This meal will have you kicking off your boots and cozying up to the fireside in a blissed-out food coma. Kristen Farmer Hall and Victor King, the culinary masterminds behind Baking Bandits, Feast & Forest and The Nest, bring us the recipes for this autumnal feast. The ingredients list reads like an epicurean ode to the season with nutrient-rich, uber-colorful butternut squash, beets, sweet potatoes, turnips, hearty greens and apples. And the chefs put those ingredients to work — from creative and healthy to down-home and classic — to capture the classic flavors of fall. Gather the ingredients fresh from your local farmers market for a homemade farm-to-table experience. Then make them as a hearty three-course meal — or pick your poison and delight in a healthy and tasty salad, soul-nourishing chicken pot pie or sinfully delicious apple crumble tart.
3 Quintessential Fall Recipes
Early Fall Salad
They say to eat colorfully for vibrant health, and this beautiful salad delivers. Golden beets, sweet potatoes and butternut squash offer a subtle, earthy sweetness that is complemented by the spicy bite of the arugula and the savory feta cheese. For fun variations on the salad, Kristen recommends adding fresh herbs like mint and parsley, pickled or roasted peppers, cornbread croutons and pecorino instead of feta, depending on what tickles your fancy. Together, the gorgeous flavors of this salad will almost bring a tear to your eye.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 large golden beet, roasted or boiled (optional)
- 1 large onion or 2 small-to-medium leeks, cut the same size as the squash and potatoes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin (optional)
- 3 cups chickpeas cooked (rinsed well, if canned)
- 1 cup arugula (or kale or other greens of your choice)
- 1/2 cup red wine vinaigrette
- 8 ounces feta cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss the sweet potatoes, butternut squash, golden beet and onion together with salt, pepper, and oil. Feel free to add some cumin, as well.
- Roast the vegetables until tender and lightly browned, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool.
- Once the vegetables are cool enough to handle, toss them with the chickpeas, lettuces and vinaigrette to taste.
- Season again with salt and pepper. Finish with the crumbled feta and serve.
Chicken Pot Pie
As the autumn leaves — and temperatures — fall and the chilly air is as crisp as the leaves crunching beneath your feet, you find warmth in cozy sweaters, bonfires with friends and, best of all, in warm comfort food that takes you back to your childhood. This chicken pot pie does just that, throwing in some sophisticated grown-up flavors like Hakurei turnips and hearty greens like kale, chard or collards. Enjoy it with a glass of wine and retire to the fireside for the perfect evening at home.
Note: Make at least 8 hours ahead. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- 1 cup & 1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour (keep separate)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, cubed and frozen
- 1/4 cup ice-cold water
- 10-inch fluted tart pan or baking dish
Note: The filling can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in strips
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in strips
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 Yukon potato, diced to 1/4-inch chunks
- 2 medium onions, diced to 1/4-inch chunks
- 2 celery stalks, diced to 1/4-inch chunks
- 3 baby turnips (For Hakurei turnips, you don’t have to peel them), diced to 1/4-inch chunks
- 1 medium carrot, diced to 1/4-inch chunks
- ½ pound of hearty greens (kale, chard, or collards), chopped to 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons potato starch
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 12-inch pieces of pie crust (recipe below)
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
To make the crust:
- Mix salt and first round of flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium low (3 on a Kitchen Aid mixer) and slowly add in the cubes of butter. When they are the size of peas, turn the mixer off and add the rest of the flour.
- Turn the mixer on low to combine (so as not to get flour everywhere). Stream in the water until a cohesive dough has formed that is just barely sticky.
- Form the dough into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 8 hours or up to 3 days, or place in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To prepare the filling:
- In a medium-heavy bottom pan (cast iron is best), melt butter and a drizzle of cooking oil over medium-high heat. While the pan is heating, season the chicken with salt and pepper. After the foam from the butter has subsided, sear the meat on both sides to a medium amber color. Set aside.
- In the same pan on medium heat, melt the rest of the butter, throw in the thyme and sear the potatoes on all sides as best you can — careful to not stir them too much as they cook. Remove the potatoes.
- Add the rest of the vegetables to the pan, including the hearty greens. If the pan is a little dry, use just enough oil to coat the vegetables. Once they are translucent and starting to soften, deglaze with the white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the brown bits loosened into the mixture.
- Once the alcohol has cooked off (smell it to check), add the potatoes back in with the stock. Simmer until potatoes are soft.
- Add the chicken back in and simmer for 5 more minutes. Taste it. Season it, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- While the filling is simmering away, mix the egg yolks and potato starch to form a batter.
- Add 1 tablespoon or so of the simmering mixture at a time to egg yolk batter, constantly stirring so you don’t curdle the eggs. Once the mix is sufficiently warmed, add it to the filling slowly, again constantly stirring (because scrambled egg pie is no good).
- Once everything is added, bring to a boil to activate the starch (If you want it thicker, add more starch but it will thicken as it sits.).
- When everything is sufficiently thick, place in a wide, shallow pan to cool quickly.
To prepare pot pie:
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Roll rested dough into two 12- to 13-inch discs. Place one in 10-inch fluted tart pan or baking dish. Line crust with parchment and pie weights, dried beans or rice.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and let crust cool. Lower oven heat to 350°.
- Fill with cooled filling and top with reserved pie crust. Brush with egg wash, cut vents in top crust and bake until top is golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.
Brown Butter Apple Crumble Tart
Savory brown butter complements sweet tangy apples in this decadent dessert. A buttery crust anchors the filling of softened fall apples, which is finished with crisp crumbles. Serve warm at the end of your delicious fall meal — and you even can pop one into the oven for a naughty-but-oh-so-nice breakfast! Bon appétit!
Tart Base and Crumble Topping
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter, cut in ½-inch pieces and chilled
- 3 egg yolks
- ¾ cup of granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons brown butter
- 4-5 large apples, preferably more tart varieties, such as Gala or Granny Smith
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
To make the crust:
- Preheat oven to 375°. Spray or butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan.
- For base and topping, place flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl and mix well. Add cubed butter and work the butter into the flour until it is the size of small peas.
- Whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a separate bowl until lightly golden, then add to the butter and flour. Continue to mix by hand until the mixture forms crumbs when squeezed.
- Place half of the dough in the base of the tart pan and press firmly to create a base and sides. Place tart and remaining dough in refrigerator while the filling is prepared.
To prepare the filling:
- Place butter in a small sauté pan and cook over medium heat. Whisk continuously while butter cooks. The butter will darken and become fragrant and nutty. Once browned, pour butter, including browned bits, into a heat-safe bowl to cool.
- Cube apples and place in bowl with lemon juice, sugar, salt, cinnamon and flour. Stir in cooled brown butter and mix well.
- Pour apple mixture over chilled tart crust.
- Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the apples and bake until golden brown, approximately 45 minutes.
- Let cool for 30 minutes and enjoy!
Now, go forth and savor the splendor of fall!
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