Wednesday, November 12, 2014

MASSAGED KALE WITH POMEGRANATE, PERSIMMON, AND PISTACHIO




I LOVE this salad! I know. I know. Some of you glance a kale recipe and roll your eyes. I get it, we've seen A LOT of kale action over these past few years, but the truth is I'm not done with kale (and I have a feeling I'm not the only diehard fan out there). Plus this salad is so darned good I had to share it here today, even kale skeptics could fall for this one.

If you haven't massaged kale before, really, you should give it a go. Massaging dressing into the leaves transforms hearty, fibrous kale into green goodness that's almost unrecognizably silky and tender (plus you get a little workout). For me, raw kale is totally unpalatable, but massaged kale is heavenly - it's a totally different beast - and a delicious beast at that.

The base recipe for this salad (one of my favorite recipes in my cookbook) is always the same - I think the secret to the dressing lies in the splash of maple syrup, which brings a sweetness that tempers the kale's bitter bite. After dressing the leaves, I always add a few layers of texture, flavor and color. I like pistachios here for crunch (and I think toasted hazelnuts or marcona almonds would be equally delish). In my book, I call for kumquats and dried cranberries, but this time of year I can't resist tossing in my two seasonal obsessions of the moment - pomegranates and fuyu persimmons. They make such delicious companions to the tender kale and help the whole dish feel festively appropriate for the holiday season. I can totally see this dish as a fresh addition to the Thanksgiving table.

One last thing to keep in mind about this salad.... it holds up shockingly well. You can make a batch of massaged kale and eat it hours later or even the next day. Convenient, right?

Wishing you all the happiest of Thanksgivings. Savor that time with your loved ones.

xoxo
E


INGREDIENTS  adapted from Yummy Supper: 100 Fresh, Luscious & Honest Recipes from a {Gluten-Free} Omnivore
  • 2 large bunches kale, lacinato or red are great here
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 firm, but ripe, Fuyu persimmons, peeled and sliced into thin wedges, then cut in half
  • 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate arils
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped, roasted and salted pistachios
After washing and thoroughly drying your kale, discard the tough ribs, then tear or chop leaves into smallish pieces. Set aside.

In the meantime, whisk together maple syrup, lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a large salad bowl. Add prepped leaves to the bowl and massage that dressing into the leaves. Don't be shy... really go for it. Massaging the leaves for 3-5 minutes will render the leaves nice and tender. Taste as you go to experience the transformation.

When you're done massaging, taste the salad for seasoning, adding additional lemon juice, salt or maple syrup to your liking.

Enjoy.



serves 6-8 as a small side

P.S. The beautiful black cutting boards in this post were a gift from my buddies at Blackcreek Mercantile. (Thank you Josh and Kelly!) Local folks, run, don't walk to March where you can drool over Blackcreek's stunning new collection of boards, cooking tools, and the perfect step stool.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MAPLE GLAZED CARROTS WITH CINNAMON, CUMIN, HAZELNUTS + MINT


I gotta tell you guys, this book of mine has taken me on a crazy adventure over the past two months. I found myself hanging out at some great farmers' markets in Portland and NYC, having a lovely lunch with these kind folks on Vashon Island, seeing old friends and family here and here, cooking on TV, teaching photography at this amazing woman's house, giving a Maker Talk, and teaching a class at this incredible spot. Phew.

Having never done so many new things in such a short period, this experience has felt quite surreal. Like many authors/bloggers/photographers, I'm most comfortable writing and cooking at home and looking through the back of the camera lens. As I mentioned in my last post, this whole endeavor of putting a book into the world feels like leaping off a very high cliff over and over again - pretty darned scary, yet exhilarating all at the same time.

I'm a believer in the notion that spring and summer - those seasons filled with sunlight  - are our natural times to go out, run around, be social. Just in the past few days, I've seen the position of the sun shift and the days shorten and I find myself ready to welcome autumn. I'm craving coziness, cooler days, even fog. I want to hunker down with my family, cook big pots of stew, eat porridge for breakfast, dive into long novels and play board games by the fire.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually tired of tomatoes, zucchini, and peaches. Instead, I'm jonesing to roast every root veggie imaginable. So here I am today with these delicious Maple Glazed Carrots inspired by Bryant Terry - a local food hero and cookbook author. When I was in Seattle, I bought Bryant's book Afro-Vegan at Book Larder (a fantastic bookshop!) and Paul and I have both been itching to cook from it.  Bryant's carrots, which have just the sort of warm and toasty flavors I'm craving this time of year, seemed like a good place to start.

