It’s the time of year for the comfort of family and food
By Jacqueline G. Goodwin, Ed.D.
Colorful, comforting and creative, this season’s fruits and vegetables add special touches to big holiday feasts, as well as, everyday family suppers. Here’s a few favorites, each with a little twist.
BRAISED RED CABBAGE WITH GOAT CHEESE
Goat cheese adds a perfect tangy edge to this slightly sweet cabbage.
• 1 head red cabbage, chopped or shredded
• ½ cup balsamic vinegar
• ¼ cup water
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
In a heavy saucepan, combine cabbage, vinegar, water, brown sugar, butter, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar.
Turn heat to low and cook at a slow simmer for 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes, and adding a little extra water if mixture gets dry. Taste cabbage during last 20 minutes and add extra sugar and/or salt if needed.
To serve, top with crumbled goat cheese.
GLAZED PUMPKIN SPICE BREAD
Your kitchen will smell divine when you bake these beautiful laves. Bake up a few extra loaves, wrap well and freeze for quick holiday gift-giving.
• 1 ½ cups brown sugar
• 1 ½ cups white sugar
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 4 eggs
• 1, 15-ounce can pumpkin
• 3 ½ cups flour
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon each, nutmeg, allspice, ginger
• ½ teaspoon cloves
• 2/3 cup water
• 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
• 2 tablespoons melted butter
• ½ teaspoon vanilla
• 1-2 tablespoons milk or enough to make a thin glaze
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray two loaf pans with non-stick coating.
In a mixer bowl, beat together sugars, oil, eggs, and pumpkin. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and cloves. Add to pumpkin mixture, alternately with water. Pour into prepared loaf pans.
Bake 80-90 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans.
When loaves are almost cool, stir together all glaze ingredients and spread over the tops. The slight warmth of the loaves will help the glaze to spread and soak in.
Roasted Cauliflower with Toasted Panko and Golden Raisins
Your taste buds will thank you for adding this tangy-sweet side dish to your holiday meal.
• 2 pound head of cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 teaspoon salt
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
• 1/4 cup pine nuts
• 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
• 3 tablespoon butter
• 1/2 cup chicken broth
• 2/3 cup golden raisins
• 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Place cauliflower florets in a single layer on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lightly toss to coat.
Roast, tossing occasionally until cauliflower is golden and crispy, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, place pine nuts in a pan over medium low heat, toss until lightly brown and toasted, about 5 minutes. Place toasted pine nuts in a small bowl and set aside. Using the same pan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add panko to melted butter and toss until browned and toasted. Set aside the toasted panko.
In a small sauce pan sauté the raisins in the chicken broth and vinegar over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Continue cooking until liquid has reduced and raisins are plump. Once your raisin mixture is done, it’s time to put all the elements together.
Sprinkle cauliflower with panko, pine nuts, raisins and parsley. Toss until incorporated. Reserve a little of each to sprinkle on top of the dish once plated. Serve warm.
GRAPEFRUIT, FENNEL AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH CITRUS DRESSING
The fresh flavor of this simple dressing is amazing. Drizzled over the beautiful arrangement of natural colors, it’s the perfect touch to a salad that is both pretty and delicious.
• ½ cup fresh orange juice
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 2 teaspoons minced or grated shallot
• 1 teaspoon dry mustard
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 cups arugula or mixed field greens
• 2 large grapefruits, closely peeled and segmented
• 2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
• 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, thinly sliced
Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until time to fix salad. Arrange arugula on salad plates or a large platter. Top with grapefruit segments, avocado slices, and sliced fennel. Drizzle with Citrus Dressing.
ROASTED SWEET POTATOES AND APPLES
A fun, new look for sweet potatoes, and the apples are a nice fall addition.
• 3-4 large sweet potatoes, peeled
• 4 large apples
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray two large baking sheets with non-stick coating.
Cut sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Cut apples into larger pieces (they will shrink when roasted) and add to bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Toss well to coat potatoes evenly. Pace on prepared baking sheets.
Bake 18-20 minutes total. Halfway through baking, remove pans from oven and use a metal spatula to turn potatoes. Return to oven and bake until browned and crisp.