This roasted squash salad with brown butter apple cider dressing may sound fancy but it’s not. Even though the piles of winter squash at the fall farmers markets look beautiful and fun, squash can be a little boring in both preparation and taste. This dish changes that. It combines fancy sounding flavors with various winter squash to make a salad that’s not only pretty, but tasty too. Classic roasted squash simply includes butter or olive oil, salt, and pepper. It is then baked and maybe topped with a maple syrup. Not bad. But not great. Add pears, pecans, raisins, sage, and little brown butter, and roasted squash becomes an amazing salad or show stopping side dish.
It’s safe to say that pumpkin is officially out of control. You know a flavor profile has reached new highs when Oreo comes out with a seasonal version. There are worse flavors we could obsess over. Candy corn, for example, seems to be a budding trend that I just don’t quite understand. Candy corn has very little flavor. It’s just sugar and corn syrup – does this mean America’s next fall obsession might be straight sugar? Pumpkin is at least versatile and technically a vegetable (requiring very little processing even in its puréed form).
Cabbage tends to have a bad reputation. The semi-pungent leafy vegetable has many different recipe applications and seems to be gaining popularity despite the negative stereo-types that surround it. Most of this newly found popularity comes from recent trends in fermentation, particularly Korean food such as kimchi. I still find cabbage a bit daunting. Its extra-large leafy head often looks like enough to feed a small army. Some grocery stores manage to sell halves instead of whole heads, which I’ve found helps this issue. But the best way to conquer cabbage is to find a handful of delicious recipes that make the infamous smell less…well…stinky. Sweet balsamic vinegar and fall’s favorite fruit rescue cabbage in this braised dish. It’s sure to top your list of best cabbage recipes, or at least your list of cabbage recipes worth repeating (most of us might not have a “best recipe list” for cabbage yet).
Every fall I try to think of fun and different Apple recipes to take advantage this awesome autumn fruit with its growing number of varieties. My grandmother has many tasty Apple dessert recipes in “The Art of Fine Baking.” I’ve been baking my way through them and posting those such as Apple Cheesecake Puff and Sauteed Apple Cake on this site. The majority of these Apple recipes are more refined desserts, fit for a crowd or dinner party. I often crave something easier, something that takes the idea of Apple pie but simplifies, making it guilt-free in the process. Well maybe not entirely guilt-free, but at least more so than a traditional Apple pie or the over-the-top (but awesomely delicious) Stuffed Baked Apples with Homemade Caramel Sauce I made last year. These sweet cinnamon baked apple snack stacks are the perfect compromise.
As we say good-bye to summer, I give you this lovely Peach Lemon Thyme Upside Down Cake. Local ripe peaches are still available at farmers markets around New York and New Jersey while fresh herbs such as lemony thyme remain abundant in many of our gardens. Pair these seasonal favorites with buttery cake, and summer may finally feel complete.