Week 24: Fall Farm Meals
Now that Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, it’s that time of year we are all starting to crave some warm and hearty fall dishes. Think soups (2019, Week 22) and chili (2019, Week 28). And with the fall greens still overflowing, there are 101 ways to incorporate them into every meal. We are diving right into the recipes this week, focusing on some transitional fall recipes that will warm us up as the weather cools down.
LOADED SWEET POTATO SKINS WITH EGGS
3 medium sweet potatoes
1 Tbsp oil
½ onion finely diced
2-3 kale leaves, ribs removed and chopped
1 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup cooked beans of choice
1 cup frozen chopped bell peppers, thawed
3 to 4 Tbsp jarred salsa
1 cup cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of chili powder, paprika, garlic powder
Optional: any fillings, spices or herbs you’d like to add
Preheat oven to 400ᵒF.
Pierce sweet potatoes a few times with a fork. Arrange on a tray and roast for about 40 to 50 minutes, or until tender.
While sweet potatoes are baking, heat the oil in a pan. Add the garlic, onions and bell pepper and sauté until roasted and softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the kale, cooked beans, spices, optional fillings, pinch of salt and pepper and cook until kale is just wilted and contents are fully cooked. Stir in salsa and set aside.
When the potatoes are fork tender remove from the oven. Let cool for 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Cut in half and scoop out flesh with a spoon, leaving a thin layer of potato inside of the skins. Add the removed sweet potato to the cooked filling mixture and mix to combine.
Brush the sides of the potato with a tiny bit of oil. Scoop the filling inside and sprinkle with cheese. Make a divot in the middle and crack and egg into the hole.
Return the potatoes to the oven and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the egg white is set but the yolk is still soft.
Note: Makes 6 servings. This recipe is extremely versatile. Add broccoli florets, chopped radish, cooked chorizo, etc.
SPAGHETTI WITH SWISS CHARD AND GARLIC CHIPS
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ cup dried currants (optional)
2 pounds rainbow chard, stems and center ribs finely chopped and leaves coarsely chopped separately (can easily substitute kale)
½ cup water
1 pound dried spaghetti
½ cup Kalamata olives, cut into slivers
6 ounces feta, crumbled (1 ½ cups) or ricotta salata, coarsely grated
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer garlic with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Cook onion in oil remaining in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add currants and cook, stirring, until plumped, about 1 minute.
Stir chard stems into onion mixture with water and ¾ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in chard leaves and cook, covered, until stems and leaves are tender, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 5 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water and drain spaghetti.
Toss spaghetti with chard, olives, and ½ cup cooking water, adding more cooking water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with feta or ricotta salata and garlic chips.
Notes: Makes 4-6 servings.
BEST LENTIL SOUP
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 quart or large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, lightly drained
1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1/2 to 1 medium lemon), to taste
Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.
Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Securely fasten the lid, protect your hand from the steam with a tea towel placed over the lid, and puree the soup until smooth. Pour the pureed soup back in to the pot. (Or, use an immersion blender to blend a portion of the soup.)
Add the chopped greens and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. For spicier soup, add another pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
Serve while hot. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).
Notes: Makes 4 servings.
CABBAGE POTATO PIE
2 lbs potatoes, peeled, cut in to 2” pieces
1 tsp kosher salt, divided, plus more
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 head of cabbage
3-4 bacon slices (about 3 oz.), finely chopped
½ onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon. apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
¾ cup heavy cream
1 ¼ cups coarsely shredded sharp cheddar, preferably Irish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes in a medium pot, pour in cold water to cover, and season with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook until potatoes are fork-tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pot; add 2 tablespoons of butter.
Meanwhile, trim very base of cabbage, then pull off outer leaves, being careful not to tear them, until you have 10 total. Cut out any tough ribs and discard. Cook leaves in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Transfer to clean kitchen towels and pat dry. Thinly slice remaining cabbage.
Cook bacon in a 10”-diameter ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium, stirring occasionally, until bacon is beginning to crisp, about 6 minutes. Add sliced cabbage and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and starting to caramelize (vegetables will be golden brown), 20-25 minutes. Add vinegar, scraping up browned bits, then mix in thyme and pepper and ½ teaspoon of salt. Remove from heat.
Mash potatoes with a potato masher until soft. Whisk eggs and cream in a small bowl, then add to potatoes and mash to combine. Add bacon mixture, cheese, and ½ teaspoon of salt and mix well. Taste and add more salt if needed. Wipe out and reserve skillet.
Break up 1 tablespoon of butter into smaller pieces and dot around the reserved skillet. Line with a single layer of cabbage leaves, overlapping slightly and allowing them to hang over edges of skillet. Scrape in potato mixture and spread out to the edges, flattening out evenly with a rubber spatula. Fold overhanging leaves up and over filling and top with more cabbage leaves, overlapping them slightly to create a single layer. Break up remaining 1 tablespoon butter and dot over top.
Roast cabbage pie until lightly browned, 30-35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.
Notes: Serves 6.
NAPA CABBAGE, BOK CHOY AND MUSHROOM STIR-FRY
3 Tbsp peanut oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
½ napa cabbage, shredded (can easily sub other forms of cabbage here, just cook a bit longer)
1 bunch bok choy, shredded (can easily sub tatsoi or kale here)
1 pound cremini or shiitake musrooms, quartered
¾ cup chicken broth or water
2 Tbsp oyster sauce, or to taste
3 Tbsp Japanese dark soy sauce
Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat and add the ginger and garlic.
Let the garlic and ginger sizzle for about 1 minute and add the sesame oil.
Add the cabbage, bok choy, and mushrooms; turn the heat to high, and stir-fry about 2 minutes. Add the broth, cover the wok or skillet, and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.
Season to taste with oyster sauce and soy sauce.
Notes: Recipe courtesy of Vegetables (revised edition) by James Peterson (2012)
EASY CABBAGE SOUP