Yesterday, we welcomed an exciting (and much-anticipated) addition to our little kitchen: an island! We'd ordered a kitchen table and island about six weeks ago, and by now, had given up any hope that they would actually arrive. These pieces (which are completely gorgeous) have more than quadrupled the cooking/prep space. I am more giddy than you can imagine.
I am embarrassed to admit that I did not christen them properly with an elegant and elaborate meal.
G. and I had been out of town for the holiday weekend and there the fridge and pantry were practically empty upon our return. I found three small beets, three carrots, a cippollini, and a few pounds of new and fingerling potatoes. This turned out to be a very fall-feeling dinner (complete with a carved pumpkin centerpiece!) and came together quite well despite scant ingredients. (I feel obligated to note that I am a recent beet-convert. I remember a few months ago when the Times was raving about beets... beet soup! roasted beets! beet salad! pickled beets! beets beets beets! It took me until this past summer to finally give up the ghost of beets-in-a-can and see what these roots were really all about. Turns out, they're all about being delicious. If you, like me, have been scared off because of early pickled beet experiences, it's time to move on. It's worth it!)
roasted beets and carrots
3 small - medium beets, peeled and quartered*
3+ medium carrots, peeled, cut into large chunks
1 tsp fresh rosemary, diced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss beets and carrots with olive oil in a small baking dish. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and rosemary. Roast for 30 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Adjust salt and pepper when you serve, to taste, and finish with a squeeze of lemon if you like.
about 15 small, new/fingerling potatoes, scrubbed well
2 bay leaf
1 small cippollini (or shallot), sliced into half-moons
1/4 c (or less) soy milk
Boil potatoes with the bay leaves for 30 minutes, or until tender. Reserve about 1/4 c of the water, remove bay leaves, drain the potatoes, and set aside. In a medium saucepan, saute the onion until golden and crispy. Add potatoes and smash with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add soy milk and the reserved water gradually until you reach your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste, top with paprika and serve.
*If you wash your hands immediately, or even peel the beets under cold running water, you'll have less trouble with stains on your skin and nails. Still be very careful to avoid contact with fabrics, though.