April 24, 2014

all the Spring Vegetables covered in a Creamy Lemon Goat Cheese Sauce

I keep having to remind myself over and over again that we bought a house. It still doesn't seem real. A couple of days ago I took a shower in our new house for the first time. It felt mildly strange. Like I was taking a shower in someone else's bathroom. The house smells of other people. There are dings in the wall, spills in the oven. I'm not sure who put them there, and angers me that someone could be so careless with our home. For the past 6 years, our house was a rental unit, and you can tell that it hasn't been loved. The gardens haven't been kept, and the softwood floors have a lot of scratches. Clearly, someone who cares about a place would not let those things happen. It's is a few blocks away from our current apartment, that we will be renting until the end of April. Our apartment feels like the luxurious hotel that we go to after a long day at work (the house). For the past 2 weeks we've been slowly moving our stuff, load by load. All of the food, kitchen-related items, props, laptop, camera, and iron are at the new house. My bed, clothes, studio lights and desktop computer with lightroom are still at the apartment. It makes for a messy work day. I had great intentions to paint the WHOLE house before we moved in. At the time, the idea just seemed to make a lot of sense, and besides, then we wouldn't have to worry about getting paint all over everything, because lets be real, I paint like a 4 year old. Living between two houses, and more importantly, buying a house is on the list of top 20 life stressors that can trigger anxiety and sadness, says Richard Zwolinski from Therapy Soup. To deal with this stress, I've been eating an inordinate amount of chocolate and binge watching New Girl.

Despite all of the little weird imperfections and stranger smells, the house is beautiful. I am in love with it, all of its nooks and crannies. It is an older house, around a hundred years old. We don't have any furniture to fill it, the walls need a new coat of paint. The gardens need some work, and I have to figure out some way to get the broken window that was buried in the garden, out of the ground. But she is our new home, and I couldn't be happier. Yesterday was the first time I stepped into the kitchen, and I felt really out of sorts. My oven is a big powerful gas burning beast that scares the hell out of me. I have little to no experience cooking with gas, and when I turned it on to 375ºF, it started smoking, and then the smoke alarm went off, and my dog started yelping, and I couldn't get high enough to pull out the battery, so we just ran around the house panicking. I tried to make a strawberry rhubarb pie, and a potato and leek pizza, and they were both fails. I am chalking this up to bad kitchen juju. For good measures, I may decided to burn some sage, for my sanity.

Today, I stepped back into the kitchen for round two, me versus the stove. I gave it a good scrub, not the harsh chemical kind, the mild lavender soap kind. I gave up half way through, because there is only so much scrubbing you can do in one hour before you start to go insane. I decided to give the stove another go, and with much success, I am happy to admit that the smoke alarm did not go off and the recipe was a win.

I decided to make something simple, nothing too overwhelming (like trying to bake a pie and pizza in the same day). I can barely find where I keep the knives or anything else for that matter. The spring produce has sprung, and I wanted to take advantage, so I bought all of the good looking things and combined them into a grown-up version of vegetables and cheese sauce. This is not your ordinary cheese sauce though, it's full of creamy goat cheese goodness with a hint of lemon that is unbelievable. The sauce would be perfect drizzled over any combination of vegetables. I chose my favorites, and cooked them in a manner equally pleasing. A great (successful) introduction to spring cooking, and gas powered ovens.

serves 4 as a side

1 1/2 cups potatoes, chopped
1 yellow zucchini, sliced
1 small leek, sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp flake salt
5 asparagus spears, chopped
5 broccolini shoots, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup broth
3 oz goat cheese
1 small lemon
chopped green onions

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Place the chopped potatoes, sliced zucchini, sliced leek, and chopped garlic onto a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and flake salt. Roast the vegetables for 20 - 30 minutes until golden brown, tossing every 10 minutes.

(Approximately 5 minutes before the potatoes are done)
Place the chopped asparagus and broccolini in a frying pan with 1 tbsp of water. Bring to a boil on high heat and steam for a few minutes, until they turn bright green and you are able to pierce with a fork. If the water boils away too quickly, add a tbsp at a time.

While the broccolini and asparagus are steaming, in a small sauce pan set to low heat, add the butter and flour and combine with a wire whisk. Once the butter begins to boil, slowly whisk in the broth. If you add the broth too quickly, the butter and flour will clump. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the broth has thickened enough to coat a spoon. Whisk in the goat cheese until smooth. Add the juice from one lemon and stir.

In a large bowl add the the roasted potatoes mixture and the steamed vegetables. Pour the cream sauce over and toss. Sprinkle some chopped green onion and cashews for a garnish. Serve warm. Can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.


  1. I love this dish so much, all of my favorites in one. Your pictures are really great and congrats on the new home!

  2. yayy for this dish that successfully came out..its always little tricky in a new space but i am sure you will be just fine soon :) i love anything with goat cheese and this looks beautiful.

  3. Ugh, I feel you on SO MUCH of this. Our house is around a hundred years old, definitely needed some serious TLC, your mysterious buried window = my mysterious buried pond feature, the two living spaces where separate types of work get done, the sage burning, the stranger smells. It's all very familiar over here and we are just at the tail end of the madness (these things always take longer than we'd like). Only the garden to go now for us, so I'm sending some extra strong juju for good livin' over your way. Beautiful vegetables too. xo

  4. This looks delicious! I think new homes are always just a little bit weird- it doesn't quite feel like HOME for a little while, but I'm sure it will soon. Congratulations though!

    Alice xx | The Cup and Saucer

  5. That sauce is just unreal. LOVE this!

  6. This is all so familiar from when we moved into our place this time last year. It takes a while for that sense of strangeness to disappear (especially if you're living between two places, as we did too) but that moment when you wake up and the new place finally feels like home is pretty magical.

  7. Great story about your house. I am certain you will get it back into shape with some work. Just keep cooking dishes like this and you'll be just fine :-)

  8. You have the exact same stress relievers as me (chocolate & New Girl) - love it! I can imagine all the stress that a new home would create but its got to be SO exciting at the same time! Oh, and this sauce pretty much sounds like the best thing ever.

  9. Oh this looks so fabulous and refreshing! I love a good vegetable salad like this. So wonderful for spring!

  10. Love your story! I did almost the same move last year. Old houses has their own mind, but it's worth it.

  11. Congratulations on your new home!! love old homes, sure you probably have a lot of work but so cool you can make it your own. Great spring veggie dish.

  12. Looks great. Congrats on the house!

  13. Congrats on your new home! So exciting. I love this simple yet genius meal. Absolutely beautiful!

  14. This looks delicious, will be keeping this in mind for summer dishes to serve. :)

  15. Looks lovely, I adore the combination of lemon and goat cheese. Painting the house will be a never ending adventure. By the time you finish all the rooms (years in my case), the first one is in need of new paint :)

  16. I absolutely relate to moving stress - did that this year too. It takes some time to get your balance again, but it will come! Being in the kitchen helps a lot. Nice to find your lovely work! The spring vegetables are just exactly what I'm craving...last night it was fiddleheads and morels with pasta.

  17. If the soil isn't productive, adding compost is a wonderful resolution. To do this, get hold of the bottom from that the vegetable patch planting ought to be created, up to 5 feet deep. extra service the world with compost up to four feet and canopy it with high soil.