Autumn Vegetables Steal the Show


As summer departs, and with it my beloved tomatoes and peaches, the autumn harvest helps allay my grief. With that in mind, I’ve been playing around with some vegetables that are just arriving in the markets — cabbage, honeynut squash and sweet potatoes.

Sauerkraut Roasted Cabbage

Serves four generously

I brought a huge cabbage home from the market last week and began to puzzle over what to do with it.

Sauerkraut popped into my head, but I did not have the time or inclination for a full fermentation project. I started mulling over the flavors in sauerkraut and their obvious compatibility with cabbage. The result of my mulling was this delicious dish.

Because cabbage goes a long way, we had quite a bit left over — it played well on the next night’s main dish salad tossed over field greens with (also leftover) sliced tenderloin and roasted sweet potatoes.

We like a bit of char on roasted vegetables, but if this is not your preference, simply reduce the heat to 350 degrees, and stir the cabbage a few extra times during the cooking process.

  • ½ head cabbage sliced
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat your oven to 425 degrees.

Toss all the ingredients in a large, shallow baking dish.

Roast the cabbage for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure that all parts cook evenly.


Chimichurri Roasted Honeynut Squash

Serves four

Honeynut squash are a smaller, more flavorful, sweeter version of their larger cousin, the commonly seen butternut. Both are delicious, with a sweet, earthy taste, but the honeynuts, which are a new varietal that has been bred to be smaller, have a more concentrated flavor and triple the beta carotene.

They also have a thinner skin, so they are easier to cut and cook more quickly. What’s not to love?

I roasted these beauties with some leftover chimichurri sauce. This was a nontraditional use of both ingredients; chimichurri is a spicy, vinegary sauce general used in Latin American dishes as an accompaniment to grilled meat or fish.

And squash like this generally appears with a butter/honey/thyme type preparation, which we featured in the Oct. 3 column. But the contrast of flavors worked well. If you don’t have chimichurri lying around, you can either make some or it can be bought in most supermarkets or ordered online.

  • 4 honeynut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 4 tablespoons chimichurri sauce

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large baking dish, place the prepared squash, cut side up.

Spoon a tablespoon of sauce into the “bowl” of each squash, and spread a bit on the flat par as well.

Bake the squash in your oven for about 45 minutes until the squash is cooked through and soft.

Variation: Marjoram Roasted Honeynut Squash

If the chimichurri version above is too adventurous for your crew, here’s a slightly more traditional preparation. I used fresh, chopped marjoram, but any fresh herb, such as thyme, rosemary, oregano or sage, would work.

Follow the directions above, but in place of the chimichurri, use the following:

  • ½ stick butter, melted or 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Spiced Sweet Potato Discs

Serves four

This recipe is a great way to used extra sweet potatoes. Better yet, bake a couple of extras for dinner, and use the surplus for this tasty side dish tomorrow.

As for the spice blend, I used Beck’s Devil Dust, but anything from Lowry’s to Tony Chachere’s to Sichimi Togarashi to Montreal Steak Seasoning is fair game.

  • 4 sweet potatoes of similar size, rinsed and pricked with a fork
  • ¼ cup your favorite seasoned salt spice blend
  • ¼ cup canola or other mild flavored oil

Bake the sweet potatoes at 350 degrees until done, about 1 hour.

Cool, peel and slice the sweet potatoes into ½-inch rounds.

Coat the rounds with your selected spice blend.

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Carefully place the rounds into the oil.

Cook until crispy, about 3 minutes per side.


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