Cauliflower Stir Fry

1 small head Cauliflower, or 1/2 large head
2-3 Tbsp peanut oil
2 slices of ginger
1/4 Tsp sea salt
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup of spring onion, cut to rounds
1 Tbsp of sesame oil

You can see from the ingredient list that it is quite specific. This very simple dish has few factors, therefore the taste quality of each factor becomes important.

Wash and cut cauliflower into florets. Shake as much water as you can from the cauliflower.

Heat wok at medium high until it starts smoking, add oil and swirl to coat wok. Right away add ginger slices and stir briefly to infuse ginger essence into oil.

Add cauliflower (Careful here!: There will be a loud hissing and spitting of oil as any water left on the cauliflower hits the hot oil. Just tip the bowl containing cauliflower into the wok facing away from you and watch out for that spitting oil) and stir to coat all the cauliflower florets with oil.

Add salt. Keep stirring until the florets start to show some brown spots (about 2 minutes), turn down the heat to medium low, add the chicken stock and cover, stirring occassionally.

Let simmer for 2-3 minutes or until only a 1/4 cup of stock is left in wok (this will be the sauce). The cauliflower should be soft, not crisp.

Add spring onions, give everything a toss and turn off the heat. Add sesame oil, mix and serve.

Spinach Salad with Beets and Balsamic Vinaigrette

For the Salad
Optional: pecan halves (or walnuts, toasted)
2 to 3 slices bacon (diced, or about 3 ounces of diced pancetta)
1 pound beets (trimmed, cooked, peeled, and diced)
4 cups spinach
1/4 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
Optional: shredded cheese (or crumbled goat cheese or feta)
For the Dressing
1 clove garlic (crushed and minced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or a similar gourmet mustard)
4 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil

Arrange the pecans or walnuts in a dry skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until the nuts are lightly browned and aromatic.

In a skillet over medium heat, fry the diced bacon until crisp or fry the pancetta until browned.

Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Dice the bacon and set aside.

Arrange spinach leaves on 4 salad plates. Top with diced beets, diced bacon or pancetta, red onion, and pecans or walnuts. If desired, top with cheese.

In a skillet over medium heat, fry the diced bacon until crisp or fry the pancetta until browned.

Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Dice the bacon and set aside.

Arrange spinach leaves on 4 salad plates. Top with diced beets, diced bacon or pancetta, red onion, and pecans or walnuts. If desired, top with cheese.

In a bowl or blender, combine the garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Whisk or blend in the olive oil in a steady stream.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad or serve on the side.

Tips
Boiled Beets: To boil beets, first start by washing and trimming the beets, leaving about 2 inches of the stem and root ends. Place the beets in a large saucepan and cover with salted water (about 1 teaspoon of salt per quart). Add a few teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice to the water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for about 40 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the beets.

Roasted Beets: To roast beets, first wash the beets and trim, leaving an inch or two on the stem and root ends. Rub the beets with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper; wrap in foil and bake at 375 F for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until tender. The time varies depending on the size of the beets. You can also roast the beets in the slow cooker.

Spinach Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

1 bag/10-12 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons grated sweet onion (or purple onion)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup apple (finely chopped)
Optional Garnish: crumbled cooked bacon and walnut or pecan halves

Gather the ingredients.

Wash spinach and let dry.

In a bowl whisk together the sugar, vinegar, grated onion, mustard, salt, and vegetable oil. Add the apple.

Refrigerate spinach and dressing separately until serving time.

Pour dressing over spinach just before serving and toss. If desired, sprinkle with crumbled bacon and nuts.

Hot Spinach Salad with Apple

6 bacon strips, diced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar

9 cups fresh baby spinach
2 unpeeled large red apples, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings.

In same skillet, combine vinegar, brown sugar and reserved drippings. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a serving bowl, combine spinach, apples, onion and bacon. Drizzle with warm dressing; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Spinach Salad with Apples, Pears, and Nuts

8-10 cups baby spinach (or other greens)
1 apple cored and finely chopped
1 pear cored and finely chopped (instead of 1 apple and 1 pear you could 2 apples or 2 pears)
1/2 cup candied pecans (or walnuts, or other nuts)
1/4 lb crumbled feta (or goat cheese, or blue cheese)

Salad dressing:
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a salad bowl, combine greens, fruit, nuts, and cheese.
In a separate bowl (or blender) combine all the salad dressing ingredients (olive oil, vinegar, honey, dry mustard, garlic and salt) and whisk to combine.

Pour dressing over salad and serve.

