Nothing says summer like watermelon. Except for tomatoes.
I’m celebrating spring. In the Bay this year, the only difference between “winter” and “spring” has been the local foods at the market. And it has been so warm everything is coming in and out a little early than usual: asparagus is going, gone, while strawberries are in full swing. And while my dad’s garden in central NY is still covered in a light coat of snow, I’m going to take full advantage of the ridiculous growing season in CA (come visit, Dad?).
This is a fancy recipe that I made just for you. And don’t worry, it’s not at all hard to make.
I have previously waxed philosophic about my love for muffiny-type muffins rather than cupcake-type muffins. I like muffins that are just sweet enough – and these are even a bit more decadent with the addition of chocolate chips, and super minty flavorful with crushed spearmint leaves and a few teaspoons of peppermint extract. They are perfect as an on-the-go breakfast or a midday snack without hitting you over the head with a sugarbomb.
Well, this is probably one of my favorites. Romanesco is roasted intact with a thick, spicy mint-cilantro chutney and served in slices. The mint chutney crust layered atop the lime-green Romanesco makes for a vivid presentation. It’s a great meal for a dinner party – you can make the sauce ahead and marinate the romanesco in it up to a day ahead. Or you can blend up the sauce right away and stick it in the oven for the fanciest lunch ever, like I did.
My sister and her boyfriend Brad came down for the holidays with their little wiggly fluff, Resi, and things have been crazy. We went to an amazing Christmas Eve dinner at my cousin Kiera’s – all vegan! We had butternut squash soup, veggie pot pies (YUM) cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, mushroom stuffing, and fresh sourdough. I made a Buche de Noel and Brad made my Winter Quinoa Croquettes. It was all pretty stellar. And Kiera’s little ladies were definitely ready to go to sleep – and were excited to see that the elves had swung by and left them some pajamas! It was exciting for us too :)
I used to be in love with a Glasgow-made fresh tofu that I got from this little Chinese shop north of The Meadows in Edinburgh. It was the most spectacular tofu I’ve ever tasted – delicious plain – and with an amazing texture when baked: firm and chewy on the outside and so unbelievably creamy in the middle.
I know that tofu doesn’t strike anyone as particularly special. It can be elegant though – just serve with panache. Here, the tofu is marinated in sweet apple cider and salty soy sauce and encrusted with pistachios and lots of black pepper for spiciness. Pops of tangy pomegranate arils, mint, and fruity sumac complete the dish. The texture – creamy tofu, crunchy pistachios, and juicy pomegranate – is as important as the flavors.
vegan, gluten-free, raw
I grew up eating salad for every dinner when I was a kid, and so I thought I knew all there was to know about salad… but this is not an American green chopped salad. Lettuce is not at all an essential part of most salads in the world (even in the U.S., iceberg lettuce often serves as a vehicle for ranch dressing, rather than fresh veg).
Simple chopped salad – finely diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions – is something you will find throughout the Middle East. It’s served with almost every meal, including breakfast. It’s bright and refreshing, and actually totally customizable (no matter what anyone tells you): use whatever you have on hand that’s fresh.