5 Restaurant-Worthy Dishes to Make This Fall

In the mood for a restaurant-worthy meal but forgot to make reservations? This menu has you covered. Full of fall flavors, these dishes will please your palate and leave your guests impressed. Add in a nice bottle of wine and you’ve got the makings of a perfect night in!

1. Beet, Walnut, and Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Glaze

6 fresh beets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups arugula
1 (4-ounce) log goat cheese
1 cup walnut halves, toasted
Balsamic glaze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Trim stems off beets, and wash thoroughly. Wrap in foil, seal tightly, and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool, and then peel with a small paring knife. Slice beets into wedges. (This can be done a day in advance.)

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add arugula, and toss to coat evenly.

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Arrange dressed arugula, beets, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts on a platter. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. (If desired, the entire dish can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve.) Serves 4

Learn from Leslie: I like to wear disposable gloves when working with beets. You’ll thank me later!

2. Savory Skillet Pork Chops

 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1/4 c up fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
4 (8-ounce) bone-in pork chops
Olive oil
Fresh sage and lemon slices for garnish

Combine chopped sage and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Place pork chops on a platter or baking sheet. Drizzle both sides with olive oil, and sprinkle each side of pork with herb mixture. Allow pork to come to room temperature, 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an 11-inch or larger cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat. Place seasoned pork chops into hot skillet, and sear on both sides until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place skillet into oven, and cook until pork is done, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and garnish with fresh sage and lemon slices. Serves 4

3. Sheet-Pan Roasted Fall Veggies

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
6 small carrots, peeled
4 parsnips, peeled and cut on the diagonal
1 red onion, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine all cut vegetables in a zip-top bag; add oil, honey, salt, and pepper. Seal bag, and toss to coat vegetables thoroughly.

Place large baking sheet into the preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Pour vegetables onto the preheated baking sheet. (They should sizzle.) Bake until Brussels are golden brown and remaining vegetables are tender, about 40 to 45 minutes. Serves 4 – 6

4. Stovetop Cheesy White Grits

2 cups milk
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup stone-ground white grits
4 ounces white American cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium-size saucepan, bring milk, water, and salt to a boil. Add grits, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes until grits are thoroughly cooked. Reduce heat, and stir in cheese and remaining ingredients. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve. Serves 4

Leslie Likes: White American cheese in the grits instead of cheddar. It melts well and makes the grits creamy.

5. Rustic Apple Galette

For the crust:
1 cup sifted flour (do not skip this step!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Crisco shortening
5 to 6 tablespoon ice water, plus more if needed
Parchment paper

For the filling:
3 to 4 Honeycrisp apples, peeled and sliced thinly
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Extra sugar for dusting
Vanilla ice cream, for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine sifted flour and salt; mix thoroughly. Add shortening, and combine with a pastry blender until crumbly. Add ice water a few tablespoons at a time, being careful to add only what is needed. (The dough will come together with less water than you think.) Form into a flat disk. Place dough onto a sheet of floured parchment paper on a baking sheet, and roll it out into an 8- to 9-inch circle. (It does not have to be perfect. This is a rustic galette!) Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Combine apples and next 5 ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Stir to combine. Remove dough from the refrigerator, and mound apple mixture into the middle of the dough using a slotted spoon. Dot the filling with butter. Fold the edges over an inch or two. Brush dough with egg wash, and sprinkle crust with sugar.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Serves 4

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