Green Bean Casserole

2 pounds green beans
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced, divided
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 large sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup French’s fried onions

Preheat oven to 375°. Working in batches, cook green beans a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and halfway to tenderness, about 3 minutes per batch. Drain and let cool; trim stem ends.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook half of mushrooms, without stirring, until golden brown underneath, about 2 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes more.

Add 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 thyme sprigs to pan. Cook, tossing occasionally, until butter browns and mushrooms are dark brown and very tender, about 4 minutes longer. Season with salt and transfer to a plate.

Repeat with 2 Tbsp. butter, salt, and remaining oil, mushrooms, and thyme.

Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium-low. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking occasionally, until roux is golden brown and smells mildly nutty, about 4 minutes. Whisk in milk and cream. Increase heat and bring to a simmer, whisking often, and cook until béchamel sauce is thick and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in garlic and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.

Arrange green beans and mushrooms in a 2-qt. baking dish. Pour sauce over (it may not look like enough, but it will get saucier as it bakes). Cover tightly with foil and bake until sauce is bubbling, 25–30 minutes.

Uncover and continue to bake until casserole is lightly browned on top and around the edges, 15–20 minutes longer. Top with fried onions and continue to bake just until onions are slightly darker and fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Let sit 10 minutes to set before serving.

From Bon Appetit.

Pork, Pork, Pork, and Beans

Serves 6-8

1 pound Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye Beans
1 1/2 to 2 pounds bone-in Pork Butt (Shoulder)
5 slices Uncured Rustic Bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips (lardons)
4 links Rustic Pork Sausage, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mirepoix:

1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 large stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
14 ounce can diced tomatoes with the juice
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
5 branches fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Beans:

3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, preferably Rancho Gordo Sal de Mar sea salt (from the Yucatan)
2 cups panko crumbs
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Seasoning the pork butt: Remove the bone from the pork butt and cut the meat into 1 1/2-to-2 inch chunks. Season all sides of the meat with salt and pepper, and refrigerate it (uncovered) for a day.

Soaking the beans: Put the beans in a bowl and cover with 2-inches cold water. Soak the beans for 4 to 6 hours.

Begin the cooking: Put the bacon into a cold 5 quart enamel cast iron or other heavyweight Dutch oven and place the pan over medium heat. Cook the bacon from for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the fat has rendered and the bacon is just beginning to color. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix the mirepoix vegetables together and reserve 1/2 cup for cooking the beans. Add the remaining vegetables to the pan and sauté in the bacon fat, stirring from time to time for about 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened and are just beginning to color.

Stir in the tomatoes and their juice. Add the wine, thyme and bay leaf. Tuck the pork chunks into the vegetables, leaving the top half of the meat exposed and put (uncovered) in the oven to cook for about 2 hours.

Cooking the beans (while the meat is in the oven):
Heat a medium size enamel cast iron or other heavyweight Dutch oven. Add the oil and the reserved mirepoix and saute about 10 minutes to soften.

Add the beans and their soaking water, adding additional water to reach 2-inches above the beans. Place over medium-high heat, cover and bring to a rolling boil. Continue to boil rapidly for 10 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary.

Place the lid slightly ajar (to allow evaporation), and reduce the heat to cook the beans at a gentle simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add additional water as needed to be sure the beans are covered by 2 inches of water at all times; use the lid to control the heat.

After about 1 hour, the smell of beans should be pronounced and you can salt the beans at this point. Add 11/2 tablespoons of salt. Continue to cook until the beans are just tender.

Completing the dish: Once the pork is tender, remove the pieces from the pan. Remove the thyme and bay leaf and discard.

Put the cooked vegetables and any juices into a food processor. Add the smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, a few grinds of black pepper and lemon juice and puree.

Drain the beans and put them in the Dutch oven. Stir in the bacon pieces and the vegetable puree.

Nestle the pork meat and sausages into the beans, leaving the top half of the meat exposed and return to the oven (uncovered) to cook for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the panko crumbs in a bowl and stir in the butter. Remove the pot from the oven and sprinkle the panko over the top. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes or until the crumbs are a rich golden brown.

