I love having people over and cooking for them! Friday, we had three friends over and they all brought food and beer and we exchanged music. It seems like forever since I've sat around and exchanged music with people. It was something from the CD burning days, but on this day we plugged in hard drives and ipods and all there was to do was highlight and drag.
Jon and I have been getting the fall CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from the Boistfort Valley Farm, which means every Tuesday we pick up a box full of fresh farm goodies.
This week we got a LARGE savoy cabbage, a bunch of kale, apples, bok choy, leeks, rosemary, potatoes and other yummy seasonal things. Have I told you how much I love cooking seasonally? It only makes sense.
Anyway, to satisfy our large supply of produce, I cooked for my friends on Friday. I made gnocchi for the first time! No, not just any old gnocchi, but sweet potato gnocchi. Sweet potato gnocchi in maple syrup sage browned butter. Wow. Actually, I found the recipe perusing foodnetwork.com. I like to get ideas from Giada's recipes because she has unique twists on classic recipes. This may have been the first time I cooked from her recipe in full. Thanks Giada! Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the sweet little bites, but trust me, they were good.
I also roasted root vegetables with garlic. They came out nice and crispy, but I think preparing the dish was almost more satisfying than eating it.
These are Chioggia Beets. They are gorgeous, small, deep red beets that have a beautiful purple and white pattern on the inside. Cut the opposite way and it is like a tree bark: circles. I love these colors and I loved cutting into each one and revealing their inside pattern. I cut them into circles with circles of fingerling potatoes and garlic cloves cut in half. In a bowl, I covered the roots in vegetable oil, rosemary and some dried peppers. They really can be seasoned with whatever you have around. The garlic cloves seeped out a great aroma and flavor. I added more salt after they were finished. I'll give the recipe, though, really, I wing it every time--can't go wrong! We ate these, the gnocchi, crusty bread, a Vietnamese noodle salad that Graham brought and Jaala's homemade salsa. The house was warm and smelled good, and everyone went home full. It was the best of feasts!
Roasted Root Vegetables with Rosemary
8-10 Chioggia Beets, washed and cut into circles
8-10 Fingerling Potatoes, peeled and cut into circles or half moons (depending on size)
6 Garlic Cloves, peeled and cut in half
2 sprigs Rosemary
Dried chili, 1/2 tea cut up (Red Pepper Flakes or Chili powder work just as well)
Lots of Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 450. With beets and potatoes in bowl, add garlic, oil, rosemary leaves and chili. Mix together, cover with foil and let sit in fridge for an hour. (This really can be shorter or longer, but I found the garlic loosened up after they sat for awhile). Spread mixture evenly on a cookie sheet and place on middle rack. Roast for 20-30 minutes, checking every ten minutes to stir. Roast until the potatoes and beets are done and longer for crispiness. Add salt and pepper. Serve hot.
It's super easy and super good and, even if you don't like beets, you will like this garlicky, oily, crispy mixture!