There is something magical about sharing a table with someone.
You may be seated at a table with complete strangers, but somehow, the feast before you– the red wine, the crusty bread– gives you commonality with one another and transforms your relationship into something new. You leave with new friends.
Or maybe you’ve been friends forever, and sharing a meal together speaks louder about your friendship than words ever could. You leave feeling connected and loved.
And then there’s the people you live with– your family, roommates, a spouse or significant other. You see them everyday, maybe not always in their best light, and sharing breakfast in the morning or dinner that someone spent hours preparing, brings you closer together.
Last night Jazz and I decided to make an “easy” dinner. It was a spaghetti kind of night. Jazz caramelized fennel and Field Roast Italian sausages and tossed it with perfect al dente spaghetti and a beautiful pasta sauce. He served it with a baby kale salad, crusty ciabatta and a glass of cabernet. Maybe not every family’s idea of easy, but to us it was just the right kind of simple. And we sat at the table, Jazz, Willow and I, and ate this delicious meal together. And Willow threw spaghetti all over the wall, and Jazz spilled his glass of wine all over himself. And it was probably one of my favorite meals, not because of what we were eating (although it would be an understatement to say it was delicious), but because of who I was sharing it with.
So when you try this Sweet Potato Gnocchi recipe– which is much easier but as delicious as it looks, trust me– make sure you are sharing it with people you love. Let it be more than just nourishment to your body, but something that feeds the collective soul. And these caramelized, golden bites of rich sweet potato tossed with a white wine sauce, wilted spinach and sautéed mushrooms is sure to do the trick.
May your table always be full of people you love and a delicious feast!
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a White Wine Sauce, Spinach, Mushrooms and Roasted Chicken
3 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 egg yolks// for a vegan version use 2 T chia seeds a 2 T water and let sit 5 minutes
1/4 tapioca or corn starch
1/2 cup coconut or almond flour
1 t kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cups button mushrooms, quartered
5 oz fresh baby spinach
3/4 cup dry white wine– I used sauvignon blanc
3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 T thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
2 T butter
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 leaves of fresh sage
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place your sweet potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain the sweet potatoes, season with salt and pepper and puree with an immersion blender or food processor until there are no more lumps. Allow to cool slightly.
2. Combine all ingredients for the gnocchi and cooked sweet potato in a large mixing bowl. Divide mixture into quarters. Using one quarter at a time, roll out the dough until it is a long roll, about 3/4″ in diameter.
Cut the gnocchi into 1/2-3/4″ pieces and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. You can use a fork to make traditional gnocchi marking. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the gnocchi halfway.
3. Meanwhile, season both sides of your chicken breasts. Heat up a sauté pan on high with a little cooking fat (pure olive oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil, lard) and sear the top of the chicken breast until golden brown. Make sure the pan is really hot for the best sear. Place chicken in a oiled or foil lined roasting pan. Squeeze lemon juice over the breasts and place sage leaves on top. Place the squeezed lemons in the pan with the chicken and bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165°F.
4. Saute your mushrooms until golden brown and wilt the spinach. Set aside (if you are a vegetarian like me, omit the chicken and add more mushrooms and spinach).
5. To make the beurre blanc, deglaze your sauté pan with the white wine and reduce by 3/4. Add your stock of choice and the sage and reduce by half. Pour in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and finish with butter.
6. Toss the gnocchi, spinach, mushrooms and white wine sauce together and serve with the roasted chicken. If you have a little balsamic reduction for a garnish, be my guest.
Keeping Willow by Stacy Feyer-Salo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.