The only thing I like better than a one-pot meal is a one-pan meal, where instead of continual fussing over the stove you can just toss your pan in the oven and then go about your business (mostly) until dinner is served. This, as you may have guessed, is such a meal. Continue reading
After nearly a year of daily posts, usually dashed off in the moments before midnight, I took a day off yesterday. It was for a good reason, one that many of you will remember or understand: after a few sleepless nights in a row, I fell asleep snuggling my one-year-old at 7 p.m. A rare indulgence. Delicious.
And so today I really should be giving you some menu suggestions for the week, which I skipped over yesterday, but I can’t focus on that right now (see below). Because Allison told me to make this salad tonight, and it was so good that I have to tell you. Right now. Even though it’s hours past my new 7:00 bedtime. Continue reading
Have you entered this week’s cookbook giveaway yet? You have until Monday night to enter!
In some circles the kale salad is probably passe already, but let’s just agree not to be so hip that we can’t enjoy a good thing, ok? I was briefly missing this summer’s Grilled Kale Salad with Ricotta and Plums, but it has already been replaced in my affections by this new winter favorite. It’s from the Skillet Cookbook, a new release from my local hipster diner, the Skillet Diner. I go to the diner just for this kale salad. I bought the cookbook just for this kale salad. I love this kale salad. Continue reading
I have been having a bit of a love affair with this salad this summer.We met casually, in a friend’s back yard. I couldn’t stay away from it, and then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Our friends came to the Dinner in White and I casually mentioned that they might bring this salad, you know, if they wanted. They did. I sat next to it at the table.
It’s been on my mind ever since. Today, by some stroke of luck, J was working from home, the baby was napping, and the older girls weren’t home yet. We took full advantage of that rare quiet moment together. By grilling a bunch of curly kale and having this salad for lunch.
I’m sorry I’ve kept it from you for so long, but it’s not too late. Clear your calendar of any other rendezvous you’ve planned. You too will fall in love with this salad this weekend. Continue reading
When I moved to LA in the late ’90s, I was pretty sure of two things. First, that I was going to love graduate school. And second, that I–born and raised in Northern California–would hate living in LA. But life has that funny way of playing tricks on you sometimes, and of course the opposite was true.
About LA: I liked the 72 and sunny, of course, and I liked riding my bike to the beach and the farmers market. I liked breakfasts on Venice Beach and the late-night city scene and did I mention the 72 and sunny? But what I loved most about living in LA was my roommate.
Having a good friend means a lot in a new place, and I lucked out when I connected with my roommate through the school’s matching system. She picked me, she later said, because I said I wanted to find an apartment with a balcony so I could have an herb garden. Ours flourished in the three years we lived together, and I was so sad to say goodbye to her when I left my roommate and that apartment to move to Seattle.
But life has that funny way of playing tricks on you sometimes, and now she lives in Seattle too. We went shopping for seeds and starts this spring for our respective gardens, and when we had lunch last week she brought me a gorgeous bag of newly-picked kale from her back yard. Old friends, tender new greens, both so nice to have around.
A kale salad was in order, of course. Some creamy avocado, some toasted almonds for crunch. I gave that fermented black garlic one last chance and blended it into a vinaigrette. Last time I baked it and I thought maybe I had destroyed its magic properties with the heat–but no, its flavor simply isn’t that dramatic. So you can save yourself $3.50 and substitute half a head of roasted garlic for the black garlic if you prefer. Continue reading Kale and Avocado Salad with Black Garlic (or Roasted Garlic) Vinaigrette (click for recipe)
I was trying to decide whether to make you black sticky rice pudding with coconut milk or chocolate cookies tonight. But J, scrolling back through my recent posts, said that I haven’t been feeding you enough protein. (That’s a dad talking, there. Fair enough, though, since yesterday’s “recipe” was for ice cubes.)
Thank J, then, for this heartier fare. We’ve been making this dish for more than a decade and it is always satisfying. It’s a quick dinner and our regular answer to the question “how am I going to cook down of some of these greens to make more room in the fridge?”
The core ingredients are, as you may have cleverly deduced, beans (white ones) and greens. The spare supporting cast includes a small onion, garlic, chile flakes, white wine and rosemary. These bit players can be swapped or omitted depending on availability. I most recently made this dish with lacinato kale, but any kind of hearty green will work. I have been known to combine kale, chard, beet greens and radish tops when the fridge is full to bursting.
I like to serve a big bowl of these greens alongside a grainy slice of grilled or toasted bread, preferably spread with a Cypress Grove goat cheese. Now that’s a proper meal. Continue reading Beans and Greens (click for recipe)
You know what I don’t love? The ubiquitous “garden salad” on restaurant menus. You know the one: wilted (if not decaying) “spring mix,” a few grated carrots, hard cherry tomatoes. That’s it. It’s bound to be a disapointment to anyone who’s ever seen an actual garden.
