CCC – October Recipes – Brussels, Beets and Beautiful Pumpkin

October is one of my favorite months – perhaps my actual favorite. Not just because it’s my birthday month, but because I think it’s the perfect month of the year to travel anywhere in the world, it’s either spring or fall wherever you are, so it’s usually beautiful and the weather is inviting. Plus the added advantage of kids being in school. Lovely.

Of course, this October, while I did do a lot of traveling, it was generally all to one area for work. But I am fortunate to split my time between two destination spots (Scottsdale and Sedona Arizona), so at least if feels like a holiday sometimes!

I had great plans this month for my menu of recipes to complete from River Cottage Veg, the book we are cooking through as a group at the Cottage Cooking Club that is lovingly shepherded along by the immensely talented Andrea of The Kitchen Lioness. I ended up making a few, and adding a couple – not really completing my list, but it was a fun, delicious month of cooking more vegetables.

One of my choices was Roasted Brussels sprouts with shallots. I never really ate Brussels sprouts as a kid – they weren’t a favorite with my parents (lest you think that I was deprived, we had plenty of asparagus, avocados and artichokes – things not typical in a small midwestern town), and typically they were boiled (and boiled some more). Bah! But with the resurgence of this vegetable, I knew that they were much more likely to be delicious than in that preparation. Simply enough, the sprouts are cut in half, mixed along with the peeled shallots, a bit of fresh thyme, olive oil and salt and pepper – then roasted until nicely caramelized. I served them with a baked potato and the lovely roasted cherry tomatoes I’ve made before from the same book.

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Another recipe for this month was Baby beet tarte tatin. I’ve been wanting to make this from the first time I opened this book. It consists of small beets roasted with some vinegar, brown sugar and some seasonings. This is then covered with puff pastry and baked, then topped with a vinaigrette. I was quickly running out of time on this – I had planned on making it one time, then had to switch to another. A regional market carries very good quality pre-roasted baby beets, so I decided to switch to that. But still roasted them for a bit with the seasonings, then topped it with the puff pastry. I did keep the vinaigrette as well.

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I enjoyed this dish, but would do things differently next time (and there will be one)! I didn’t bake it long enough – the puff pastry wasn’t really as crisped as I would like – and I would consider making a few slashes so that the center would puff more. This did reheat remarkably well in the toaster oven, so even though the pastry was a bit soggy, it was still delicious.

What I would really like to do is make individual servings. Place 1/2 of one beet in a muffin tin (with all of the seasonings, etc.), and cover with a puff pastry round. I’d then serve it with the vinaigrette, but with a side salad of fresh greens dressed the same way, and a medallion of goat cheese with it. I wish I had time to make this again immediately, but I think this would be a very fun, elegant presentation for a starter course.

The other scheduled recipe I completed was the Pumpkin and raisin tea loaf. This is another recipe I was excited to try. Grated raw pumpkin! It sounded fun and the picture in the book looked delicious. Others who made this loved it. Finally, I had the chance to try it out. The batter was yummy, and the smell as it baked was divine. I served mine with some ice cream and a baked apple. Fall in a dish.

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I’m afraid though, that it was not my favorite. It could have been my pumpkin – I used a “pie” pumpkin, but the flesh wasn’t particularly orange. Or who knows? But it was pretty dense and dry. Not like what I had been expecting (and I was already intrigued by the variations – like beets!). I know that others really enjoyed this recipe, so it will be fun to read how theirs turned out.

I also made a couple of other items this month, though not officially part of the line-up. I used the leftover Brussels sprouts and beets for a fall frittata. I actually used the “summer” method for this, as it seems to work better for me. The only thing I wished? I didn’t have any goat cheese on hand, Parmesan had to stand in. I’ll admit – I also added some bacon – a perfect non-vegetarian addition. But this was delicious.

100_3670100_3672Finally, I had wanted to make the Zucchini and rice filo pie when it was on the list a couple of months ago. So, I ended up making it one weekend. It’s certainly beautiful. I think it would be fun to do as individual pockets for a beautiful presentation as well. I did get sidetracked, so this wasn’t as good as it could have been. I missed the onions (!), and I think I could have used more cheese and generally more flavoring. But I loved the concept and it was still quite good.

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I wasn’t able to get to a couple of other recipes that I had wanted to, but things happen. This was a delicious month of recipes though, and as always a great push to try new things. You can find out what other members made this month by clicking on the Cottage Cooking Club link.

10 thoughts on “CCC – October Recipes – Brussels, Beets and Beautiful Pumpkin

  1. HI Candy, love the recipes that you chose, especially the beet tarte tatin, wish I would have prepared that myself. There always seems to be so much going on this time of year. Happy Birthday to you!

