We are DIGGING these fall-like temps here in the Northeast. It’s a taste of the season to come and we’re ready. OK, only kind of ready since this summer was one of the best, but we did get a couple of cute sweaters this weekend and we’re looking forward to their debut.
Speaking of transition-wear, this week’s recipes are like a good denim jacket: light enough to throw on over a summer dress but, when layered with mozzarella—er, I mean a crisp white shirt—they’re warm enough for cooler nights. Here are some ideas for turning up this week’s recipes.
Shoyu Butter Tempeh This recipe from Heidi Swanson is the definition of what we call “light and tight” so we don’t want to turn it up too much. A little dab of sambal or sriracha would bring the heat and a smattering of roasted salted cashews could be divine.
Vegetarian Chile Feeding a crowd? Want to freeze some chili for when it’s more chilly (sorry)? Go ahead and throw some chopped winter squash in the pot or one of those can’s of chopped green chilies. Another can of beans and/or a can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes would bulk this up without sacrificing flavor. If you do add more vegetables that need cooking you might need to add another cup of water to the mix, but otherwise just cook partially covered and keep an eye on it.
30-minute Zucchini Parm THE transition meal of the season: all of summer’s glory layered with mozzarella and topped with breadcrumbs. You could definitely use the same approach with eggplant, or add one to the party (you’ll need to broil that just like the zucchini before baking). Red chile flake in the sauce is a good idea (can you tell we like spicy stuff?) and so is a sprig or two of fresh oregano. Or even a pinch of dried oregano: makes it taste more like pizza.
Fish Tacos And when you’re still dreaming of beach days, fish tacos will satisfy your longing. If you have a red onion lying around, go ahead and make a little pico de gallo on top. We like a simple combo of tomato, onion, jalapeño, and lime juice. Cilantro, too.
Buckwheat Crepes Oh the possibilities are endless. The very best of you market tomatoes would be excellent sliced alongside these galettes. And it you want to go for it, fry up a couple of eggs and serve them right on top.
Spaghetti and Sausage Meatballs Writer’s note: As a professional cook/eater this is one of my favorite things I’ve eaten in the last few month. Why? The crispy exterior of the meatballs maintains its integrity even after getting bathed in tomato sauce. What could be better? Well, the sauce could handle a sprig or two of fresh herbs and the broccoli frico could be nice with a combination of Pecorino and Parmesan. But really, this one is a winner as is.
Grilled Chicken with Creamed Corn We actually intended to stir some greens—spinach or baby arugula—into the corn but we (I) forgot. That was a good idea, though. Also, feel free to add another spice or two to the chicken rub: a little coriander or a pinch of cinnamon would evoke north African flavors. Try it!
It’s going to warm up again tomorrow but no worry, these recipes effortlessly swing from summer to fall and back again. Eat them in a sweater or in a tank top, but promise us you’ll relax and enjoy.