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Every Friday, Sofia Wood shares her cooking ideas here on Make it last. One of the things she does best is sprucing up simple everyday dishes, making them look just so inviting and delicious. Oh, and not to mention the desserts—heavenly!

This week I thought we’d focus on how to spruce up two everyday side dishes—the part of a meal that tends to be slightly forgotten. Make a tiny bit of extra effort, and watch your meal notch it up considerably. And as for this week’s dessert, this simple recipe is just the loveliest ever—elegant and minimalist at the same time. Enjoy!

/Sofia

Smashed Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes

Plain, old potatoes transformed into roasted crispy golden goodness—all fragrant and warm. Simple as anything, and everyone in our family seem to love their spuds this way.

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 kg small floury potatoes
1 head of garlic, broken into cloves
25 g butter
2-3 sprigs of rosemary
2-3 sprigs of thyme
Olive oil
Flaky sea salt
Freshly crushed black pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Scrub the potatoes, leaving skins on, and parboil in salted water for about 7 minutes or until just underdone. Drain the water and add butter to the warm potatoes, shaking the pot to scruff them up a bit. Transfer the potatoes to a large roasting tray. Using the back of a large spoon, gently squash each potato, flattening them out. Make sure the potatoes have a bit of space between them and aren’t too tightly packed, as that will prevent them from crisping properly. Scatter unpeeled whole garlic cloves all around the dish and stick in the sprigs of herbs. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve the potatoes with the garlic cloves that will by now be soft, sticky and sweet.

Charred Leeks

Charred Leeks

This dish, which is a slightly simplified version of a recipe by Tommy Myllymäki, can double as both a starter and a side. When the leeks are baked, they become soft and almost sweet—a perfect autumn dish.

Ingredients

Serves 4

3 whole leeks
Olive oil
Flaky sea salt
Freshly crushed black pepper
150 g Chèvre

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Trim the leeks, removing the dark green top part and the rough bottom part, leaving the base intact. Cut the leek lengthwise, almost all the way through. Remove the outer layer, then clean and rinse thoroughly. Lay the leeks out on a baking tray and drizzle a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper on top. Bake them for 20 minutes or until they are charred, soft and tender all the way through. Split the leeks, arrange them on a platter and crumble cheese all over.

Apples Poached in Bay Leaf and Lemon With Roquefort Cream

Apples Poached in Bay Leaf and Lemon With Roquefort Cream

This is by far my favorite recipe from the ones I’ve shared here on Make it last. It’s just so quintessentially easy and elegant. Both apples and Roquefort cream can be prepared a day ahead, just remember to reserve some of the cooking liquid to keep the apples moist.

Ingredients

Serves 4

2 large, crisp apples or 4 small ones
750 ml water
1/2 dl sugar
3 bay leaves
1 lemon
1/2 dl cream
150 g Roquefort or any other blue cheese you prefer

Preparation

Put the sugar and water in a saucepan large enough to fit the apples. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. Cut the lemon in half and add it to the bay leaves. Peel the apples and slice in half from tip to base. Gently add the apples to the simmering syrup and make sure it doesn’t boil too hard as that will break up the apples—you want them to be as intact and pretty as possible. Prick them with a skewer occasionally. The apples are ready once they’re tender all the way through. Drain, let cool and set aside. Heat up cream in a small saucepan. Crumble cheese into the warm cream and stir until the cheese has melted. Pour the cream into a serving dish and let cool until it has thickened. Serve with the poached apples.


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