I’m out to redeem the name. This is a gardener’s garden salad. Luckily, you can also put together a reasonable version of it if you have access to a farmer’s market, or if you have a few herbs growing on your windowsill and the good sense to buy a gorgeous, tender head of lettuce.
It’s easy to get complacent about the garden when you live in Seattle. It rains, then it’s sunny, then it rains, so I tend to assume that everything is going ok out there without me. Today was the first day in a while that I really poked around, and I was pleased to find that it’s time to start making salads that grew in the backyard. (You may be lucky enough to live in a climate where your garden and farmers market have advanced beyond arugula and radishes. Rest assured, it’s never too late to make a great salad.)
The basic equation is this: some lettuce or baby kale, some soft herbs, some edible flowers, and a light coating of chive vinaigrette. Beyond that, it’s up to you. Today, our salad was baby leaves of lettuce, arugula, kale, and ruby chard, a few sorrel leaves cut into ribbons, parsley, cilantro, arugula flowers, kale flowers, chive flowers, and a couple of sliced radishes. Tomorrow, who knows?
I got The Best Present Ever for Mothers Day this year. And that is saying a lot, because I was just showered with gifts this year. The girls’ handmade gifts and cards were almost as sweet as the big proud smiles on their faces when they gave them to me, of course, but J took the cake with one of his gifts.
He organized my spice collection.
Hopefully you feel the full effect of that sentence as I do: you should be bathed in light and joy as the heavens part and you hear the angels sing Alleluia. Are you with me?
This is a big deal. Once upon a time, I had a few rows of spice jars tidily tucked into a spice rack. Later, the jars began to multiply and J put up shelves to hold more of them. But in recent years the spices had completely outgrown that expanded solution and they began to pile up in tiny bags, then handfuls of tiny bags stuffed into bigger bags, then finally gallon jars full of big and little bags that all were starting to smell like curry powder or cardamom. It was not a particularly efficient system.
So it was with adoration that I approached my spice rack (it’s really more of a spice wall now) today when I decided to make this dish. Everything was in its place, alphabetically arranged–except for my assortment of chiles, which take up a shelf of their own. Bay, cardamom, cinnamon. Check, check, check. Cloves, coriander, cumin, right on down the line. It’s so easy when things are where they are supposed to be!
But, ok, let me get to the part you’re here for. This is the best Indian food that has ever come out of my kitchen. Ever. The recipe is adapted from Kolpona Cuisine, along with a plea to use the whole spices called for despite the mild inconvenience of having to fish them out later. I don’t know if that is the whole secret here, but the dish was amazing and J marveled aloud, a few times, that it was the best Saag Paneer he’d ever eaten. (This version was kale paneer, to be precise, inspired by CoolCookStyle, but you can click right here for the original recipe using frozen spinach.)
It’s time for another hearty vegetable salad, although if you want this one last long enough to have for lunch the next day you had better at least double the recipe. It’s that good, and beautiful to boot.
Raw kale salads are run-of-the-mill these days, but this salad hails from an era when even people like us were a little skeptical about eating raw kale. It is a “massaged” kale salad that appears to have been all over the internet in 2009 with earnest promises that massaging the kale with salt would break down the cell wells and render it so tender as to be virtually cooked.
Somehow, however, this precise salad didn’t come to my attention until today, when my friend sang its praises and urgently requested the recipe from his sister via text message. Thank goodness. And now I’m sharing it with you in case it also escaped your notice in 2009.
As far as I can tell, this recipe is originally from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair, and she got it from a colleague of hers at Bastyr University. If you want a demo of the technique, you can watch her video here, but it’s pretty basic: add salt to kale ribbons and gently knead and squeeze it in for a couple minutes, then add a ton of other delicious stuff, too.
I write an occasional home cooking column for my friendly neighborhood blog, and last weekend I told all my neighbors about a recipe that came from the nice folks at my favorite not-quite-a-restaurant (it’s really just a streetside stand), Little Uncle.
So I thought it was only fair to tell you, too. Because we are going to be making this a lot at our house. Partly because I bought a huge bottle of yellow bean paste, and this recipe requires 2 Tbs., so I have a lifetime supply (it’s like that beet powder!). But mostly because it took 17 minutes (that was for the jasmine rice to cook), made the house smell divine, and yielded a savory-spicy-garlicky vegan bowl of goodness.
You can read my Capitol Hill Seattle post here, but just in case you don’t, here’s the important thing you’re missing: track down some mangosteens. Yum, mangosteens.
You can also substitute chicken for the tofu, or make a greens-only version of this dish (pictured below) as one component of a bigger Thai meal. More Thai recipes to follow, I think! In the meanwhile, if you are in the mood for Thai flavors, you could also check out this Noodle Curry or this Green Fish Curry to hold you over.