I’ve been toying with the idea of posting recipes all summer, I don’t consider myself an accomplished cook by any means but one of the sweetest blessings i’ve learned in the past year is that any day can be improved by a simple nightly ritual of chopping and stirring something on a hot stove so i’ve tried to make it a priority. So much of what I know and love about food is wrapped up in the people I share it with so it only seems appropriate to tell their stories as well.
The first time I met Caroline she and her lovely daughter Julip took me to a cafe called Half & Half. The conversation was lovely and so was the food. This was right at the beginning of my brussels sprout obsession so I jumped at ordering the Veggie Hash, which was served in my very own mini cast iron skillet and came with brussels sprouts, potatoes, onions, spinach, and two eggs sunny side up. It was everything I could have hoped it would be and more. Since then, I have partaken in many more delicious meals at Half & Half including their Blackberry French Toast during the infamous Leap Day breakfast of 2012.
Caroline has become a kindred spirit when it many things but especially when it comes to eating well. She continually amazes me with her commitment to provide her family with wholesome food, and grows much of it herself in her backyard garden. I think the happiest i’ve ever been in my life was when I got to hold her precious five day old baby Eloise while Caroline picked us some organic kale for dinner. What I like most about Caroline is how fearlessly she approches life. She not only taught herself how to cook but how to grow her own food. She made a bedspread that rivals anything Anthropologie sells and it seems like every time I visit she’s added a new handmade trinket to the house. I’m someone who likes the idea of most things but often lacks follow-through so it has been such an encouragement to see Caroline tackle so many projects all the while raising two beautiful girls. Thanks to her, Katherine and I now get a weekly CSA box full of all sorts of farm fresh goodies.
Our CSA box is where our dinner started out tonight. More and more, Katherine and I have been sharing meals. It’s more fun to be in the kitchen with another person and cooking for two is infinitely easier. We had a bag of potatoes from this week’s box that we had planned on roasting, and once those got going we realized we had all the ingredients for our very own veggie hash. These last minute, kitchen sink, make it up as you go along meals are my favorite kind. I love the excitement that builds every time someone calls out a new ingredient. “I have half an onion!” “We’ve got rosemary in the garden!” And before you know it both of us are at our stations, chopping and chatting.
The whole thing reminded me of a quote from Tamar Adler’s wonderful cookbook/essay collection An Everlasting Meal that shows us that sometimes the best kind of meals start in the most humble of ways. “Instead of trying to figure out what to do about dinner, you put a big pot of water on the stove, light the burner under it, and when it’s on its way to getting good and hot start looking for things to put in it. In that act, you will have plopped yourself smack in the middle of cooking a meal. And there you’ll be, having retrieved a pot, filled it, and lit a burner, jostled by your will a few steps farther down the path toward dinner.”
What you need:
-Potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces (this isn’t the kind of meal that calls for exactness so the proportions are up to you, trust me you can’t mess this up.)
-Brussels Sprouts, cut into fourths
– 1/4 to 1/2 an onion, sliced into long slivers
-Spinach or other greens, torn into pieces
What you do:
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and rosemary and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet
-Roast for an hour, turning twice
-After the potatoes have been in for 40 minutes, throw the brussels sprouts (drizzled with olive oil, garlic, and salt) in the oven with them (we actually put ours in our toaster oven but this way is more economical) and roast for 20 minutes
-Right as the potatoes and sprouts are finishing up, heat olive oil in a large skillet and start caramelizing the onions, if you’re using kale instead of spinach throw this with the onions because it takes longer to wilt up.
-Once the onions are brown (the key to this recipe is that everything gets nicely charred, almost burnt but not quite) add in the potatoes and the brussels sprouts (add more olive oil as needed)
-Crack 3 eggs straight into the pan and scramble them with your spatula, making sure everything gets coated. Add the spinach now too (this is where it’s nice to have a partner, one to crack the eggs and one to stir the skillet)
-Stir until everything is cooked and combined
-Add a little sirarcha if you’re so inclined and enjoy!