Sheet Pan Stuffing with Chestnuts and Cranberries

6 tablespoons(3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 ribs celery, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
7 ounces vacuum-packed shelled, roasted chestnuts, cut or broken into chunks
8 ounces challah bread (half a store-bought loaf), cut into 1-inch cubes and air-dried (see headnote)
One 8-inch square corn bread, cut into 1-inch cubes and dried (see not)
2 teaspoons dried sage, crumbled between your fingers
1 tablespoon dried herbes de Provence
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large Bartlett pear, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks (not peeled)
1-2cupdried cranberries, some coarsely chopped
1-2cuppacked chopped curly parsley
1 3/4 cupsvegetable broth, preferably no-salt-added, or more as needed
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Position racks in the upper and lower parts of the oven; preheat to 400 degrees. Have one or two rimmed baking sheets at hand.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the butter shimmers, stir in the celery and chestnuts. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the dried cubes of challah and corn bread. Season with the sage, herbes de Provence, paprika and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper, tossing to coat evenly. The mixture should be fragrant.

Transfer to a bowl; add the pear, dried cranberries, parsley and broth, stirring to coat evenly. Add more broth if the mixture seems quite dry. For a moister stuffing, mound all the mixture on a single pan, gently pressing it together. Dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, portioned or cut into small pieces. For a drier stuffing, divide the mixture between two baking sheets, and then dot with the remaining butter.

Roast (upper rack for single pan; upper and lower racks for 2 pans) for about 25 minutes, or until browned and fragrant. If you are using two baking sheets, you may want to rotate the from top to bottom and front to back halfway through.

Transfer to a serving bowl; serve warm, drizzled with some oil.

MAKE AHEAD: Dry out the cubes of challah and corn bread by spreading them on a rimmed baking sheet and leaving them to air-dry for a day or so, or bake in a 250-degree oven for 20 minutes, then turn off the oven and let them cool in there.

Cranberry-Pomegranate Relish

12 ounces fresh cranberries (3 cups)
1/3 cup honey, or to taste
3/4 cup chopped pistachios
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Place cranberries and honey in a food processor. Pulse until chopped (but not too finely), then taste and stir in more honey if needed. At this point, the relish can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before serving. If the liquid separates, give it a stir.

Stir pistachios and pomegranate seeds into cranberry mixture and serve.

Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon and Brown Sugar

3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, pricked with a fork (10 to 12 sweet potatoes)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 to 4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon or orange juice
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Large pinch of ground cloves

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap potatoes in foil, place on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let rest until cool enough to handle but still warm, then remove the foil and peel off the skins.

Add sweet potatoes to a food processor, along with butter, brown sugar, bourbon or juice, lemon zest, salt, nutmeg, pepper and cloves. Purée until smooth. (Or, for a chunkier texture, mash them by hand.) Taste and add salt, sugar or both if you like. Serve while still warm or reheat before serving.

Tip
This recipe can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat just before serving, either in the microwave or in a pot on the stove over low heat.

Brioche Chestnut Stuffing

1 (14- to 16-ounce) brioche loaf, torn into 1-inch pieces
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), plus more for the pan
1 large onion, diced
2 large celery ribs, thinly sliced
1/2 cup diced fennel (about 1/2 small fennel bulb)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
5 ounces roasted, peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock
2 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Arrange brioche pieces in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Let them dry out overnight, or place them in a 200-degree oven for an hour or two. (They’ll be ready when they feel stale to the touch but haven’t taken on any color.)

Heat oven to 375 degrees, and butter a shallow, 2-quart casserole or gratin dish.

On a pot on the stove or in the microwave, melt 4 tablespoons butter.

Put bread in the prepared baking dish and toss with melted butter. Bake until golden and toasted, 8 to 10 minutes.

Let cool, then transfer toast to a large bowl. (Don’t wash the baking dish; you’ll use it again for the stuffing.)

In a 12-inch skillet, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in onion, celery, fennel and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook until soft and just starting to brown, about 12 minutes.

Stir in thyme and sage, and cook for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and transfer to bowl with brioche. Gently fold in chestnuts and pepper and let cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups stock, eggs, parsley and remaining 1 teaspoon salt.

Fold gently into bread mixture, then scrape it all back into prepared baking dish.

Drizzle on remaining 1 cup stock until the mixture is moist but not squishy; you may not need all the stock.

Cover dish with foil and bake until lightly springy, about 25 minutes.

Remove foil and continue to bake until golden brown, another 20 to 30 minutes.

Skillet Pear Custard Cake

2-4 ripe Bartlett Pears (red are nice if you can find some)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp salted butter, diced
1 Tbsp icing/confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cut pears in half and core with a spoon, also removing the woody spine leading up to the stem. (You can cook pears in halves or cut each half in to slices and arrange them in a fan pattern). Toss in lemon juice and set aside.

