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.
The new year is here, and so far it has been crisp air, clear skies, thickest softest sweaters, afternoon reads, and big stews. We made crepes New Years Eve, and celebrated fresh starts, optimism, and our hopes for the coming months - a simple night of sparkling wine, crepes, and a far-away view of the downtown fireworks.
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.
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.
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.
Inspired by recipes in George Lang's The Cuisine of Hungary - a simple, goes-on-anything horseradish sauce. It has been great twist to all sorts of basics - baked potatoes, egg salad, and any number of soups and stews.