I think this dish could be amazing for Thanksgiving dinner. (Oh my, could Thanksgiving be a month away? Yikes!)



INGREDIENTS inspired by Bryant Terry's Glazed Carrot Salad in Afro-Vegan
printable recipe
  • 4 bunches baby carrots peeled and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup ( + more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • fresh mint leaves
Preheat oven to 425.

Scatter prepped carrots onto a medium baking sheet.

In a small mixing bowl combine oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, garlic, cumin, and sea salt.  Slather the flavorful rub over the carrots. Cover the baking sheet with tin foil and stick the pan in the oven. Bake carrots for 10 minutes. Remove foil, give the pan a shake to turn the carrots, and continue roasting uncovered for another 10-14 minutes until the carrots are tender to your liking.

When you take the carrots from the oven, taste for seasoning. Add a bit more salt or lemon juice if you think the carrots need it, or if you're like me and really dig that maple kick, feel free to drizzle another tablespoon of maple syrup over the roasted carrots. Top with the toasted hazelnuts and mint leaves, and serve right away.

Serves 4 as a side dish


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BACKYARD FIGS WITH GREEK YOGURT, MARCONA ALMONDS + HONEY

I went swimming with my mom on Sunday morning. (Well, technically it wasn't exactly swimming, but I did submerge myself in the Pacific and loll around in the waves for a while.) This may seem like a perfectly normal thing to do if one imagines the Hollywood version of California, all sunshine and palm trees. But the Bay Area doesn't meet this tropical vision. Ours is the land of fog, chilly summers and icy waters. Too much of a wuss about the cold, I (until Sunday) had never dipped more than a toe into the water in the 35 years I've lived in Northern California. Paul, on the other hand, surfs regularly. And our kids - Lilah a self proclaimed penguin and Otis who never seems to get cold - have swum many times, but not I.  I've happily stayed on shore, usually bundled in sweaters and scarves, watching everyone frolic in the surf. Even swathed in a wetsuit the waters are seriously chilly, but this time, I was determined to try something new. I have to say, it felt invigorating and life affirming to move beyond my comfort zone even in this tiny way.

A dip into unknown waters seems an apropos metaphor for my life at the moment. Since sending my book into the world last month, I feel as though I'm taking the plunge on a daily basis. I'm connecting with new people every day... Hosting a big party for my community. Teaching classes. Giving talks. Sitting on panels. Doing book signings. Giving interviews. It's all new for me. Despite my introverted leanings, I'm trying to approach this adventure with an open mind and heart and so far I've been blown away by the warmth and generosity I've encountered. When someone meets me with a smile and shares a story about their own love of cooking or even how my book might be bringing a little extra joy to their kitchens, I'm blown away and filled with gratitude.

As I pondered what recipe to share today, at first I imagined something elaborate and celebratory, but after I took a few quiet moments to breathe and reflect on what my body is craving these days, I realized that once again I'm inspired by the simple goodness that the season has to offer. Our backyard fig tree is bursting with huge juicy fruit and I thought I would let nature's exuberance mark this occasion by letting the figs shine in their own delicious way. Today's recipe isn't really a recipe at all, but an acknowledgment that if we take a moment to a look around and appreciate the magic that nature has to offer, we'll be met with great reward.

INGREDIENTS per serving
  • 2-4 fresh ripe figs, sliced
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • a handful of salted, roasted Marcona almonds
  • a drizzling of honey

You can serve juicy figs with creamy Greek yogurt, honey and salty crunchy Marcona almonds - these delicious companions - for breakfast of course, but this dish also makes a wonderful afternoon pick-me-up or a not-too-sweet dessert. The layers of texture and flavor are heavenly!


It seems as though I'm not the only fig-lover out there.... Here are some other delicious fig recipes from around the web:

Phyllis's Fig and Blue Cheese Tart
Cheryl's Fig Leaf Ice Cream
Laura's Dark Chocolate Fig Cinnamon Buns
Stacy's The Wonder of the Fig
Sarah's No churn Fig + Coffee Ice Cream
Kathryn's Fig and Almond Torte
Elizabeth's Fig and Cantaloupe Salad
Kasey's Yogurt, Mascarpone and Fig Tartlets 
Carolyn's Brown Butter Almond Tea Cakes with Figs






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