autumn hors d'oeuvres

autumn hors d'oeuvres

arancini balls, shaved fennel salad with Parmigiano, fig preserves in a jam jar beside cut crostinis laid on a cutting board, beside preserved cranberries by Chef Kate Sonders Solomon at the hōm market





1/4 cup olive oil 

1 medium yellow onion, cut into a 1/4-inch dice 

2 garlic cloves, minced 

1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/4- inch cubes (about 3 cups diced) 

Kosher salt and pepper to taste 

1/2 cup white wine 

6-8 cups chicken stock or light vegetable stock (I like Imagine Organic) 2 cups arborio rice 

1 bunch fresh sage, minced 

Zest of 1 lemon 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

1 cup parmesan cheese 

2 ounces goat cheese 

1 cup flour 

2 eggs, beaten 

1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs 

Canola oil for frying 

  1. In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the  onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté, 1 minute,  until onion just begins to brown. Add the diced squash, salt, pepper, and white  

wine. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat until squash is tender, 10 to 15  minutes.  

  1. While squash is cooking, heat the stock in a medium pot, keeping it at a low  simmer.  
  2. When the squash is tender, add the rice to the pan and stir until well coated.  Stir in 1/2 cup stock and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is almost completely  absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock, adding 1/2 cup at a time, about 15  minutes total. When the rice is creamy and tender, stir in sage leaves, lemon  zest, butter, and parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  3. Remove the risotto from the heat once it resembles a thick porridge. Transfer  to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out in an even layer. Let cool, at  least 20 minutes. Cover tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly  chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. 
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Scoop about 1/4 cup risotto into your hands and gently roll into a ball. Press between your palms to flatten. Place about a teaspoon of goat cheese in the center of the patty. Shape the risotto  around the cheese and roll into a ball. Place on baking sheet and repeat with  remaining risotto and cheese. If you’re not planning to fry them right away,  arrange the arancini on a baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until cooking, up  to 2 or 3 days in advance.  
  5. In a medium saucepan, heat about 2-inches of oil over medium heat until a  thermometer registers 350 degrees. 
  6. Pulse the panko in a food processor until finely ground and transfer to a  shallow bowl. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place flour in another bowl and  beat the eggs in a third bowl. Working with one arancini, roll it first in the flour,  shaking off any excess, then in the egg, then in the panko. Transfer to the  prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining arancini. 
  7. Carefully lower half the rice balls into the oil with a slotted spoon and fry until  deeply golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking  sheet. Repeat with remaining rice balls.  

Yields: 18 to 20 arancini 




1 large baguette, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices  

Olive oil for brushing (about 5 tablespoons) 

Kosher salt or sea salt for sprinkling 

4 ounces brie cheese, thinly sliced 

Fig jam (recipe below) 

Pickled cranberries (recipe below) 

A few sprigs of fresh thyme 

Fig jam (makes 1/2 pint jam): 

6 ounces (about 20-22) dried mission figs, stems removed 

1/2 cup granulated sugar 

1 cup water 

2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, from 1/2 lemon 

2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems 

Pickled cranberries: 

1 cup apple cider vinegar 

3/4 cups water 

12 ounces fresh cranberries 

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 

3 tablespoons maple syrup 

1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns 

1 cinnamon stick 

2 star anise pods 

Peel of 1 orange 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer  on a large sheet pan and lightly brush both sides of each slice with olive oil.  
  2. Bake on the middle rack, 6 to 10 minutes, until lightly crisp and golden. Sprinkle  toasts lightly with salt.  
  3. To make the fig jam, place the figs, sugar, water, lemon juice, and thyme in a  medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat  and simmer until the liquid has thickened slightly, about 8 minutes. Turn off the  heat and cool the mixture for 10 minutes. Remove the thyme, transfer to a food  processor, and process until smooth. 
  4. To make the cranberries, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and maple syrup to  boil in a 4-quart saucepan over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about  3 minutes. Tie the peppercorns, star anise, and orange peel in cheesecloth and  add to the saucepan with the cranberries. Cook until the cranberries begin to  burst, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add the cranberries with the cinnamon stick to a large mason jar, along with the spice packet. Allow to cool to room temperature, discard the spice packet, and seal the jar. Refrigerate for one to two days before serving.  

Yields: 8 to 10 servings



6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

4 tablespoons lemon juice 

2 teaspoons honey, or to taste 

Kosher salt, to taste 

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved and thinly sliced or shredded 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds 

Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste 

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper until  combined. Add Brussels sprouts and toss until well coated. Allow to sit for about  20 minutes before serving.  
  2. Fold in pomegranate seeds. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmigiano into strips. Garnish the salad before serving. 

Yields: 8 to 10 servings

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