Thursday, January 15, 2009

Finding meaning in winter: Winter Vegetable Hash

This time of year, when we have all been farmer's market deficient for way too long, at least for me that yearning for fresh spring and summer vegetables tends to come hard. There's still produce out there to play with, but I'm more of a visual eater/cooker, and love it when the brilliant colors at the market pop out at me (which probably speaks more to my inner 5-year-old than anything). Winter produce tends to bring out the beiges and dark greens, and I'm just not that excited. BUT, having said all that, a little while ago I was having dinner with my friends Bill and Martha, who besides being exceptionally hospitable people are also fabulous cooks and entertainers (they also know their way around a bottle or several of adult beverages as witnessed by the parade of single malt Scotches after a meal that included several bottles of killer wine....combine my weak will power with a strong liver and you've got trouble!). Bill threw down this delicious side dish that has only helped to dispel my negative attitude towards winter veggies. Plus it has bacon, and you know, who can bad things about that?! From Food and Wine Magazine, this was pure savory goodness that paired perfectly with Bill's magical smoked pork chops. Magical in the sense that I couldn't stop eating them and also for their ability to seemingly soak up copious amounts of wine. This is a supremely tasty side, and will go with just about any meat entrée you've got in mind. Plus it is super fast and easy. I guess summer can wait....but not too long!
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Roasted Fall-Vegetable Hash
from Food and Wine Magazine

1/2 pound brussels sprouts, quartered
1/2 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 pound sweet onions such as Vidalia or Texas sweets, finely chopped
1 small Granny Smith apple—peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
10 sage leaves, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup apple cider

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the brussels sprouts and squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for about 20 minutes, or until tender.

2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the apple and cook until it starts to soften, about 2 minutes. Gently stir in the roasted brussels sprouts, squash and sage, then pour in the cider. Simmer over moderately high heat until the cider has almost evaporated, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and serve.
*Cooks note: The vegetable hash can be refrigerated overnight.
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one year ago today @ E.D.T.: the best chicken thigh recipe EVER!!

1 comment:

Kathleen Bauer said...

Wow...this sounds like a great side (or veggie main). It's going on the "make this immediately" list. That meal sounded amazing. Lucky you!

- KAB, GoodStuffNW