Crispy potatoes with peppers, tomatoes, and pine nut chipotle aioli

Tomatoes, yellow squash and peppers

Tomatoes, yellow squash and peppers

Every day lately, Malcolm has wanted nothing but to go to the river. The river! He wakes in the morning and thinks about walking down to the river, he wants to spend the long hot afternoon there, he wants to go back after dinner when the sinking sun makes a bright path on the darkening water. He and Clio splash in like some sort of mythical dolphin-otters, she bounds after sticks, and he dives for stones. When we walk home he’s bright and wet and barefoot, and he has an armful of rocks swaddled in his soaking shirt. Our house is full of stones! River stones, creek stones, pebbles from the seaside. Smooth black stones, dusky grey stones, pockmarked stones, and craggy striated rocks, stones that were slick and beautiful when wet, and now seem dusty and plain, but still worth keeping. We have a wooden bowl on our kitchen table spilling over with stones of every size. Our outside table is piled with stones, my desk has little heaps of small smooth pebbles, Malcolm’s desk is covered with a ruckus of rocks, and he’s got boxes heavy with many more of them. The washing machine is piled with stones from boys’ pockets. We all collect them, we all bring handfuls into the house. They seem full of meaning and life, with all their weighty calm; they’re so silent and still, but surely they hold old stories and myths and spirits inside of them. I love the cairns throughout our house, marking our paths, showing us where to go and where we’ve been, spelling our time here, commemorating our adventures; so hard to clean around, such a sweet testament to our collective madness.




pine nut chipoptle aioli

pine nut chipoptle aioli

This meal is like a mound of stones! Well, if the potatoes were stones, and if they were covered by a fresh, juicy spicy sauce, and a smooth very tasty aioli on top! I was thinking of the tapas dish Patatas bravas when I made this. So it’s got crispy sage-roasted potatoes–I used the ones from the farm and they’re tiny, only about half an inch across. If you have larger ones, just cut them into smaller pieces. Atop this we piled tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers and yellow squash–all from the farm. And my favorite part was the pine nut chipotle aioli. Simple but with a smoky haunting flavor. It would be good with any other kinds of roasted vegetables as well, I think.crispy-potatoes

Here’s Bill Evans with Milestones.

1 pound potatoes, scrubbed or peeled. You want about 1/2 inch pieces, so if they’re small enough leave them whole or halve them, if they’re larger, dice them
olive oil to coat
3 or 4 sage leaves, minced

1 T olive oil
2 or 3 sage leave, minced
2 t fresh oregano
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 small hot peppers, such as jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 yellow squash, sliced in quarters lengthwise and then in 1/4 inch pieces
1 t tomato paste
1 large or 2 small sweet red or orange peppers, seeded and diced
3 or 4 medium-sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
handful of fresh basil, cleaned and chopped
1 T butter
1 t balsamic or lemon juice
salt and plenty of freshly ground peppper

Preheat the oven to 425. Toss the potatoes with just enough olive oil to coat (1 or 2 tablespoons) and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes until they’re brown and crispy. Stir them from time to time to ensure that they brown evenly.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the herbs and shallot, stir and cook, then add the garlic and jalapenos. Cook about a minute, then add the yellow squash. Stir and cook until the squash starts to soften and brown on the edges, about five minutes. Add the tomato paste. Stir and cook about a minute.

Add the peppers and tomatoes. Add a little water if the tomatoes aren’t too juicy. You want a thick saucy mixture. Cook until the tomatoes start to break down and soften.

Add the cherry tomatoes, basil, butter and balsamic and season with salt and pepper.


1/3 cup pine nuts
1 slice bread, preferably french or white
1 clove garlic, roasted or toasted
2 t capers
1/2 t salt
1 t dijon mustard
1/2 t chipotle purée (or to taste)
1 t balsamic
black pepper

Combine everything in a food processor, process until coarse and crumbly. Add about 1/3 cup water and process till smooth. Add more water if necessary. You want it to be the consistency of heavy cream.

Serve everything in a mound, first the potatoes, then the tomatoes, and top with a layer of pine nut aioli.


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