The caraway from the rye bread is delicious with the roasted squash. If you like the flavor, use a darker rye. If you’re not a fan, you can easily use a good-quality sourdough. This makes a good main dish for vegans (use kosher rye, which excludes dairy). But it’s good with sausage too; add about 1 pound, casings removed, browned and crumbled.
Every November, we're asked again and again for this recipe, created by reader Leslie Jo Parsons of Sutter Creek, California. (Sunset readers from all over the West have actually called Parsons to thank her for it too.)
She still makes the stuffing every year, and she agrees with us: It's even better with extra parmesan, so we added some more here.
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Goat Cheese
This is a decadent yet savory way to serve sweet potatoes. If you’re expecting vegetarians, make a couple of potatoes without the bacon. One potato can be enough for at least four people, depending on its size.
Coconut Pan-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sesame Seeds
Virgin coconut oil is unrefined and cold-pressed, like extra-virgin olive oil, and isn’t hydrogenated. It has a clean, slightly nutty taste that’s delicious in this dish. Deborah Madison, who adapted this recipe from one in a new revision of her book Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (1997), likes to use a mix of sweet potatoes, but it’s fine to go with just one kind. Paler sweet potatoes tend to be drier, so if you use them, add more oil.
Both orange sweet potatoes (such as Garnet and Jewel varieties) and white sweet potatoes work well in this dish, but the vibrant orange ones bring a splash of color to the table-freshly grated parmesan cheese makes the dish stand out.
The tricks to achieving very creamy mashed potatoes are to not overcook them and to whip them just until smooth (if you overwhip, they’ll get gluey). Serve some of the butter on the side, so guests can determine their level of richness.
Mashed potatoes are even better blended with celery root, which has a gentle but penetrating flavor. Don’t be deterred by the root’s hairy exterior; just trim it off with a knife. This recipe is adapted from one in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (1997), by Deborah Madison.
For this moist, fragrant cornbread, based on a recipe in her classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (1997), author Deborah Madison searches farmers’ markets for interesting cornmeal, such as Floriani Red Flint (used here), Roy’s Calais, or blue corn. For a denser bread, you can use all cornmeal instead of mixing it with flour.