In the last two weeks, my taste buds have taken on a slight preference for comfort foods. But leafy green salads are still very high on my priority list. I crave salads all year long, not just in the warmer months. Especially when they’re filled with local, seasonal ingredients.
This Autumn Kale Salad with Sautéed Pears is my current obsession. It incorporates so many of my favorite Fall flavors, like fresh apple cider and maple syrup. And it highlights what I consider to be one of the most underappreciated Fall fruits: pears.
Pears always seem like they are playing second fiddle to apples. I mean, I love apples. Who doesn’t!?!? And admittedly, I’ve been on a bit of an apple spree myself these days. But pears deserve to be taken seriously once in a while, too. So I always make it a point to give them the spotlight in a couple different recipes over the course of their season.
For the base of this salad, I used tender, baby kale. But you could use whatever greens you love (baby spinach would be excellent!). I added in red grapes, pecans and blue cheese crumbles. But the real showstopper in this recipe is the sautéed pears. Slightly softened, flavored with both apple cider and maple syrup, and so gosh darn pretty that it seems like a shame to chop them up, they are the perfect topper for all your leafy green bowls this Fall.
Choose pears (I used Bartlett pears for this recipe) that are ripe, but still a bit firm when pressed. Because you don’t want them getting too soft and mushy when you cook them. That would be no bueno.
What are your favorite ways to use pears this time of year? I would love to hear your ideas!
Disclosure: I’m so grateful to have received a copy of Megan Keno’s debut cookbook, Cast Iron Gourmet: 77 Amazing Recipes with Less Fuss and Fewer Dishes. I hope you all enjoy this little sneak peak!
In typical New England fashion, we went from Summer to Fall in a matter of 24 hours. One day it was 90 degrees. And then the next day it was a cool, crisp 60 degrees. I proclaimed “I’m freezing!” more than once during that first chilly day. And I even had to resort to pulling on a pair of socks at one point!
Although, I still refuse to turn on the heat in my house. That has to wait.
The abrupt shift in seasons was a bit of a shock to the system. But I’m more than happy to embrace the change. Because with it comes all the cozy, comforting foods that I’ve been missing out on these past several months.
The recipe for this Indian Chicken and Potato Stew with Garam Masala Tomato Sauce is straight from Megan Keno’s debut cookbook, Cast Iron Gourmet: 77 Amazing Recipes with Less Fuss and Fewer Dishes. As soon as I spotted the gorgeous photograph for this stew (page 39, in case you want to be in the know!), I knew instantly it would be the first recipe I’d make from Megan’s cookbook. So I bided my time until the air stream shifted, and then it was GO GO GO! I pulled out my trusty coated cast iron Dutch oven. And within minutes, my house was filled with the most delicious scents of ginger, garlic, cumin and more. I was in heaven.
This hearty, flavorful stew was exactly what I needed this past weekend to warm my bones. And it’s a recipe that you ABSOLUTELY need in your life, too. It’s delicious served exactly how Megan instructs. But it would be fabulous over rice, if you needed to stretch it out further to feed to crowd. And the leftovers are out of this world good. It’s one of those dishes that gets better with time.
Megan and I have been friends for several years now. We first meet on the internet via our blogs (if you’re not following her over at Country Cleaver, go do it now!). But it wasn’t until we moved 3000 miles away from each other (go figure!) that we finally had the chance to meet face-to-face at a blogging retreat. In person, Megan is every bit as genuine, selfless and witty as she is on her blog. There are absolutely zero pretenses about Megan, which is something that I really adore about her. Because really, how many people can you say that about? If I’m being completely honest, I wouldn’t even describe myself in that way…
Simply put, Megan is a gem. And I’m happy to call her my friend.
And I’m SO happy to have her wonderful cookbook adorning the shelves of my kitchen. Her cookbook, Cast Iron Gourmet: 77 Amazing Recipes with Less Fuss and Fewer Dishes, is a natural extension of her blog, Country Cleaver. It’s filled with all the best comfort foods (the women has a chapter in her book called “Artisanal Carbs”!). And it will make you re-think how you use your beloved cast iron. It’s a must-have for any home cook. So go buy it now!
But heck, don’t just take my word for it. Make this fabulous Indian Chicken and Potato Stew with Garam Masala Tomato Sauce and see for yourself what I’m talking about!
This recipe has been reprinted with permission from Megan Keno