Tag Archive: parsley

  1. Lemon Herb Ricotta Agnolotti

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    March 17th last year was day three of our ten day trek on the Torres del Paine circuit. Some of you weren’t with us last year when we took a hiatus to Patagonia, Chile. I made Pisco Sours when we came home. In any case, we had put in 20km that day and looked ahead at a challenging summit early the next morning. Shaun made camp by the lake of Los Perros Glacier, pitching the tent as I propped up my swollen feet against the tree from where I started putting up the hammock and stopped halfway. I draped the hanging portion of the hammock over my face and listened to the moaning and creaking of the glacier, waiting every 15 minutes or so to hear large, school bus sized chunks of ice dislodge and crash into the water below.

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    Shaun came over to where I lay comatose and finished my hammock job. I crawled in and tried not to think about food. We had underestimated our calorie needs for the trek and were on a tight ration of freeze-dried meals, oatmeal, and cliff bars for the remaining 100 kilometers. The two books and journal I had brought haunted me. I would have given my left arm to have swapped them for a jar of peanut butter when we left the hostel in Puerto Natales four days prior. I rocked over on my right side in the hammock to survey the area as other hikers limped in for the night. A splattering of white sticks at the base of a tree at the next campsite over came into focus. DEAR GOD, IS THAT SPAGHETTI? With a sudden burst of energy I rolled out of the hammock and motioned for Shaun to join me at the base of the tree. Sure enough. Dried spaghetti exploded across the roots in the dirt as if someone yesterday had been standing there and ripped open the package too quickly. One by one we collected the pasta like a game of pick-up-sticks, careful to keep the larger pieces intact before delicately placing them  in my beanie. We crouched by our tent for an hour brushing off the dirt before boiling a pot of water, cooking it, and adding it to our allotted packet-meal for the night.

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    That bizarre, desperate, and humbling moment is everything to me. It is the most mortifying and perfect reminder we often just need one person to be with us in the amber of the moment and bear witness to our existence. Someone to sit with us in the dirt after a long day to sort through the muck and pick up the pieces of our lives and make something good of it. A hug, a look, a gesture that silently says… I hear you, I see you, and I’m right here with you. I’m pretty psyched on the fact that the person who eats spaghetti from the forest floor with me in times of famine is the person I get to call partner and “husband” for the rest of my life. And if we’re lucky enough to have a partner, sibling, parent, or friend who doesn’t back away from the vulnerable, ugly, and often lopsided parts of our journey, we should be bold enough to say thank you loudly and often. There is no work more important, in my opinion, than to accept this love and learn to share it with as many people as we can muster. It is the only work to be done in this lifetime, really. We go through our years busy-ing ourselves with work and pleasure and community, yet despite it all, we still often feel so darn alone. We must reach for one another, constantly.  We have to try and crouch together, we have to try to laugh, to listen, to cry, to bear witness to each other’s lives… they are affirmations to our humanity and our deep and fundamental longing to know and be known. I’m pretty young in the scheme of things and probably don’t know much about much, but this is what I believe: we were put here to hold on and hang in there, together. We’re here to seek each other and support and try our merry best to humble ourselves to the madness that is being alive together at the same time, rolling the dice, getting creative with hands outstretched to make the best of the whole thing.

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    Lemon Herb Ricotta Agnolotti

    Big hugs to my friend Bre Graziano, Italian food guru through and through, with the creation of this recipe.

    • 3 cups fresh ricotta cheese, homemade or purchased
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chervil
    • juice of 2 lemons
    • 2-3 tbsp sea salt
    • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • ———
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • 1 tablespoon semolina flour, plus more for dusting
    • 4 extra-large eggs
    • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • —–
    • pea shoots and fresh herbs for garnish
    • olive oil for cooking
    • juice of 3 lemons
    • 1 stick of butter

     

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    In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, herbs, lemon juice, egg and salt/pepper until thoroughly combined. Cover and place in the refrigerator.

    In a large bowl or clean, flat work surface combine the flour with the salt, nutmeg and the 1 tablespoon of semolina. Create a well in the flour and crack eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork until smooth, drizzle with olive oil, then continue with your hands to mix the oil and eggs with the flour, incorporating a little at a time, until everything is combined. As Jamie Oliver says “with a bit of work and some love and attention they’ll all bind together to give you one big, smooth lump of dough.” Wrap the dough in plastic and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

    Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and cover with plastic wrap while you work with one quarter at a time. Flatten the dough ball and dust with flour. Roll the dough through pasta machine at the widest setting. Fold the dough in thirds (like a letter), then run it through the machine at the same setting, folded edge first. Repeat the folding and rolling once more. Roll the dough through at successively narrower settings, two times per setting, until it is thin enough for you to see the outline of your hand through it. Lay the dough out on a work surface lightly dusted with flour and trip the edges so they are straight.

