I am going to be completely honest with you.
There are very few things I like about Fall.
I know, know. Your shock and dismay are not lost on me. I know I am supposed to be a lover of the seasons changing, of the leaves going from green to reds and golds, of the thought of scarves being tied around my neck.
And in a way, I do like those things. Honestly. I mean, I have never seen the Northeast during this time of the year, but I bet it is fantastic. And yes, I do appreciate getting to pull a pair of boots out of the closet. The smells, oh... even I must admit the smells are great. Cinnamon and apples baking, pumpkin soup cooking.
So I guess it is not that I dislike Fall, it is just that I like Spring and Summer better.
And Winter? Except for Christmas, I could totally do without it. (Now before you get all "but-you-live-in-california-so-you-don't-know-what-winter-really-is..." -- and you are totally right -- let me share what Winter means to me: rain and shortened days. That pretty much is the sum total of Winter after Christmas has passed. So no, I do not like Winter. I really, truly don't.)
I adore Fall produce.
Pumpkins. Apples. Brussels sprouts (yes, even brussels sprouts).
Pears, cranberries, sweet potatoes... my list can go on and on. I love 'em. They are full of flavor and full of color.
My favorite of all the Fall produce, though? Squash. I mean, I know it is technically "winter squash", but those butternut and acorn squashes that come out around this time of year? I cannot get enough.
Summer is fantastic, but summer squash will never be able to compete with these guys. Need proof? It's right here:
ROASTED ACORN SQUASH SALAD
Recipe adapted from Gourmande in the Kitchen
SERVES 2 • PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES • TOTAL TIME: 50 MINUTES
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- small acorn squash
- tablespoon olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 5 oz. fresh greens, washed and dried
- 2 oz. goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While it is preheating, cut squash in half and scrape out seeds. Cut the squash into quarters, leaving the skin on.
- On a large baking sheet, place squash skin side down. Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 40 minutes.
- While squash is roasting, make reduced apple cider vinegar: pour the vinegar in to a heavy bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Add honey and stir, allowing to come to a simmer. Cook until the vinegar is reduced to about half of the original volume. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Once cool, toss greens with about 1 tablespoon of the reduced vinegar. Store the rest of the vinegar in a sealed container.
- When squash has finished roasting, remove from oven and let cool slightly. Place on plate and top with greens, almonds, and goat cheese. Drizzle more vinegar if desired.