Inspired by a loaf of 100% einkorn bread passed to me by a friend (and the cookbook by Silvena Rowe I had in my bag at the time) - a beet caviar. Perfect for slathering - sweet earthiness of roasted beets accented with toasted walnuts, chives, dates, and a swirl of creme fraiche.
To make great guacamole you have to go off-recipe. It's all about the in-between steps, decisions, and knowing when avocados are at their best.
Tiny socca-inspired pancakes made with buttermilk or keffir - golden, tender, and cooked in cold-pressed spicy mustard oil. Flat out delicious.
Hot, gin-marinated olives. I used big, green Castelvetranos tossed with a mixture of gin and olive oil, big swatches of lemon peel, lots of herbs. Feta cubes were the finishing touch.
A fennel mushroom recipe inspired by one of my vintage cookbooks, The Seasonal Kitchen by Perla Meyers. It's a simple, brilliant twist on everyday sauteed mushrooms with dill, chives, fresh fennel, and a kiss of creme fraiche.
The prettiest dip in my repertoire - my take on the Iranian preparation of Mast-o-Khiar (yogurt and cucumber). I use lots of fresh herbs, dried rose petals, toasted walnuts and a pop of added color and tartness from dried cranberries.
A Parmesan cheese spread made with grated cheese, olive oil, a splash of white wine, and any other accents you can think of.
Inspired by a recipe from Alana Chernila's The Homemade Pantry, these are the cheese crackers I made for my nephew (in owl shapes!) when he came to stay with us last week.
Gougères - I have these little cheese puffs in my freezer, ready to bake, nearly always. This version, a favorite, is made with whole wheat flour, sharp white cheddar cheese, fennel, and ale.
Potstickers - For my flight to London, I made the filling with lots of caramelized shallots & pureed yellow split peas then pan-fried them until the bottoms were crisp and golden. They freeze like beautifully, perfect for quick dumpling-centric meals later on.