  2. Happy birthday month to you!! All your dishes look wonderful, Candy. Especially the filo pie – just gorgeous! We had the brussels sprouts with a baked potato too. 🙂 I love any vegetable roasted. I thought the beet tarte tatin was really tasty also – and it does reheat nicely, except for the bottom crust. I love the idea of individual servings! They would be too cute. I used canned pumpkin in the bread, and it turned out surprisingly moist. It is fabulous toasted, with a slather of butter! 🙂 Have a good week!

  3. Happy Birthday, again. I totally forgot you had a birthday earlier in the month or I would have included you in “my birthday greeting to friends” in my FFWD Post last Friday. In fact, I am going to go back and include your name. Definitely. Now, thank you. Thank you…..for giving me a perfect idea for the tarte tatin. I also loved the dish and the “idea” of the dish but, if it is not served immediately, it gets soggy. Doing individual tartes sound like a great idea. There are those wonderful paper muffin cups that this recipe would look good with. As for the tea loaf, why not use canned pumpkin puree. It’s easy and makes a fabulous and moist bread. If you’re so inclined, make it again. Everyone at The Gant loved it. I also have your memory of brussels sprouts but, as an adult, have made Ina Garten’s rather plain but delicious roasted sprouts which are delicious. Will try this recipe next time. Happy Fall, wherever you are. From your Post’s title, I thought you had gone to Brussels!

  4. Happy Birthday! And I’m glad this was a delicious month for you! I made the tarte tatin as well and really enjoyed it but I loved that you could buy pre-roasted beets for it! I’ll have to keep my eyes open for that! A shame about the loaf – but it must have been delicious with the apple and ice cream.

  5. Happy Birthday Candy, wishing you a beautiful and delicious year ahead! Your dishes look great and I appreciate your tips on the Baby Beet Tarte Tatin as I’ve a little basket of these red beauties in my refrigerator that I simply did not have the time to get to, perhaps you’ve inspired me the extra boost for moving along. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Happy belated birthday, Candy! I somehow missed it. My parents didn’t like Brussels sprouts either. In fact, when they got married, they made a pact that they would never eat liver or Brussels sprouts, so I never ate them until college. I have some in the fridge, so might try this recipe. I was intrigued by the beet tarte tatin but never see fresh beets that small. I see you got yours at Trader Joe’s, so I might try this one sooner than I thought. And your pumpkin bread is pretty. All so perfect for the season. What a great lineup!

  7. I didn’t choose any of the same recipes as you this month. I love roasted Brussels sprouts, so I’ll make this version some time this winter. Yours looks delicious. I’ve loved the look of every beet tatin I’ve seen so far – wish I’d made that one! And your filo pie looks gorgeous. It sounds like you had a good Birthday month, even if most of your travelling was for work.

  8. Dear Candy, what a month – you prepeared so many terrifc dishes – love the look of your rice-filo pie, a personal favorite of mine. I have made it a few times but have switched one important step in the recipe, I only use cooked (but still firm) rice for this, eight minutes will do for the rice to be ready for the filling – you presented it so nicely, picture perfect for guests. Btw, I really enjoy when members of the CCC go “back” to some recipes in the book and make and/or re-make them – that is just wonderful. Oh, those Brussels sprouts, we do live in a country of Brussels sprouts lovers but they never prepare them roasted, I always do as I am crazy about that cooking method for those spuds. Your Baby Beet Tarte Tatin looks gorgeous too! As far as the Raisin Tea Loaf is concerned, I used Hokkaido squash, added some cinnamon and pure vanilla sugar to amp up the flavor – we enjoyed it that way (the younger ones added butter and jam on top). Overall, a good month for all memebers of the CC it seems!
    Hope that things have calmed down at work and that you had a great birthday month (two of the kids celebrate their birthdays in October as well).
    Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm – it is a joy to cook/bake along with all of you,
    Andrea

  9. I absolutely love your choices this month. I also made the beet tarte tatin and pumpkin bread. I thought my bread came out moist, and really delicious! Sorry it was not a winner for you. Your dishes look mouthwatering!

  10. Love your idea for the individual beet tartins and serving them with goats cheese and a green salad – yum! Post it if you make it please.
    Interestingly, my pumpkin loaf wasn’t very orange at all. If someone blind tasted it they probably wouldn’t guess it had pumpkin in it at all. I also used a big pumpkin so maybe the type of pumpkin used makes a difference.
    Great choices. I love sprouts and Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without them. The danger is that they are overcooked which does them no favours. I like to steam them, then finish them off in a saute pan with onion, bacon and white wine. Delicious!
    The filo pie looked very impressive – it’s on my to do list…

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