Yes, and yes.
(Kale love lives on!)
Tuscan kale and mandarin oranges make a lovely combination, with an addictive contrast in textures.
The salty toasted almonds are pretty great too. Dress this simply with a citrus vinaigrette and you’ve got yourself a treat.
Kale mandarin salad
1. Wash and shred the kale well, de-stemming and de-veining the leaves as you go.
2. Peel and segment the orange – I prefer cutting it across into circles for this salad, but slivers of mandarin will work well too.
3. Heat up a non-stick pan and dry roast the slivered almonds with salt, pepper, and allspice until fragrant and lightly browned. Keep tossing and mixing them as they toast up!
4. Whisk up your vinaigrette – you can keep it pretty tart, as it will balance out the sweetness of the mandarin oranges – and dress the kale first. Mix well and let it wilt just slightly before adding orange slices and almonds and serving.
My latest incarnation of one of my favorite treats, baked turkey meatballs, is complimented by rice instead of bread crumbs, zingy spicy brown mustard, and sweet sundried tomatoes.
You can, of course, make these half pork/half turkey or half pork/half beef. I still think that making them all turkey makes the meatballs very tender and delicate as well as a little more guilty-free for indulging (read: stealing from the fridge at midnight).
Tips: Make the meatballs the size of oversized golf balls, or a bit bigger or smaller – just make sure they are all the same size so that they cook uniformly. You should get about 15 meatballs from this recipe.
Turkey and rice meatballs with spicy mustard
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in a baking dish (where you will line up the meatballs snugly).
2. In a bowl, mix together rice, mustard, onion, and sundried tomato. Combine well – the rice will have a saffron-y hue.
3. Fold in minced turkey meat and egg, carefully. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Form meatballs the size of large golfballs and line them up in your baking dish. Whisk together another 1/2 T mustard with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle the mixture on top of the formed meatballs.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes until browned and crispy on top.
This weekend, I went to one of my favorite places, Stone Barns.
I love coming here, not just for the fantastic food sourced from ingredients grown and raised right on the farm, but for the learning and community programs like the Sheep Shearing Festival, the Farmers’ Market, and the Cookbook Club.
Dan Barber led a wonderful discussion with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of River Cottage in the UK – on which a lot of Stone Barns is modeled – about his new book, River Cottage Veg, and how to get kids and adults to eat more vegetables, among many other topics, including fishery reform in the EU. The book has so many kale recipes, it makes me very happy!
It rained a bit at the end of the day, but it didn’t spoil our fun.
Sometimes, you need to get re-energized to cook, not just the everyday meals you and others eat, but to cook something creative (and blog-worthy! speaking about myself here).
There is no better place to do that than the farmer’s market, in my opinion. We are in the midst of a most excellent time for spring produce, and I happened to pick up some fava beans at the market.
I love cooking fish “en papillote” or a parchment envelope – it’s easy, virtually foolproof and the little parchment envelope seals in all the flavors beautifully.
This is a simple seasonal dish that takes no time at all to make and helps keep you dinners fresh and colorful.
Roasted red snapper with fava bean and spring onion puree
Tips: Fava beans cook fairly quickly, so keep an eye on them. If once you fold down your papillote/paper “packet” it doesn’t stay tightly closed all the way, weigh it down with the leftover lemons that you used for lemon juice! They will plump up a bit in the oven and, as a bonus, will be nice and fragrant.
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the fava beans for about 8 minutes. Drain – reserving about 1/3 cup of the water for the puree – and let cool slightly before shelling.
2. Roughly chop the whites and greens of 2 small spring onions. Combine onions, fava beans, cooking liquid, a drizzle of olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, taste for seasoning. Add more liquid, if necessary, but I would keep the consistently such that you can still “shmear” it on the plate with the fish.
3. Preheat oven to 365F. In a large piece of parchment paper, layer fish fillets with lemon slices and 4 whole spring onions. Season with salt and pepper, juice of about a quarter of a lemon, and a drizzle of good olive oil. Wrap up and close the “packet” and roast for about 25 minutes.
4. To serve, place fish on top of puree with some lemon and roasted onions.
Hello from Maine!
We have spent the last few days here on a family trip, but also attending a cooking (and eating – if you have been following on Facebook, you know!) weekend at the White Barn Inn with Kevin Sbraga, the winner of Top Chef season 7.
The trip itself has been delightful, but meeting chef and watching him, as well as the staff at the White Barn Inn restaurant, work in the kitchen has been a real treat.
Tips: A few tips from the chef: Frozen peas are better than fresh peas for the purée as they yield a creamier texture. For juicy and tender frog legs, marinate them in a half vegetable/half olive oil mix, heated and infused with garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns (seal the frogs legs and the marinade in a ziplock or vacuum-sealed bag).
You can, of course, omit the frog legs and this would still be silky and delicious.