    Fill a ziploc bag (or piping bag if you’re fancy like that) with ricotta filling. Pipe filling across the bottom of the pasta sheet in a straight, even line. Pull the bottom edge of the pasta up and over the filling. Seal the agnolotti by carefully molding the pasta over the filling and pressing lightly with your index finger to seal the edge of the dough to the pasta sheet. Set aside, cover with a towel, and continue until you’ve used up your dough. You will probably have filling leftover! Double the dough recipe or use the filling for later. 

    In a large saucepan, melt butter with lemon juice and olive oil over low-medium heat. Cook agnolotti in batches for 5 minutes at a time, using a spoon to drizzle pasta with hot liquid to cook evenly. Serve immediately with fresh herbs, pea shoots, and a bit of leftover Parmigiano-Reggiano

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  2. Pizza On The Grill

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    “I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”

    – Joan Didion 

      

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    Pizza On The Grill 

    Dough adapted from Artisan Bread in 5

    • 2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp lukewarm water
    • 2 teaspoons yeast
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp salt 

     

    Herb Pesto

    • 1 cup packed fresh parsley 
    • 1 cup packed fresh basil
    • 1 clove garlic
    • juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts

     

    Toppings

    • 3 or 4 pints assorted cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 12 oz. fresh burrata

     

    Using Zoe’s “dump and stir” method for the dough, first combine liquids, salt, and yeast in the basin of a large bowl. Give it a good whisk until the water is murky. Pour in flour and stir together, add a touch of oil if it feels too dry. Using your hands, form a large ball of dough and set back in the bowl. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours.

    Meanwhile, prepare the herb pesto in a food processor or blender simply by tossing all the ingredients together and pulsing until ingredients are liquified. Set near the grill with the burrata and sliced tomatoes for easy assembly.

    Heat your grill on medium-high heat. Dip a towel in olive or other neutral oil and grease the grates. When the thermostat reaches 425′, it’s game time. Punch down dough after rising, divide into two pieces and knead in a bit of flour. Roll out one ball with a pin or press by using your hands. For a thinner crust, gently take dough into hands and, using the backs of your palm and knuckles, tug at the edges until dough thins.

    Transfer dough to a cookie sheet for easy trasport (I learned on the second go). Quickly “fling” dough onto the hot grates and cover for 4-5 minutes, checking frequently to make sure the bottom is barely browning, not burning. Using the same cookie sheet, scoop up half cooked dough and flip. Reduce heat of the grill to low. Dress the pizza with generous amounts of pesto, tomatoes, and torn burrata. Cook for another 5 minutes until edges are browning and the cheese is melty.

    With your second ball of dough, repeat with leftover toppings or give this or this recipe a whirl.

     

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    We’re heading to Alaska again in 12 days. Remember this? It is positively my most favorite place on earth.

    Come and follow along on Instagram.

  3. Notes For Summer

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    We have a backyard now, how cool is that? Shaun built me raised beds and I planted winter squash early last week, probably too many, but we’ll get there when we get there. Every morning I sit in the sun on an old red adirondack that the last tenant left behind and watch over blossoms and the beneficials as they do their good work. I’m bonding with the squash, seeing phases of my life in them. So eager, reaching their awkward arms to the sky. They want to grow up so fast. Every day I am astounded at their progress. So proud. Like a parent, I suppose. Worrying about the sun and the birds, trying not to smother them, let them just do their thing.

    Just like the plants, I am reminded, the power within (within me, within us all) grows stronger with each new day. Keep watering. Keep nurturing. That’s it. I’ll be patient, trust that good things will come to fruit in the near future. In the meantime I will celebrate the small triumphs, fend off the bad bugs, and just soak up the time given to me. It’s summer, folks, let’s try not over think things too much. Take the time (make the time) to ride bikes, call your mom, take a hike, figure out the grill, play dominos, sing in the shower, drink beer at the ball game, laugh at yourself, be nice, and eat lots and lots of stone fruit.

    Apricot Mint Couscous 

    serves 2-4

    • 2 cups Israeli cous cous
    • 1 lb ripe apricots
    • 1/4 cup minced shallot
    • 1/4 cup green onion
    • 1 large handful italian parsley, chopped
    • 20+ mint leaves, julienned
    • 1/4 tsp minced fresh jalepeno
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • salt/pepper

    Save energy and spare your kitchen from extra heat in the summer by preparing your cous cous using this method. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Stir in dry cous cous. Cover and kill the flame. Let cook for 12-15 minutes. Strain, rinse with cold water, and let sit to dry while you prepare the rest.