Grease a skillet (or several smaller skillets), an 11×7-inch baking dish, or several wider/shallow ramekins. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, maple syrup and vanilla.

Whisk egg milk mixture in to flour mixture until combined.

Arrange pears in prepared baking dishes (I like to put a cored half pear in the centre, if space permits, with sliced pears around the outside OR cut cored half pears in to slices and arrange in fan patterns). Pour batter over-top, filling your shallow baking dish to about 2/3 full or to cover a half pear by about 2/Dot the top with diced butter. Place baking dish on to a baking sheet (just in case!).

Bake in preheated 375 oven until pears are tender and custard is puffed, set and golden, about 45 minutes.

Sprinkle with some icing sugar and place under oven broiler until bubbly and glazed, about 1 minute. Let cool on a rack for 15 minutes before serving. Lovely served slightly warmed with a dollop of whipped or ice cream.

Invisible Apple Cake

6 average-sized Golden Delicious apples, peeled
2 eggs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
6 1/2 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla until very light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).

Melt the butter in saucepan or microwave bowl. Add the milk and stir well to combine. Allow to cool slightly, then add to the egg/sugar mixture. Mix to combine.

Sift together the flour and baking powder, the sprinkle over the egg/sugar mixture. Mix just until combined.

Quarter the peeled apples and remove the core. Use a mandolin to slice each quarter into thin slices. Add the apple sliced to the batter regularly (don’t wait until you’ve done them aland push them below batter, so they don’t brown. Reserve the last handful of apple slices to scatter on top of batter.

Gently stir the apples in the batter to ensure all apples are coated. Pour in to prepared springform pan and scatter the reserved apple slices randomly over-top.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until set. If desired, you can turn on the broiler for a minute to brown up the top of the cake.

Leave in pan to cool, then run knife around edges and remove outer springform pan ring.

Serve slightly warm, at room temperature or cold dusted with icing sugar.

Colicchio’s Dinner Rolls

Dough:
3/4 cup warm milk about 110F
1 tsp instant or dry active yeast
1 tsp Barley malt or 2/3 tsp molasses
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp coarse Kosher salt, or 1 tsp fine table salt *reduce if using salted butter
2 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter softened

Topping:
Melted butter for brushing
Finishing Salt such as Fleur de Sel or Maldon’s

Stir together milk, yeast, and malt syrup in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a kneading hook. Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add to milk mixture along with softened butter and stir with a wooden spoon or mix with mixer until a dough forms. Knead 5-6 minutes, adding additional flour as needed, to produce a smooth, moist dough.

Remove to a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 – 3 hours. *Trust your eyes here and not the clock. You will want to let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, however long that takes. I find it helpful to rise in an 8-cup glass measuring cup, so it’s easy to see when it has doubled.

Punch down dough and let rise again until doubled again, about 2 hours (or until doubled in size).

Meanwhile, melt a bit of butter and brush on a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.

Remove dough to a floured surface and divide into 8-10 equal sized pieces. Form pieces into balls and place into the buttered 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. (4 or 5 rows of two rolls, spaced evenly in the pan).

Cover pan with a clean tea towel and let rise until puffy and about doubled, about 2 hours more.

Preheat oven to 350F. When rolls are risen, brush with melted butter and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden.

Remove from oven. Let stand a minute, then remove from pan to a cooling rack.

Brush with more melted butter and sprinkle tops with finishing salt.

Remove from pan and serve warm.

Apple Pandowdy

1 roll puff pastry thawed

Filling:
5-6 large apples cooking/pie apples, peeled and cored
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp water
6 Tbsp white sugar
6 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Topping:
2 Tbsp white or turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 425F.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature to low to keep warm.

Grease an 8-inch round skillet, pan, pie plate (or equivalent sized) pan. Set on a baking sheet and set aside.

Peel and core apples, then thinly slice. Add to prepared baking pan, filling the pan about 2/3-3/4 full.

Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut thawed puff pastry into irregular, 1-inch-ish shapes. Scatter about 1/3 of the pastry pieces randomly over top of apples. Slowly pour the sugar mixture over-top, pouring all around the pan to make sure the filling reaches all parts of the pan. Pour slowly so it drips down into the apples and not over the side.

Place the remaining pastry pieces on top, overlapping, as necessary and leaving a few small open spots (to allow steam to escape). Sprinkle a bit of sugar on to the top of pastry.

Place into preheated oven (on baking sheet to catch overflowing juices!) and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350F and continue baking for an addition 35-40 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and pastry is golden brown and puffy. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Lovely served with a dusting of icing sugar and a scoop of ice cream.

