For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals to rescue anyone who might be anxiously eyeing a box of minute rice.
Today: Sweet, fall-y, sage-y roasted vegetables, for all sorts of windy and drizzly days. Grab a sweater and turn on your oven.
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This morning I woke up to a dripping fire escape, a grey sky, and a text from the friend I was meeting for brunch that read, “OMG WUT is this horrid weather.” I could hear the rain from my bed, or maybe not the rain itself but the sound of tires on a wet road, that sort of peeling away from a shallow puddle that the rubber will do, a little bit sloshy. From my brain cave of teenage memory, a driver’s ed teacher was yelling at me: “Be extra careful after it rains for the first time in while!! Oils from the asphalt plus water something dangerous something something!” The details were hazy but the point was: take your time. So I sat up in bed, leaned against the wall, and from my swirled comforter nest mentally catalogued my sweater collection.
Damp or not, I want to take fall slowly. I want to celebrate it, the #1 best season, whose end comes sometimes so abruptly -- with sudden snow or extreme overnight temperature drops -- that it’s like forgetting to hug your best friend goodbye before she leaves for camp. A really really long camp, where she’s having fun and you’re frozen solid. She sends you letters but it’s not the same. Gloves are cute in theory but not when you’re wearing them for survival purposes. Winter is a horrible, maniacal mistress.
FALL, though. Fall is perfect. Fall has thick knits and wool socks and boots. We roll our eyes about there already being Christmas stuff in stores, despite that being the perfect place for the holidays to hang out for a while, juuussst beyond our reach. We stay in, blankets and a movie eliciting unprecedented euphoria, and we light candles. Ignoring the legions of bougie coffee options around our homes and offices, we march to the closest Starbucks for a pumpkin spice latte. Or I did. Yesterday. And it felt really really basic good.
And then, of course, we roast things. We get out sheet pans and orange vegetables and we ROAST, filling our homes with amazing smells and our stomachs with comfort. It is not bikini season. If we feel like it, we use butter. In front of a fire or "The Mindy Project" or at a table with people we like, we feed ourselves crispy herbs and apples, and it doesn’t matter one bit if it rains.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple with Pearl Onions and Crispy Sage
4 cups sweet potato chunks (about 2 average-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks) Olive oil 1 large apple, chopped into chunks (does not need to be peeled, but can be if you prefer!) 2 cups halved white pearl onions 10 leaves of fresh sage, roughly chopped Salt and pepper
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).