    In a large bowl, combine minced shallot, finely sliced green onion (white and light green parts only), parsley, and mint. Carefully remove the seeds  from the jalepeno and mince as fine as you can. I used 1/4 tsp, but add as much as you like to amp up the heat. WASH HANDS and surfaces, immediately. It only takes one time rubbing your nose without a wash to remember this tip. Add pepper to the mixture. Slice the apricots in crescents with a paring knife over the bowl (8-10 wedges per fruit). Squeeze lemon juice over the fruit before stirring. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper.

    Finally, mix in the cous cous to completely coat. Serve at room temperature.

  4. To Be Free

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    We’re here now. With roof, and kitchen. Community. Plans for a garden. It is a wonder to me now that we resisted the temptation to carry on as gypsies forever. The further we let ourselves drift away from the clutter and noise of reality, the more absurd the conventions of our lives always seem to appear. The open road and an empty agenda make few demands of a person – curiousity, patience, willingness, a sense of humor, maybe a toothbrush. Tall grasses, mountains, and the wind gently whisper permission to step out from the rigid set of ideas, requirements, expectations we’ve set for ourselves and make space for new truths and new understandings of what our purpose is on this planet.

    It’s easy to romanticize the freedom of it all – no sense of time, place, before, or after. And it’s important. To leave, to get away, to lose oneself to it all. But I think it’s also important to come back. There is an even more profound freedom to be experienced when we recognize that we have the power to create that same sense of adventure, inhibition, and joy in our daily lives. That is my intention. To let myself be free everyday. Wherever I am, wherever I go, wherever I don’t.

    Thank you for your love, kindness, and support over the past month as we’ve meandered to our new resting place here in Colorado. Cheers to the next chapter.

    * Open fire scramble technique borrowed from “Cooking in the Moment” by Andrea Reusing.
    * *  Video shot in our favorite parts of Alaska. For more behind the scenes action on our Alaska visit, see here
  5. Jerusalem Artichokes & Orecchiette

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    Mostly just a quote today. There is a ping-pong match going on upstairs. Lots of thoughts. Ideas. Beginnings and endings always get me riled up. Maybe it’s all the coffee. I would recommend holding off on calling me anytime in the next ten days. I’ll probably bulldoze the conversation with things like how corporations should not be considered ‘persons’ with constitutional rights equal to real people, failed institutions in Guatemala, the movie 50/50, or how I almost ran out of gas again. I can’t always keep the crazy in check. And maybe that’s okay. I love this quote in all its affirmation. Get crazy. Get reckless.

    “I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.” J. Didion (again, I know, what can I say, she’s amazing)

    Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke) Orecchiette 
    Pairings suggested by Nigel Slater, Tender

    • 12 oz dried or fresh orecchiette (or other pasta of choice)
    • 1-2 lbs firm ‘chokes
    • 2-3 lemons
    • 1 head flat leaf parsley
    • pat of butter or ghee
    • olive oil
    • salt/pepper

    Jerusalem Artichokes, Sunchokes to some, are stubborn buggers to clean. If Nigel Slater hadn’t warned me otherwise, I would have been tempted to just be done with the caked on mud and peel the darn things. I’m glad I was patient — Cooking the ‘chokes with their skins helps preserve their crispness and earthiness. Just make sure you spend a good ten minutes scrubbing the tubers or else dinner is likely to be on the gritty side. I washed them, sliced them thin, then rinsed them again to dislodge the soil from the deep notches.

    Once you’ve sliced them thin, throw them in a steaming basket for about 5-10 minutes just to loosen up the fiber. While you wait, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, bring a bit of olive oil and butter to a sizzle. Transfer steamed ‘chokes and sauté for about 10 minutes to absorb the fat and slightly brown. Kill the heat. By now the pasta water should be boiling. Cook per packaging instructions until just past al dente. Remove. Strain. Rinse. Let dry. Then toss with the ‘chokes.

    I LOVE parsley, so I used a whole head of leaves, chopped roughly. But a heaping cup or so would do. Toss into the pot of ‘chokes and pasta. Add juice of 2 or three lemons, a good shake of salt and pepper, and a few lugs of olive oil. Toss together to coat. For the omnivore, Slater suggets adding chopped bacon or seared bay scallops. Find another great recipe using ‘chokes here.

Let's get in Touch

I wish I could make coffee dates with you all. In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, concerns, or just to say Hi. I like that. There is nothing more uplifting than an email from a a fresh contact or kindred spirit.

I can be reached through this contact form and at happyolks [at] gmail [dot] com.