Spring pea risotto, with frogs legs tempura and minted pea salad
For the risotto
- 1/2 cup carnaroli rice
- 3 1/2 T white onion (diced)
- 4 T butter + more (a lot more, if you want) for finishing
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 quarts vegetable stock
For the pea purée
- 3/4 bag frozen peas
- 1 1/4 t chopped parsley
- 1 1/4 t salt
- pinch of sugar
- 1/4 cup water
For the tempura + salad
- 1/2 cup or 200g AP flour
- 1/2 cup or 200g cornstarch
- 1/2 cup seltzer
- 1 yolk
- frog legs (about one per serving)
- about 1/4 cup pancetta, cubed
- snow peas, cut into thirds
- pea leaves or shoots, trimmed
- mint, picked
1. Heat up a large, deep pan and sweat the garlic and onion in butter, stirring often. In the meantime, heat up the stock in a separate pot.
For the pea purée: blanch peas for two minutes, saving 1/4 cup blanching water to blend with the other ingredients. Blend, cool, do not strain, taste for seasoning.
2. Add rice to the onion and garlic and lightly toast, stirring. The rice should not change color.
3. Cover rice with several ladles of vegetable stock and add wine. (Here, you can start your kitchen timer at 11 minutes to go).
4. Stir and continue to add stock to the pan every few minutes.
5. Add the pea purée to the risotto mixture, right into the pot, just before serving. You can also add another 3-4 tablespoons of butter to the risotto once you take it off the stove.
6. Render the pancetta in a sauté pan and cook the snow peas in the fat. Combine pancetta, snow peas, chopped mint, and pea shoots and top risotto with the salad.
7. If you’re making the frog legs: whisk together the tempura batter ingredients, adding a bit more seltzer to the batter if it is too thick (it should coat but run off of your whisk or spoon). Dip frog legs in tempura batter and fry in vegetable oil.
Kale may have already “peaked” as a trend, but I will always love it and keep thinking of new ways to make everyone else love it too.
This salad is full of my favorite “super foods” – kale, almonds, and edamame – making it a light, but satisfying lunch option.
Super kale salad
-4 cups chopped kale
-Juice of 1/2 lemon
-1/4 cup slivered almonds
-1/4 cup shelled, cooked edamame
- secret not-so-superfood ingredient! 1/2 t Goya salad seasoning
1. Steam the edamame – wash the pods and put them in a steamer or bamboo basket over a pot of salted water. Cook until tender but still bright green. Chill.
2. In a large bowl, massage the kale with lemon juice and olive oil. Do it for about 3-4 minutes, you will see that the kale will soften and wilt slightly, absorbing the flavors.
3. When you’re ready to serve the salad, combine kale, shelled edamame, and almonds and mix well. Sprinkle with Goya seasoning or sea salt.
I’m so excited that spring is here! I am all about the lovely seasonal produce that is hitting markets right now.
It feels like it has been a very long winter, but the wait has been worth it. Everything feels lighter, more fun, and more optimistic in summer months.
I have lots of summer plans – more on that later – but all of them include healthy, fun, and colorful eating.
These pea shoots are so springy and lush.
Pea shoot and roasted pear salad
1. Preheat oven to 300F. Cut the pears in half, salt very lightly, and roast straight on the rack for about 30 minutes, turning once.
2. Let cool slightly, then core (though I sometimes like to leave the stems on for presentation).
3. Make the vinaigrette: whisk together mustard powder, lemon juice, and olive oil. Taste for seasoning and add a little bit of salt.
4. Combine pea shoots and pears and dress lightly.
There is something pleasingly retro about this dessert.
I actually love berry and rhubarb soups in late spring-summer. They are an easy, but stunning end to a summer meal.
While we are still a bit of a way away from berry season, rhubarb is already here!
Tips: Fromage blanc is sometimes hard to find in the US, but luckily Vermont Creamery make a very nice, smooth one. I just wish it came in bigger containers!
Rhubarb-raspberry soup with fromage blanc
1. Peel the fibers off of the rhubarb and chop roughly.
2. Combine all of the ingredients in a deep saucepan and bring to a simmer at low heat, stirring often. The “stock” will start out very sweet and concentrated, but the flavor will deepen and balance as the rhubarb cooks through.
3. Cook until rhubarb is softened and falls apart, taste for seasoning and add a little more water, if required.
4. Let cool slightly, and serve with a big dollop of fromage blanc topped with some crushed pink peppercorns.
One of my favorite features in NY Magazine is The New York Diet, a little diary of everything a famous New Yorker ate throughout the week.
I thought it would be fun to give it a shot myself, plus it’s also a fun way for you all to get a glimpse into my everyday life.
Came back from upstate NY this afternoon and feeling the start of a cold. It was nice to have some leftover carrot soup waiting for me, which I had for lunch with some pumpernickel toast.
Was working from home the rest of the day so, for dinner I had some endive, shrimp, and guacamole with lots of sriracha. I love spicy food always but particularly if I’m not feeling well. It’s a good way to push through the “meh” way that everything tastes.
Made lots of fresh ginger tea and had some papaya for dessert to keep me going.
Started day off with a green juice (kale, celery, carrot, romaine, arugula (because I confused it with spinach in my addled state), lots of ginger, lime, and half an apple as a treat). I’ve been doing this since December, and it feels fantastic to have the first thing in your body in the morning be something clean and invigorating. I also sprinkled some chia seeds on top; I’m not sure what they do exactly, but they taste nice and have lots of fiber.
