We cook up a winter feast

December 9, 2010 | By | Comments (2)

We’ve been at it again—swirling, sipping, and noshing! Yesterday the one-block team celebrated our most recent harvest with a feast from our homegrown vegetables; homemade wine, butter, salt, and cheese; and home brew beer and mead.

SittingDown Sitting down to the salad course

Some highlights, in no particular order:

• A huge roasted squash soup bowl

SquashInoven The squash in the oven

• Browned butter: Swoon-worthy. Drizzle on the soup, or just suck it up with a straw?

• Steak fries made from potatoes stored in our improvised “root cellar”—delish

StephanieFries Stephanie Dean, making the steak fries

• Taking time out to cook and celebrate home-grown food: immensely satisfying (as if we needed reminding)

The menu

Sliced raw purple kohlrabi with sea salt and lemon

Oven-baked steak fries with green chile mayonnaise (see recipes below)

Winter Caesar with purple kale, red mizuna, escarole, dandelion greens, and aged gouda dressing


The salad

Roasted Marina di Chioggia squash and cipollini onion soup in a squash shell

Whole-wheat rolls

Homemade sweet butter and homemade salt

Ricotta-honey tart with caramelized Meyer lemons and kumquats


Margo True, making the tarts

Sunset Chardonnay, Syrah, October ale, wheat beer, and mead

The soup

Thanks, Johanna (our test garden coordinator), for saving those handsome Marina di Chioggia squash from the garden invaders. I made soup out of puréed roasted chunks from one squash along with roasted cipollini onions and some homemade vegetable broth, then ladled it into a whole roasted, hollowed-out squash.

It was so heavy, Margo and I had to carry it to the table together. Everyone ooh’d and ahh’d, so of course I was totally pleased.


Margo and I bring in the soup while Amy Machnak stands ready to serve it.

We passed bowlfuls topped with more of the roasted vegetables and a drizzle of browned homemade butter. Some people were overheard discussing the possibility of browned butter facials.


The soup with toppings

The drinks

Stay tuned for an update later this week on how our brews, wine, and mead tasted, many months after they were made.


Stephanie Dean, Alan Phinney, Johanna Silver, and Dana Smith enjoy the drinks


The fries with green chile mayo

Here’s a sneak preview from our One-Block cook book, to be published this coming March.

Oven-Baked Steak Fries with Green Chile Mayonnaise

We didn’t have steak, but managed to eat plenty of these regardless, especially dunked in the mayo.

MAKES 4 servings TIME about 45 minutes

1 pound ‘Yukon Gold’ potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Green Chile Mayonnaise (recipe follows)

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the potato wedges on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the oil, and sprinkle with the salt. Toss the potato wedges to coat evenly.

2. Roast, turning the wedges halfway through, until golden and crisp, about 35 minutes.

3. Transfer the fries to a platter, spreading them out evenly (they will stay crisp longer on a platter than heaped in a bowl), and season with more salt, if you like. Serve with the mayonnaise.

Green Chile Mayonnaise

A fiesty spread that’s good on sandwiches, too. Have ingredients at room temperature to help the mayonnaise thicken. (If the egg is straight from the refrigerator, put it in warm water for several minutes before you use it to help it warm up.) Seed the chile if you want less kick.

MAKES About 1 cup TIME 5 minutes

1 large egg

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 to 1 red or green serrano chile, finely chopped

11/2 to 2 teaspoons fine sea salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a blender, whirl together the egg, garlic, chile, 11/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice until the mixture thickens slightly, about 1 minute. With the motor running, add the oil through the top of the blender in a slow, steady stream, whirling until all of it has been incorporated and the mayonnaise is thick. Whirl in more salt and lemon juice to taste, if you like.

Make ahead : Up to 4 days, covered and chilled.

Photos by Spencer Toy, Sunset imaging specialist


  1. Margo True

    You will, Tina! They’ll all be in our book.

    December 17, 2010 at 6:15 am
  2. tina k (friend of nugget)

    Oh what fun! I’m so jealous. I want to try some of those recipes.

    December 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm

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