The end of summer and hot lazy days doesn’t mean an end to fresh vegetable dishes. Some of my favorites are at their peak of freshness when fall arrives. Many varieties of squash are available and the Baked Acorn Squash pictured is a delicious example. Greens cook up so tender after the first frost: try the greens with beans recipe for a hearty side dish that your family will love. Pluck fall vegetables straight from your garden or check out the produce section of your market and make the most of the bounty of the season.
GLAZED FALL VEGETABLES
2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 large white potato, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 acorn squash, halved, seeded, peeled, and each half cut into fourths
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 425º. Place potatoes, carrots, onion, and squash in a bowl. Add brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Toss well. Place in 9 x 12-inch glass baking dish. Cut butter into pieces and scatter over the top. Pour the water into the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and stir vegetables. Continue baking, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes more or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned. Serves 4.
GREENS WITH PINTO BEANS
1 pound fresh greens of choice (collard, spinach, kale, turnip)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 gloves garlic, minced
3 whole green onions, finely chopped
1 cup canned pinto beans
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse greens several times to make sure all dirt is removed. Steam greens in tightly covered pot until wilted. Drain greens and finely chop them. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and green onions and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in greens, beans, and chili powder. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6.
BAKED ACORN SQUASH
1 acorn squash, cut in half
2 teaspoons butter or margarine
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
3 Tablespoons crushed pineapple
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
Scoop out and discard squash seeds and fiber. Place squash on a baking dish that has been coated with margarine. Put half the brown sugar and 1 teaspoon butter in each half. Cover with tin foil and bake in 400º oven for 30 minutes. Scoop cooked squash out of shells. Mash squash and combine with remaining 1 Tablespoon butter and brown sugar, crushed pineapple, nutmeg, and salt. Fill squash shells and serve while hot. Serves 2.
OVEN ROASTED SWEET POTATOES
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into thin slices
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Zest of 1/4 orange, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400º. Combine sweet potato slices with garlic and oil in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Spread onto nonstick baking sheet. Bake, turning potatoes as they begin to brown, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven. Mix orange zest with parsley and thyme. Sprinkle over potatoes with salt and pepper. Return to oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender, turning once. Serves 4.
Coming Next Month: A Simple Thanksgiving