Seasonal and savory fall meals: Pumpkin tian, more

Embrace the cool weather with cozy fall meals from chef John Besh. Try John Besh's seasonal-inspired dishes from his new cookbook, "Cooking from the Heart." Here, he shares recipes for pumpkin tian and saddle of beef wrapped in salt pastry.

Pumpkin tian
Servings:

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

    • 1 4-5-pound sweet pumpkin or Kabocha squash
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
    • 1 sprig fresh thyme
    • Dash of cayenne pepper
    • Dash of nutmeg
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup cream
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cut the top off the pumpkin, about 3 inches below the stem, and reserve to serve with the squash. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds. (You can roast the pumpkin seeds for a nice snack: toss the cleaned seeds in olive oil and a pinch of salt, spread on a baking pan, and roast in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.) Use a spoon to scrape out as much of the pumpkin as you can, leaving the shell intact. Chop the flesh. 2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and pumpkin flesh and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the thyme, cayenne, and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the saut.ed pumpkin back into the shell.3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and Parmesan and pour into the pumpkin shell. Place on a baking pan and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is set, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve right from the pumpkin while it's still hot.

Saddle of Beef Wrapped in Salt Pastry
Servings:

Serves 6

Ingredients

    • 3 egg whites
    • Couple handfuls fresh herbs such as thyme, marjoram, sage, or savory
    • 1 cup kosher salt
    • 2 cups flour
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 6 branches fresh rosemary
    • 2 pounds beef tenderloin
    • 1 pint black mission figs, halved
    • 1 teaspoon sugar

Preparation

Baking Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. For the dough, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until frothy. Add the herbs, salt, and 1/2 cup cold water. Stir in the flour and knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.2. Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper and lay the rosemary branches over the dough. Fold the dough around the beef and pinch the seams together. Trim off the excess pastry. Place on a baking pan and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove to a cutting board.3. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the figs with the sugar. Put the figs, cut-side down, in the skillet and sear until caramelized, about 2 minutes.4. To serve the beef, bring the cutting board to the table, cut through the pastry, and slice the beef, discarding the pastry and rosemary.

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