12 . 02 . 14
“ We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. ” — Anais Nin
Shaved & Curried Cauliflower Salad
- 1 extra-large head of cauliflower
- 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, quartered
- 1 cup celery leaves
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 1 orange, for juice and zest
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 Tbsp preferred curry powder
- Red pepper flakes
- Olive oil
Preheat the oven for 400′ F. Using a mandoline slicer, shave the cauliflower into large pieces. Place on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil, curry powder, juice of half an orange, and orange zest. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the edges brown and crisp. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, combine celery leaves, parsley, mint, shallots, and apricots. Mix in warm cauliflower and dress with additional orange juice, a lug of olive oil, and a bit of salt to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.
09 . 08 . 14
Mango Chili Rice Salad
Inspired by the flavors of Bali, Indonesia. Images captured in our temporary Penestanan, Ubud home + kitchen. We’re home, now.
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 mango
- 1 cup celery leaves (or) cilantro
- 1 cup mint
- 1 cup basil
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup green onion
- 3 leaves kaffir lime leaves
- 6-8 shallots
- 3 stalks fresh lemongrass
- 2-3 chilies of choice
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- several limes
- salt to taste
In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to boiling. Slowly add 1 cup long grain rice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook about 45 minutes or until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork before serving.
Segment mango into bite sized pieces. Set aside in a bowl or prep plate. Julienne celery, mint, basil, and parsley or keep leaves whole – however you prefer. For this variation I kept the herbs whole. Set aside. Cut green onion AND chili(es) of choice at a bias, add to prepped herbs and mango that you’ve set aside.
Chop shallots and fry in a small saucepan over medium heat in coconut oil for 5-10 minutes. While the shallots sizzle, prepare fresh lemon grass stalks. You will need a very sharp knife, as the stalks are quite firm. Remove the lower bulb and shed any tough outer leaves. Slice into thin rounds and pound the pieces with a pestle & mortar until softened and fragrant. Add to the shallots. Cut kaffir lime leaves into thin strips with scissors, add to shallots and lemongrass. Let simmer for another 5 minutes or until slightly browned and fragrant. Add a bit of coconut oil if the mix starts to dry out.
Toss together cooled rice and the prepped herbs, mango, etc. Pour fried shallot mixture over the salad and toss again. Add salt and juice of several limes as desired.
07 . 21 . 14
I had the opportunity to work with Campbell’s Canada this spring to develop seven whole grain summer side dishes using their chicken, vegetable, and beef broths (available in the US as Swanson). I usually say no-thanks to jobs like these, but this project in particular involved a level of collaboration and creativity that I think most “big box” brands would be apt to follow suit. It was SO refreshing to work with talented and inspiring women (all women! girl power!) who are less interested in the BUY BUY BUY message and focus on the LET’S ALL EAT WELL message. The goal was to pair the best of summer produce with broth-cooked grains that stood up to the protein stars of a backyard BBQ.
After several weeks of recipe development and pre-production, the Campbell’s team brought me up to headquarters in Toronto for a brief media stint a few days before the wedding. Toronto is a SUPER neat place, if you haven’t been, and there was something really empowering about spending my last single-lady days stomping around the city and dining solo at the high-tops of Momofuku (other favorite stops include: Oak + Fort, Nadege, Bar Isabel). Although it was tough to leave town with family coming in for the wedding, working with Campbell’s has made it financially feasible for us to take an extended honeymoon in Bali (!!!) in a few weeks. Although I ALMOST compared rolling basil leaves for chiffonade as something NSFW at my cooking demo at St. Lawrence Market, I had loads of fun, met some amazing people, and had the chance to feed a few new faces and friends.
05 . 19 . 14
Closing in on six weeks ’til the wedding (smiles). We’ve conjured the sort of day that requires little by way of traditional “planning” and I’ve found that the few things that require our attention this month ― wine lists, dance jams, family activities ― have been joyful and transportive moments away from the madness that is work in this season. On the one day Shaun was home last week we had a most-perfect day-date that included an oil change, bank deposits, dropping bags at Goodwill, and margaritas at 1pm before afternoon conference calls, respectively. This life, right now. There is dignity in the grind. Sleep has been hit/miss this spring, mostly the falling asleep part. The usual tracks repeat: who am I, where am I going, what am I doing with my life? I think of June 28. Shaun, beaming in his new suit. The friends and family who have rooted for us in this business of life and love. It works. I finally fall asleep.
Can’t wait to celebrate. There is SO MUCH, so very much to celebrate. We’ll get there.
In the meantime for my homies in the grind, some lighter tunes for cooking, working, and gathering on an almost-summer afternoon:
Grilled Za’atar Artichokes and Wild Rice Salad
- 2 lbs baby artichokes
- 1 1/2 cup dry wild rice
- 1 cup plump golden raisins
- 25 large mint leaves
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup dill fronds
- 6 green onions, sliced at bias
- 1 preserved lemon, rind reserved and minced
- Juice of 4 fresh lemons, divided
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- 3 tsp Za’atar, divided
- 1 tsp cumin
Rinse rice before cooking. Stir in rice with 3 cups of water or broth to a boil with 1 tsp of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the rice is puffed and the liquid is mostly absorbed. Fluff rice with a fork and continue to cook, uncovered, to evaporate excess liquid. Remove from heat and let cool.
To prepare the artichokes, cut off and discard the tip of the artichoke. Pull off and discard the dark green, tough outer leaves until you reach the soft, light green/yellow part. Using a pairing knife, trim the stems and shave off any remaining dark green parts of the artichoke around the base of the stem. Cut in half. Place in a bowl with lemon juice to prevent from oxidizing. Repeat with remaining artichokes. Drizzle with olive oil and 2 tsp of Za’atar. Place in the fridge to marinate for 20 minutes.
Start the grill. Over medium-high heat, grill artichokes belly-side down on a vegetable grate (optional, helps prevent losing a few soldiers). Cover grill and cook for 10-ish minutes until the ‘chokes are browning and crispy at the edges. Return to the bowl of marinating liquid and stir together with a bit of cumin.
To prepare the salad, toss room-temperature rice with herbs, preserved lemon rind, shallots, green onion, raisins, juice of 2 lemons, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Add salt to taste. Top with grilled artichokes and their liquid.