January 29, 2015
It’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of salads that have a warm component to them. Whether it is a warm blackberry vinaigrette or adding freshly made buffalo strips, having something warm with my greens makes a salad feel substantial, like a real meal for me. So when I was raiding my refrigerator the other night for things to pair with my baby spinach, it’s no surprise that my first instinct was to sauté or roast the pears I found. But then, I noticed the cucumber sitting next to it, and I decided to go a different route.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy cucumber is with a Japanese bent – soak the cucumber slices, strips, or cubes with onion in a dressing of rice wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. (more…)
April 2, 2014
Around the change of seasons, when the flowering trees start to shoot out their buds and bushes start show that bright green new growth, the farmer’s market becomes so overwhelmed with fresh strawberries that it becomes impossible for me to walk by stall after stall and not come home with a couple of quarts of them. And that’s how this recipe was born – a trip to my local farmer’s market, too many strawberries, and an adventurous “why not?” purchase of lamb merguez sausage.
Merguez sausage is usually made from lamb, spiced with the North African flavors of cumin and harissa. It has a very rich flavor and often a little kick from the harissa. While it is amazing wrapped in a pita, with my plethora of strawberries I decided to go a slightly different route. (more…)
March 7, 2014
Cinnamon-dusted roasted blueberries. Slivers of ginger crisped by the oven. White peaches just slightly warmed. Sometimes the best recipes are born of the random ingredients one has in hand. My husband has a love of blueberries that always leads him to pick up a pint at the grocery store, but then they end up forgotten, stashed in the produce drawer. I’m not a fan of the remnant bud on them, so they’re the last thing I want to snack on, and thus, they stay in the drawer. Until this week, wanting something light, I decided to make a salad. I figured roasted grapes are good, so why not roasted blueberries? Where on earth I had the idea to dust them with cinnamon I’ll never know. But I’m happy it did. (more…)
December 29, 2013
Collard greens is one of those things that I kept trying to like, but for the life of me I couldn’t. It never made sense, because I like spinach, stir-fried mustard greens, kale… so why not collard greens? So when I recently made Hoppin’ John, which almost has to be accompanied by greens, I decided to give it another spin. If anything, my husband loves all kinds of greens, so he could eat them. Lucky for me, this time I hit upon a magical combination of ingredients that made me love these as much as all the other greens I’ve fell in love with over the years. I took the preparation approach of an Italian-stewed kale I love, mixed in my favorite dressing approach from spinach salads, and was careful not to overcook the greens so there was still a bit of bite to them. The result was nothing short of fantastic, and I foresee serving this dish a few more times this winter before collard greens disappear. (more…)
September 6, 2013
I have to say this has been one of my favorite west coast food discoveries, so I’m not quite sure where to even begin when talking about the poke bowl. I guess the point of discovery – Pacific Catch. A few years back, while being touristy in San Francisco, I ducked into a Pacific Catch with my family, and decided on a rice bowl topped with this stuff called poke, among many other Japanese-ish ingredients. I was hooked. I had to learn more about the poke. Which is when I discovered it was a Hawaiian dish that could be made an infinite number of ways. The numerous recipes, as well as the fact I needed sushi grade ahi, kept me from exploring how to make this for a long time. Upon feasting on poke in Hawaii, however, I had a renewed interest in learning to make the most common sesame-oil laced version. So after sifting through lots of recipes, I came up with what I deemed to be the perfect poke. (more…)