Today is the kind of day where chocolate tastes sweeter, silence feels more poignant, and laughter makes me ache with even more joy. Today is the sort where the mess can wait, craft projects pile on top of one another, layered with empty cups of hot cocoa and sticky fingerprints. It’s the kind of day where the daily blips seem small and the silly stresses seem to pale in comparison to the overwhelming blessings. Today is a rare day where I sense a correct perspective and see this day for the gift it it (well, most of the day).
A nudge of self-pity would try and creep it and I would sternly ask it to leave. A pang of insecurity and twinge of inadequacy longed to invade but the reminder of life’s fragility and the choice to focus on what I have here and now was stronger. Feelings of anxiety and fear didn’t have a chance to settle before I turned them into prayer and made their vain existence useful. It was a constant choice and a continual battle that I fought valiantly.
There will be days I lose, where the feelings of doubt win and my perspective is lost, but today I won.
Today is a gift.
Roasted Potatoes with Minted Spinach Pesto
Serves 6-8 as a side
A stunning box of produce found its way to my door via the kind folks of GiltTaste. I opened the box and immediately pulled it out of the reach of a certain toddler’s less than delicate grip for fear the flawless micro greens and edible flowers would meet their demise before they had a chance to be enjoyed by me.
I couldn’t resist the spinach. Tight curly leaves in the most vibrant of greens, each bundled in a cluster with similarly beautiful leaves. Next I was hit with a sudden punch of fresh herbs, what lingered in my mind was the cooling scent of mint.
This pesto warms and satisfies as a Winter side dish should but without the heavy cheese or cream coat that accompanies so many. It’s confident enough to stand its own next to a holiday roast and plenty satisfying so you won’t hear the longing moans for gratin.
2 lbs new potatoes*, halved
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp kosher salt
Pre-heat your oven to 400*F. Place potatoes on a parchment lined sheet tray. Drizzle olive oil and salt over top and sprinkle salt. Stir the potatoes to evenly coat.Roast for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through and deep golden in parts. Stir a couple times during the cooking process to ensure even cooking.
2 garlic cloves*
½ cup toasted almonds
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups spinach leaves, packed*
½ cup mint leaves*
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 cup grated Parmesan
¼ – ½ teaspoon kosher salt
In the bowl of a food processor add the garlic, almonds and zest. Process until finely minced. Add to that the spinach, mint and lemon juice. Process until greens are chopped fine. While the machine is running add the olive oil and water, scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Lastly, pulse in the Parmesan. Taste and add salt to your preference.
While the potatoes are still warm toss with pesto. You may have leftover pesto or you may decide to use it all, either way is fine with me. Garnish with more Parmesan and serve warm.
*Full Disclosure: GiltTaste.com provided me with this incredible produce and asked me to have fun with it. That’s just what I did.