(Note: I’ll be doing some posting about Thanksgiving on the Facebook page. Be sure to like the page. I won’t clutter up your newsfeed needlessly, don’t worry.)
I love fall. Love everything about it. Crisp sweater weather. Football games. The first fires of the season. Long coats in which to get lost. Gray cloudy days. Even rain.
Have I mentioned I also love to eat?
He loves fall, he loves to eat, so what could be better than a Fall Supper?
For me, Fall Suppers mean comfort food. Long braised meats. Lots of greens. Root vegetables. Apples and pumpkins. Personally, I can (and do) eat this food all year long. But it was supremely satisfying to have the first true fall supper last Sunday, serving a few of my favorite dishes I’d not prepared in a while. Some very good friends were coming over for dinner, one of whom unexpectedly and wonderfully became engaged two days before. So we turned the dinner into a small celebration. And even though it was #@%$ 90 degrees in November, we had a great fall supper which I present to you.
This is a very easy supper to prepare, particularly if you have time to stick something in the oven the day before. Most of the ‘work’ is done well before, so you can relax and not stress the day of.
We actually started with a wonderful plate of fresh tomatoes. This is decidedly not fall. But it’s a perk of living in Southern California that we can get farm fresh tomatoes even this late in the season. (Did I mention it was 90 @$# degrees in November? We better have perks like this.) What you will want to do instead is make a garlicky green salad, with THIS as the dressing.
Sliced Tomatoes with Herbs and Tom’s Vinaigrette
Then came the main course, pictured above. Slow Braised Lamb Shanks over Polenta with Sautéed Winter Greens and Roasted Brussels Sprouts. These lamb shanks are so incredibly good, I make them any time of year. The prep takes around 30 minutes and then you slow cook them in the oven for 3 hours. And they are so much fun to serve: it’s like a Flintstones dinosaur bone on your plate. Wonderful. And gorgeous. The richness of the lamb and polenta is then set off beautifully by the winter greens and tangy brussels sprouts. Life doesn’t get much better, folks.
We ended with roasted apples topped with my favorite homemade ice cream: Salted Caramel. I often make a Rustic Apple Crostini (which is a lazy man’s version of a fancy Apple Tart) but we had some glute-free diners and I didn’t want to tempt them with crust. I figured, “Why not just make the inside of the crostini?” It worked so well I will make these roasted apples often, which are a lazy man’s version of the lazy but terrific Rustic Apple Crostini. These roasted apples are a bit lighter and just as fulfilling. And also, dare I say it, ridiculously easy to make.
All told, this is a non-stress, easy meal to prepare that pays off in spades. Give it a try and let me know what you think. I’ve put the recipes on a separate page, which you can find here:
Don’t miss the risotto recipe at the bottom, which is made with the leftovers. This alone is reason to make the shanks.
And in the meantime, we’d love to hear about some of your own fall favorites.