Easter Sunday was a great day for us. We were invited to join a coworker’s gathering (Greg’s coworker…mine would be the kitchen) with some of his family. There was a little hesitancy on our part because we didn’t know what to expect and not being religious, weren’t sure what to do or bring.
Once there, I realized there was nothing to fret about as these were very kind, welcoming people. The food was great (some Norwegian influences), the company was wonderful and now, we are welcome back any time we’d like to venture around their 20 acres in the hills of southern Minnesota. If you’re wondering, we brought Riesling and I made Martha Stewart’s rhubarb crumb bars (the link is there). I thought it was a nice first rhubarb recipe for the season but a bit too sweet for our tastes. Our host stated that he enjoyed it since he has a sweet tooth. When something involves rhubarb, I like the tartness to be highlighted.
That brings me to my next thought: do you know of any savory rhubarb recipes?
Not only did they feed, provide companionship and keep the wine flowing, they sent us home with leftovers, maple syrup (from their trees), sauerkraut (homemade), spring onions, 2 dozen fresh eggs from their chickens and the grandparents mentioned giving us some of their homemade wine…great, right? I couldn’t thank them enough.
To make a great day even better, we played the card game (my favorite) euchre. I can’t even remember the last time I played. We did the 6 person version and my team won. My team was our host’s son and wife…Greg played a good game but they didn’t win a single one. I’m kind of competitive-much like their family with card games. We got along just fine.
They also have an orchard, large garden, grapes and a creek on their property for fishing. They can a large amount of pretty much everything and share with their neighbors. I could learn something here.
Last week, I roasted some small red potatoes, garlic and carrots with chicken for a simple meal. Honestly one of our favorites but I had leftover vegetables and wasn’t quite sure what to do…until I came across a watercress salad with a warm vinaigrette from Gourmet. Put the two of those together and you have a delicious side or lunch.
You don’t have to use watercress; you can use spinach or your favorite variety of lettuce. I should add that I devoured quite a bit of salad last week (I was in the mood), most with a chilled dressing so the warm vinaigrette was very appealing (especially with the cool early spring evenings).
Roasted Vegetables and Watercress with Warm Vinaigrette
1 ½ tbsp minced shallot
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1 1 /2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large bunch of watercress stems trimmed, rinsed and dried
12 small red potatoes, washed, patted dry and halved
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
Preheat the oven to 375. Place the potatoes and carrots on a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tbsp of olive oil and salt/pepper. Toss to coat and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until tender, allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile in a saucepan whisk the shallot, mustard, honey and vinegar over low heat. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified. Continue heating over low heat until hot.
In a large serving bowl, place half of the dressing and add the watercress, toss to coat. Then add the roasted vegetables and remaining dressing, tossing lightly again and serve.