I get up really early so I then have my actual breakfast around 10 – my current favorite is a bowlful of blueberries, with almond milk, and Anna’s granola from Dominique Ansel Bakery. I don’t know what they put in that granola, but it’s the most addictive thing. I usually make my own, but have been loving their mix recently. Maybe it’s the sour cherries.
Lunch was a salad I had made with arugula and butternut squash.
For dinner, I finally went to The Marrow with a friend (fellow food blogger Kara!). The restaurant has had mixed reviews and my impressions were mixed as well. Don’t love the space or the service, and the signature uni on bone marrow dish was a bit heavy for me. But the crispy duck, the veal, and the gnudi were all delicious. I do love the German-Italian food combination, all foods designed to make a girl feel better. Accompanied by great conversation and Villa Wolf Pinot Noir rose, it was a great night.
Green juice in the morning (kale, spinach, romaine, celery, carrot, and lots of ginger) and my favorite granola breakfast.
I was lame and worked through lunch and grabbed a banana-cardamom shake from Ba’al Cafe on the way to the hairdresser’s only at 4-30.
Dinner was my other comfort food – fish tacos. I always believe in treating yourself to yummy things when you are not feeling well. And I treated myself to a Mexican coke.
Green juice with extra lemon zing + some tomatoes.
Coffee and pastries from Balthazar on the way to the Phillips Collection to view this amazing photography collection before it went to auction, and then onwards to catch a train to Huntington Beach, Long Island.
We had nice, big salads (mine topped with golden raisins, endive, and shaved apples) and tall glasses of Riesling, as we enjoyed the weather outside.
Back in the city, late-night coffee and snacks at Dudley’s – crispy brussels sprouts and whole roasted carrots with cumin and cilantro yogurt.
Green juice! With kale, apples, spinach, celery, and ginger. Taking a little break from my crazy carrot consumption, though I believe that if my body keeps craving orange food, as it has been this week, there must be a good reason for it. (ETA: turns out, maybe not – think I’ve had too many carrots!!)
Brunch with the girls at Rucola in Brooklyn. Shared some broccoli rabe with cannellini beans, a softly boiled egg, and parmesan. And a chicory and salmon salad with a mustardy creme fraiche. And what Easter Sunday would be complete without hot cross buns – thanks, Leah!
An early dinner for two at Rosemary’s where it was eerily empty because of Easter, after a screening of Searching for Sugar Man at MoMA. The pappardelle with lamb ragu was perfectly sumptuous.
Egg whites with spinach and pumpernickel toast for breakfast.
Back to cooking today so lots of taste testing of random things, mostly sweets haha. As a result, lunch was a kale and escarole salad with anchovies from Back Forty West.
The annual ICE alumni party was full of delicious food prepared by students but for some reason, all I wanted to eat was cookies…
Rice pudding and blueberries for breakfast. Following pretty closely by a black & white cookie from fortycarrots, I’ll hasten to admit. One of those days when I had lots of tea and was always hungry knowing that we had a really late dinner seating.
I snacked on tomatoes, cheese, and crackers throughout the day.
Dinner at the Chez Jose pop-up restaurant in Williamsburg – we booked a late 9 o’clock seating, but it was very much worth. Amazing tasting menu focused on local, seasonal vegetables. Highlights included: the peach blossom raw milk panna cotta, the apple terrine with fennel fronds, the confit carrot with sorrel, and the apple, celery, and new potato salad.
Honestly, I would go back just for the sourdough bread spread with buttermilk… Thank you, chef!
Egg white & spinach omelet for breakfast. A cafe au lait from Dominique Ansel for my way to the airport.
And lots of juice and lots of vitamins ahead of my flight to Moscow.
By the time you’re reading this, I am already in Moscow catching up with family for the week.
But before leaving, I made this savory cornmeal and olive oil cake, topped with delicious rocket pesto.
In fact, the rocket (or arugula) pesto may be my new favorite thing – I made it with olive oil, roasted garlic, and pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts, and I can’t use it in other things.
A slice of this cake is equally perfect with a cup of tea and as a side with a dinner salad or an accompaniment to your favorite egg dish for brunch.
Olive oil cake with rocket pesto
For the cake:
For the pesto:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, yogurt, and sugar. Gradually sift in the flour and cornmeal, together with the baking soda and baking powder. Using a spatula, fold in chopped tarragon, season with salt and pepper and mix again gently.
2. Grease a cake or loaf pan with oil and sprinkle with a little bit of cornmeal. Pour in the batter, which will be fairly thick, and smooth top. Bake for about an hour, until cake has risen and cracked and is baked all the way through.
3. Now make the pesto: roast the garlic in the oven (just fold it up into little foil packets) for about half an hour. In a food processor, combine garlic, arugula/rocket, pumpkin seeds, and oil. Add the oil in gradually to see how much you need as you star whirring the pesto together. Puree, taste for seasoning, salt and/or add a little bit more olive oil, if necessary.
4. The cake is best served slightly warm, spread generously with rocket pesto.