I love the Dutch. Everything about them. Their dams, their windmills, their tulips, wooden shoes...
But seriously, had you asked me if I wanted to visit The Netherlands 20 years ago I would have scoffed. What about Italy? What about France? What about Morocco??
Then I went there. It was after I'd been to Italy, France and Morocco, in search for a better place to call my home. None of those came close. While in Morocco, my sister and I befriended some Dutch guys and we became friends for life. Then we took advantage of our new friendship and visited them the following year... and I fell in love with the country. I even tried to stay there, but was unsuccessful in getting hired. The EU, you know.
I have finally made their signature dish, which I first ate this at Restaurant Moeders - Stamppot: a mixture of root and green vegetables all mashed up, generally served with sausage of some sort. A real simple winter meal; sticks to your ribs and warms your heart. It reveals the nature of the Dutch: straightforward, comfortable, no nonsense, and easy going.
- 1 small bag fingerling potatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 small bag fresh baby spinach
- 10 chives, chopped
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Salt to taste
- Kielbasa or other spicy sausage
- Place potatoes and garlic in a pot of boiling salted water. Boil for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon and mash. Immediately add butter and mix in to melt.
- Add spinach to boiling water. Cook for 5 more minutes, until spinach has wilted but is still bright green. Drain spinach and cool. Once cool place between a clean towel and squeeze excess water out. Chop finely.
- Add chives and spinach to potatoes and mix. Salt to taste.
- Meanwhile, fry the sausage in a skillet until warm. Serve together.