In a tribute to the coming fall season, we had a meal that utilized some of the best produce from the fall season we have received thus far. Fall produce begins to shift us from light and fresh meals of cucumbers, eggplant, corn, tomatoes, green beans, summer squash, watermelon etc. to more warm and homey meals of winter squash, baby greens, hardy greens, root vegetables, apples and pears. Seasonings move from fresh and bright like basil, tarragon and dill to earthy and rich like sage, rosemary and winter savory.
Last night we used Farmer John as a spring board for our meal. We dined on roasted delicata squash topped with sauteed kale, onions, garlic, sweet pepper, pears and sweet Italian sausage. The whole thing was topped with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and Atwell’s Cheese from Narragansett Creamery.
Roasted Squash with Kale, Pears and Sausage
- 2-3 small to medium delicata squash
- 1/2 tbs butter
- 1 lb sweet sausage
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cups of kale
- 1/2 tbs butter (yes, another one)
- 2 pears, cored and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Cut the squash in half, clean out the seeds and cut into half-moon rounds. You can lightly coat them with oil, or place them in the oven as is. I prefer the latter, but it requires a bit more cleaning later.
- While the squash cooks in the oven, cook the sausage in a large saute pan. When cooked through, remove the sausage and discard any fat that may have accumulated.
- Melt the butter and saute the onions, garlic and bell peppers until they begin to get soft.
- Add the kale to the pan and cook until tender.
- In a separate saucepan, heat the other pat of butter until it begins to brown. Add the pears, and cook gently until soft. (Farmer John said they would brown, but I must have made a mistake here because they certainly did not brown for me)
- Gently mix the pears into the kale mixture, keep warm until the squash is finished.
- Serve all together with salt, pepper and a sharp cheese to taste.
On the side we had a beet and ricotta salad with an apple cider vinaigrette. It was really easy, we popped the beets into the hot oven with the squash, and they were done enough just in time for dinner. The salad greens are really tasty this time of year, fresh and just a little bitter. Perfect to pair with the deep sweetness of beets and the smooth richness of ricotta. Different than the verdant taste of spring greens, a delight addition to a fall larder.
The morning light was beautiful today. And Buzz was posing so handsomely. A picture of the old man, for your consideration.