While it’s nearly time for all things pumpkin, that’s one flavor I traditionally reserve for October and November. In September, I’m more of an apple girl, with a strong belief in the verse, ”to everything there is a season.” (Sorry, earlybird PSL fans!)
That said, with the crisp evenings and cool mornings we’ve had here lately, it’s feeling more like October, so in addition to pumpkin, I’ve started dreaming about sweet potatoes. I know, dream big, right? This rendition has a few extra special touches like pure maple syrup and freshly squeezed orange juice with a little ground cinnamon and fresh ginger – all of which combine to make it nearly dessert-worthy. See what you think!
Mashed Maple Orange Sweet Potatoes
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Milk, as needed to achieve desired consistency
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place potatoes in a small pot filled halfway with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, then drain well.
2. Transfer drained potatoes to large bowl and mash with a potato masher or whip with a hand mixer, then add the remaining ingredients and mix till blended. (I find I sometimes I need a little milk to get to the desired consistency.)
3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Last night after soccer practice, I asked my 9-year-old if she needed a snack, and she asked for the leftover cauliflower. You can’t make this stuff up.
To keep things balanced, her 4-year-old sister asked for ice cream, so don’t give us too much credit!
If you’re wondering what would make a perfectly sensible child choose cauliflower as her snack, it may or may not have a little something to do with this recipe…
By the way, fennel has a very distinctive anise flavor (like mild black licorice). If this isn’t your thing, just skip the fennel altogether and add a little extra cauliflower, or even some baby carrots, to the roasting pan.
Roasted Cauliflower and Fennel with Cider Vinaigrette
Loosely based on a recipe from Cooking Light
6 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 large head)
1 cup sliced fennel (from the bulb)
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh fennel fronds
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400. Arrange cauliflower and fennel on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to coat. Roast for about 15 minutes until just tender and transfer to a serving bowl or platter.
2. While vegetables roast, combine remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and rest of ingredients in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over cooked vegetables before serving.
As much as I love fall, I’m just not quite ready for summer to end. I’m already wistful about how much I’ll miss the little things I love about the season – seeing the flowers around my patio in full bloom, lighting a citronella candle and having dinner outside, taking the kids to the pool for a quick dip in the evening, and making lemonade or popsicles whenever we so desire. It’s the simplest things that make summer grand.
So as we ease into September, I’m clinging to a windowsill lined with tomatoes from my parents’ garden, defiantly firing up the grill every single night, and absolutely refusing to make my annual switch from white wine to red!
This weekend, in an homage to summer’s simple pleasures, I’m making this free form galette. It’s warm, sweet, and simple – just the way summer should be.
Peach and Blueberry Galette
1 refrigerated pie dough (1/2 of a 15 ounce package or make your own recipe)
3 cups sliced fresh peaches, peeled
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons white or turbinado sugar, divided
1 tablespoon apricot preserves, melted in microwave in small glass bowl
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle (it doesn’t need to be perfect); place on parchment. In a small bowl, combine sliced peaches, blueberries, cornstarch and 1 tablespoon sugar. Arrange peach mixture in center of dough, leaving a 3-inch border. Fold edges of dough toward center, pressing gently to seal (dough will only partially cover peach mixture – see photo). Brush half of melted preserves over peach mixture and edges of dough.
- Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375° (do not remove galette from oven) and bake an additional 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature by cutting into 8 wedges.