Maple-Cider Vinegar Roasted Carrots

2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound medium carrots with green tops, scrubbed well, 2 tablespoons of the greens chopped and reserved for garnish
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup chopped roasted cashews

Preheat the oven to 375°.

In a large heatproof skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil over moderately high heat. Add the carrots, salt and pepper and cook until browned all over, turning occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add the vinegar and maple syrup. Shake the skillet to coat the carrots.

Transfer to the oven and roast for 6 to 8 minutes, until ?the carrots are just tender but still crisp in the center.

Transfer to a platter, top with the cashews and carrot greens and serve.

Roasted Kabocha with Maple Syrup and Ginger

3 pounds kabocha squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
6 thyme sprigs, plus thyme leaves for garnish
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 450°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash wedges with the maple syrup, olive oil, ginger, thyme sprigs and salt. Arrange the squash in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes. Flip and roast for 15 minutes longer, until golden and tender. Discard the thyme sprigs. Transfer the squash to a serving platter and garnish with thyme leaves.

The squash can be made up to 6 hours ahead.

Maple Baked Sweet Potatoes

4 medium sweet potatoes (3 pounds), peeled and sliced 1-1/2 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup water

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large saucepan, cover the sweet potato slices with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well.

Arrange the sweet potatoes in a large gratin dish. Season with the salt and pepper, then dot with the butter pieces. Drizzle the maple syrup over the sweet potatoes, sprinkle with the water and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the sweet potatoes over and bake for about 25 minutes longer, until they’re tender and lightly browned. If necessary, broil the sweet potatoes for a minute or two before serving.

Sweet Potato Bebinca

2 to 3 medium to large sweet potatoes (1 1/4 pounds total)
6 tablespoons/85 grams unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
6 large eggs
1 cup/200 grams grated jaggery, muscovado, panela or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup/60 milliliters maple syrup
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 (13.5-ounce/400-milliliter) can full-fat coconut milk
1 cup/130 grams all-purpose flour

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the sweet potatoes to remove any dirt, pat them dry with paper towels and poke several holes in them with a fork. Put the potatoes in a baking dish or on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast until completely tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool completely before handling. Peel the sweet potatoes, discard the skins, and purée the flesh in a food processor. Measure out 1 2/3 cups/400 grams and set aside, saving the rest for another purpose. (The sweet potatoes may be roasted one day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch round baking pan with 2-inch sides with parchment paper and grease lightly with butter. Put the pan on a baking sheet. In a large bowl, whisk together the cooled sweet potato purée, melted butter, eggs, sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg, turmeric and salt until smooth. Add the coconut milk and flour and whisk until the mixture is smooth, with no visible streaks of flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and put the pan, still on the baking sheet, in the oven. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. The pudding should be firm to the touch in the center and light golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Wrap the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate to set for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Once the bebinca has set, run a sharp knife around the sides of the pan, flip the pan onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and tap gently to release. Peel the parchment off the top. Invert onto a serving dish, and peel off the second sheet of parchment paper.

To serve, use a sharp serrated knife to cut the chilled bebinca into wedges. Store the leftover bebinca, wrapped in plastic wrap, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Roasted Cauliflower, Paneer, and Lentil Salad

For the salad:
1/2 cup green lentils
1/2 cup black lentils
1 small head cauliflower (about 1 pound)
1 10-ounce block paneer, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups total)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced

For the cilantro-oil dressing:
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup tightly packed, fresh cilantro leaves
1 Serrano chile, seeded, if desired
Juice of 1 lime, about 1/4 cup
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Rinse the lentils in a fine-mesh strainer under cold running water and pick out any stones or imperfect beans. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, turn the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until tender but not mushy, 25 to 60 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on how old the lentils are, so check them every 5 minutes after the first half hour. When they have reached desired doneness, drain through a fine-mesh strainer and set on a clean kitchen towel to absorb any remaining liquid.

While the lentils are cooking, roast the cauliflower and paneer: Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets and transfer to a roasting or sheet pan. Add the paneer. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil, mixing to coat evenly. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the florets and paneer are crispy on the outside and feel tender when pierced with a skewer or knife, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and pulse at medium-high speed until smooth and paste-like.

When the cauliflower and paneer are done, transfer to a large bowl and gently stir in the drained lentils and scallions. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Drizzle with 1/2 to 1/3 cup of the dressing, to taste, and serve warm or at room temperature. (Store the leftover salad and dressing in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to four days. Shake the dressing before using.)