This chile relish has been a staple this summer. it brings the fast magic - adding depth, raisiny-chile flavor, color, and dimension to all sorts of simple preparations. I'll list off a number of my favorites here.
Newsletter love, and a wintery bean salad made with gorgeous Rancho Gordo ayocote negro beans, and pan-fried hedgehog mushrooms. You get crunch from toasted almonds, and sweetness from dried figs which works nicely to offset the acid in the shallot vinaigrette. There's also some shredded kale involved. It's a good lunch salad, and you can make a good portion of it in advance.
A base of finely shredded Lacinato kale to which and abundance of toasted pecans, pecorino cheese, and shredded Brussels sprouts are added. A strong lemon-tahini dressing is leveraged to brighten things up and take the raw edge off of the kale.
This time last year I made a winter punch, it was prosecco and gin-based with seasonal citrus, ginger and rosemary. It was a recipe that bolstered my punch-making confidence, and got me excited to attempt a new one for 2014. Something in an entirely different direction.
What you're looking at is a quirky, unique bowl of quinoa, with a couple of secrets. And the next time you have leftover quinoa (other other favorite grain) give it a try - coconut, garlic, almonds, kale, topped with salted yogurt and avocado.
I was asked to bring a soup for a group of friends getting together for a casual, coastal overnight in beautiful west Marin. There were a number of recipes that were contenders, but a spicy chickpea soup from Yotam Ottolenghi's upcoming cookbook, Plenty More, caught my attention. It features a seductive, red harissa broth fragrant with cumin, coriander, and caraway, and enough chickpeas and bulgur to make it work as a main course. An herb-whipped feta is the crowning dollop.
A beautiful cauliflower salad from the new Bar Tartine cookbook - a crunchy, hearty mixture of cauliflower, seeds, chiles, radishes, chickpeas, and green onions slathered in an enveloping garlicky yogurt dressing.
A homemade blend of detoxifying mint tea - green tasting from mint and coriander, and fennel-sweet. It has layered peppery-ness from black peppercorn and freshly muddled ginger. I've been brewing this quite a bit lately, and took it in a thermos on our drive to Big Sur.