Gorgonzola-Walnuts Roasted Potato Bites
Appetizers (Hors d’Oeuvre in French, Antipasto in Italian) are some of the most fun things to make in the kitchen.This is where you can show your creative side, both in the preparation and presentation. When having company for dinner I tend to offer a selection of them, usually set out on a counter in the kitchen not far from the wine and let the guests help themselves to both while I put the finishing touches on dinner. Sometimes I set the appies elsewhere in the house but if it’s a small enough group I keep it in the kitchen so I don’t miss any of the conversation. I don’t usually let the guests help with dinner. I don’t know why, I just like to do it myself. I also like to invite friends over for a glass of wine and appetizers and offer a variety of satisfying bites that would last for the entire evening. One thing that never happens in my kitchen is running out of food. When it comes to food (or furnishing for that matter ) I am not a minimalist. I like abundance and comfort, respectively.
These little roasted potatoes and gorgonzola bites have been in my repertoire for a long time and if you have been to my house it’s likely you have had them in one form or another. I also make these with goat cheese as I am aware that not everyone loves blue cheese. If you don’t like either blue or goat (you know who you are M) you can use something else as long as it can melt a little when roasted in the oven. For convenience I tend to steam the potatoes first in their skins until tender, then drizzle them with olive oil and roast briefly. Before serving I fill them with the cheese and place in the oven to until the cheese melts and the nuts are lightly toasted. It’s a lovely appetizer to serve with a glass of wine and stands up well to big reds (Bordeaux, Barolo, Chianti and even Zinfandel, or Pinot Grigio or Riesling in whites.
I am not specifying quantities for obvious reasons. Use as many as you need depending on the number of guests and rest of the menu offering. Don’t panic. Deep breath, breath in, breath out. You can do it.
Small baby potatoes, red or white skinned (“quanto basta” as much as you need)
Coarse sea salt
A dash of paprika
Wash and dry the potatoes but do not peel.
Place in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam until tender.
Remove from heat and let cool. Place in a bowl and toss with a little olive oil, salt and paprika.
Make a small cut across the top of each potato and with your hand press the potatoes n so they open at the cut you just made. This is just like working with a large baked potato, only these are small.
Preheat oven to 375, place the potatoes without the cheese on a baking sheet and roast a few minutes to crisp the outside a little.
Remove from oven and place a piece of cheese in each potato and sprinkle with the chopped nuts. You can prepare this in advance up to this point, then proceed before serving.
Return to the oven and cook just until the cheese begins to melt and the nuts are lightly toasted. Don’t let the cheese melt into a puddle so be careful and watch it, taking it out of the oven when it just begins to melt.
Serve with a glass of wine to your favourite company or yourself ( in my case it could be the same thing. Just kidding).