Spring Vegetable Tots

Spring Vegetable Tots

Somehow I've gone 33 years without making tater tots. Don't ask me how that's possible. It's just the way it is. It's not that I'm opposed to them, but if I'm going the potato route, fries are what often call to me. I'm happy to announce, however, that I'm on "Team Tots" now. Or should I say #teamtots? Are hashtags still in? 

My friend Dan isn't just a blogger, cookbook author, and TV star (he won Guy's Grocery Games last year), but he is king of tots. He's so into them, in fact, that he's written a book featuring fifty creative ways to use them. I decided to give my first go at a spuddy dish with this bowl of my favorite spring-time vegetables. Potatoes and mushrooms and fiddleheads and ramps. What more could one ask for? 

Spring Vegetable Tots



Serves 4-6 as a side

1/2 lb fiddleheads, washed thoroughly
2 handfuls of ramps, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 lb oyster mushrooms, any large ones sliced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons butter
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
40 frozen tater tots
Black pepper
Cooking oil 

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add fiddleheads and cook for 8 minutes. While they're cooking, prepare a bowl of ice water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fiddleheads to the bowl to shock them. After a few minutes, drain all the water from the bowl and set fiddleheads aside. 

In a saute pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and ramps and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add fiddleheads and cook for another 5 minutes. Pour in lemon juice. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, as well as most of the rosemary, leaving a little for garnish. 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly coat with cooking oil and spread tots on top in an even layer. Bake in the oven for 24-26 minutes, until golden brown. 

Transfer tots and cooked spring vegetables to serving bowl and mix together. Garnish with remaining chopped rosemary.


Fall Veggie Pot Pie


Fall Veggie Pot Pie

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, diced
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 turnip, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon fresh, flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Place olive oil in a large saute pan and set to medium heat. Add the onions and cook for a minute.

3. Add the butternut squash, carrots, potatoes and turnip to the pan.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for another 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Mix in peas and take the pan off heat.

4. In a saucepan, heat the butter at medium heat.  Once it has melted, add the flour and whisk until combined.  Whisk in the vegetable broth 1/2 a cup at a time. Whisk in the heavy cream.  Remove from heat.

5. Pour cream mixture over cooked vegetables and toss to combine.  Mix in parsley.

6. Transfer mixture to a 9 by 9 glass baking dish.

7. Top with puff pastry sheet and fold into sides of pan.

8. Bake for 40 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and serve.