The leaves are turning, the air is ever so slightly brisk. A subtle rustle that you always hear now; that of the fallen leaves dancing on the pavement in tune with the crisp wind, a swish, a sway, a seduction...
I have fully embraced this change! Well, afterall this is my favorite season of the year. Say what you may about the romance of Spring and the shimmer of Summer, Fall/Autumn is my season of fun and frolic. The earthy tones of burnished coppers, flame dusted oranges, deep bottled greens, sultry reds, these are my colors of happiness.
With all this seasonal change, comes a subtle shift from within. Bowls supplant small plates, ovens are on more and longer, there is always an aroma of something good cooking or baking wafting through the slits at the bottom of closed doors. I literally, go around sniffing as I pass houses. The smell of open fire barbeques, the last of their kind comes sharper as I run along my usual course in the park. The cries of gathered parties somehow is no longer lazy nor hasty. It is a luxurious leisure to sit around and laugh. Each laugh ringing just a little louder, the crescendos reaching faster and shorter spaced. Everything around me changes and swiftly.
For me, making the most of this time is particularly imperative, as soon, there will be Halloween. And, as much as it is a fun time, it clutters up this whole gathering of wool in the Fall experience. So, I have from the beginning of October (or if I am lucky, late September) to the 3rd week of the month to revel in this favorite season of mine. You can see, why it is all the more special! :)
Well, anyway, I make do well! I bring out the heavy artillery and out aroma all the others I sniffed along. I take inspiration from the spices my olfactory nerves whiffed in passing, the soups I surmised were bubbling, the chickens that were roasting and all the rest of the pumpkins and potatoes being roasted, pureed and pied!
And then, I came up with this dish! Sweet Potato Jacket Tacos.... Take that! Oh! and in the spirit of the season, a Pear Salsa. And then some garlicky kale. Also, did I mention Pomegranate? Yes, that too....
Sweet Potato Jacket Tacos
with Quinoa, Egg and Kale Salad Stuffing and Pear Salsa
For two people:
2 medium sweet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
2 eggs, boiled
1 bunch of kale or other greens
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 cup of quinoa, cooked
3 T of yogurt
1 tsp of tahini
handful of pomegranate arils (optional)
salt and pepper as needed
Preheat oven to 400 F.
With a fork, pierce the sweet potato all over a few times. Rub a little salt all over. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. This part can be made ahead. To warm it up again, steam for 3-4 minutes.
In a pan, heat a little olive oil and lightly brown the garlic over low heat. Add the chopped kale (or other greens) and saute until wilted and most of the water evaporates. Remove from heat.
Make a slit at the center of the potato and gently pry apart the flesh to create a taco like space.
Season the inside with salt and pepper and gently rub it in.
Pack in some quinoa, then layer with cooked kale and then slice the boiled egg on top.
Finish with a garnish of yogurt mixed with tahini and pomegranate or fresh parsley.
1 pear, diced small
5 T, diced red onion
1 small tomato, diced
fresh coriander, chopped
1 tsp of lemon juice
olive oil, salt and pepper as needed
Toss the pear, onion and tomato together with some salt and the lemon juice.
Set aside for 10 minutes.
Drain any liquid that seeped out and toss in the coriander and pepper to season.
Refrigerate until serving time.