• Sunday, September 27, 2020

Recipes for Autumn

Fall Flavors
By , CYJ Contributor
October 2, 2013

Ah, summer, you’ve left us again with such a hangover. The beach house is closed up, the kids have the back-to-school blues, and the temptation to obsessively flip through sun-drenched vacation shots on Instagram is leaving us with a sadistic longing for Sunday nights spent bumper to bumper on the Sunrise Highway. Thank God for football, Fashion Week, and fall’s new restaurant openings. We’ve created a menu saluting the best of the season and, thankfully, cooler weather invites us into the kitchen to sample a bit of it all.

Apple Cider Cocktail


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 3-inch piece peeled fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick
6 oz apple cider
6 oz bourbon


Cooler temps dictate changes to the early evening cocktail routine. A sip of this spicy, strong cider will offer a seamless transition from summer cocktails on the beach.

Yield: 2 servings

In a small saucepan, add sugar, water, ginger, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, and let syrup stand for 1 hour. Discard ginger and cinnamon. Transfer syrup to an airtight container, and chill.

Add apple cider and bourbon to a cocktail shaker with ice. Add 1 tablespoon syrup. Shake well, and strain in 2 cold glasses. Garnish with a thin slice of apple, if desired.

Fig, Gorgonzola, and Prosciutto Bites


10 fresh figs, stemmed and halved lengthwise
extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
1/3 cup gorgonzola, crumbled
5 slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise
10 stems chives
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


This timeless flavor trinity will never let you down thanks to a salty-sweet yin and yang.

Yield: 5 servings

Preheat broiler. Brush figs with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place about 1 teaspoon gorgonzola on the inside of each fig. Wrap fig with 1 slice of prosciutto, then tie parcel together with chive. Cut off excess chive. Place figs on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake until cheese just starts to melt, about 2 minutes. Serve warm.

Butternut Squash and Sage Lasagna


3 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk, warmed
2 tablespoons sage, chopped fine
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 (15 oz) container whole milk ricotta
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1 lb smoked mozzarella
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


After summer’s blazing heat, it’s finally safe to use the oven again. There’s no better excuse than lasagna. Prep it over the weekend when time isn’t so scarce, and then bake it on a Monday night and loved ones will gaze adoringly at you – and it.

Yield: 8 servings

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle oil over squash, tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, turning occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside. Reduce oven to 375˚F.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan on medium-low heat. When foam has subsided, add flour. Whisk constantly, until mixture is combined, about 1–2 minutes. Slowly add warm milk and sage, continuing to whisk until mixture has thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove sauce from heat. Add Parmesan cheese, and stir until melted.

Ladle a thin layer of sauce into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Place an even layer of noodles in pan.  Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese over noodles. Add 1/4 of butternut squash evenly over ricotta. Top with 3/4 cup mozzarella and a few spoonfuls of sauce. Repeat with 2 additional layers. Place final layer of noodles on top. Top with remaining sauce, shredded mozzarella, and smoked mozzarella. Cover with foil, and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Fennel-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Onions and Apples


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
2 clove garlic, minced
3 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch thick slices
1 (1 1/4 lb) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


Apples are at their peak, so we’ve elevated a dreary classic – pork chops and applesauce – and made it exciting again. Pair it with a nice Riesling or Gewürztraminer.

Yield: 4 servings

Preheat oven to 400˚F. In a large sauté pan on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons oil. Add onions, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, and cook another 2 minutes. Transfer onions to a narrow glass baking dish lined with parchment.

In a small bowl, toss apples with remaining tablespoon oil, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer apples to baking dish.

Put fennel seeds in a coffee grinder, and pulse until fine. Brush tenderloin with mustard, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle ground fennel seeds evenly over entire tenderloin, and place in baking dish. Bake until a meat thermometer registers 150˚F, about 20 minutes. Let pork stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Apple and Pine Nut Crumble with Lavender Honey


3 lb apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch slices
juice from 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
3/4 cup pine nuts
lavender or other type of honey, for drizzling


Looking for a dessert to feel less guilty about and OD’ed on Pinkberry? Give this a try, and feel free to add blueberries or blackberries to the mix.

Yield: 6–8 servings

Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice and cinnamon. Transfer to a greased baking dish.

Combine sugar, flour, and oats in a medium bowl. Add butter. Using your fingers, crush butter with flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Spoon mixture over apples. Sprinkle pine nuts evenly over crumble. Bake until topping is light golden brown, about 30 minutes. To serve, lightly drizzle with honey.

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