets tired of them. As opposed to making another main course, I decided to prepare a fresh salad that really shows off the versatility of butternut squash.

Instead of roasting the butternut squash with cumin and saffron as I did for the risotto, I glazed it with maple and flavored it with fresh sage. Sage is one of the most prolific herbs in our garden; it literally grows like weeds. This was a great opportunity to put it to good use, and I did so on multiple occasions in this dish.

I wanted to give this salad a real Fall feel, so I made a pomegranate vinaigrette and paired it with sage-infused oil. Continuing with the theme, I topped the salad with dried cranberries and sage-flavored croutons. The crunch of the croutons provides an excellent textural foil to the soft roasted butternut squash and the crispness of the greens.

Thanksgiving is not too far off, and if you're looking for a new addition to your table, this salad is a healthy and delicious option. Enjoy!


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Cumin and Saffron Flavored Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

If Fall had a flavor, it would be butternut squash. I know pumpkins are the symbol of Halloween, and sweet potatoes are a staple of Thanksgiving meals, but to me, nothing compares to the earthy sweetness and versatility of butternut squash. It works perfectly in salads, soups, side dishes, and, in the case of this risotto, as a main course.

To prepare this dish, I just diced and roasted some butternut squash and mixed it with a pot of risotto I infused with saffron. It's a simple, no frills preparation that really highlights the flavor and texture of the butternut squash.


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Brussels Sprout Salad with Marinated Feta Cheese Recipe

We're in a funny period. It's not cold enough to make soup, but we're starting to get fall and wintry ingredients such as figs and Brussels sprouts despite the hot weather. I bought some Brussels sprouts from the local market and decided to make a salad with them. I think the brininess of the feta complements the flavor of the Brussels sprouts really well. I marinated some feta cheese with lemon juice, lemon zest and pink and green peppercorns, and added it to the steamed and grilled Brussels sprouts. The result is something that in no way resembles the boiled, lifeless Brussels sprouts that are reviled by kids and adults alike. In fact, the girls absolutely love Brussels sprouts, and they completely inhaled the salad. 

This winter, I'll post a Brussels sprout gratin that no one can resist . Stay tuned!


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Pasta Shells Stuffed with Porcini Mushroom Walnut Pesto Recipe

This is a vegetarian pasta dish that even a meat lover won't be able to resist. The porcini mushrooms add a rich, meaty flavor to the pesto, and the walnuts provide a crunchy kick. You could serve the pesto with any pasta, but I like the pasta shells because of their presentation value.

As an added bonus, the pesto is not only really easy to make, but will keep very well in the freezer. Make some extra and you'll be able to whip up a quick meal when you're in a hurry.


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Poached Figs in Puff Pastry Recipe

Poached Figs in Puff Pastry

09.18.09 by Jackie

Our garden is very abundant with figs this season. I gathered a full basket of large brown Turkey figs; they're re fairly wide and about 3 inches long. I love their flavor; they have a copper-colored skin, pinkish pulp and very few seeds. They are simply delicious and perfect for baking.

I poached them first in heavy syrup and wrapped them in puff pastry. It's a pretty easy dessert to make but sure to wow your guests.


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