ramp and goat’s yogurt frittata

frittataSpring! It brings with it promises of greener pastures, all around, and the happiness of seeing things other than tubers and apples at the greenmarket (not that my undying love for potatoes has not been well-documented).

Ramps are that elusive taste of the season that has finally arrived. They need a gentle touch – a light hand with oil and seasoning, a brief touch of heat.

At the greenmarket this weekend, I also picked up some tangy goat’s milk yogurt and fresh goat’s cheese from Lynn Haven Goat Dairy, one of my favorite vendors at the market.

The yogurt is so smooth, and light, and delicate. I love it, by the spoonful, on its own, but it is also a great way to make this frittata extra fluffy.

A perfect spring dinner, all in all.

{p.s}: for more ramp recipes, make this spring pasta with porcini or this ramp and mozzarella crostini, or these ramp grits!

ramps2

Ramp and goat’s yogurt frittata

You’ll need:

  • 4 eggs
  • 6-8 ramps, stems and leaves
  • 1/3 cup goat’s milk yogurt
  • 3 T soft goat’s cheese
  • salt, pepper (I used a little bit of black Hawaiian finishing salt too)
  • 1 t olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Wash the ramps thoroughly. Leave some of them whole and use kitchen shears, to cut the rest into inch and half long pieces.

2. You will use the same skillet for preparing everything in this dish – make sure it is oven safe. First, sauté the ramps lightly with just a teaspoon of olive oil, on medium heat.

3. Whisk together the eggs, yogurt, and cheese. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the ramps, making sure to cover them all evenly. Lower heat and wait for the bottom and sides of the frittata to ‘catch’ before transferring to the oven.

4. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Serve warm, with a little bit of Hawaiian black lava finishing salt (optional).

ramps3

ramps

spring! {this month on s&h}

IMG_2764

It’s been a busy month here, both in and out of the kitchen.

I am off to Moscow tomorrow for a bit (where I definitely plan to be indulging in a lot of Russian treats like these chocolate rum balls), but spring flowers have sprung up around New York and ramps are making their way to the market so, I cannot wait to share more springtime recipes with all of you. And to eat all of the ramps and ferns, of course.

There are exciting things coming up on VRAI magazine this month as well, including a little behind-the-scenes tour of my home kitchen, and a special chocolate fondue for an upcoming wedding issue. Stay tuned. Happy anniversary, VRAI!

IMG_2795

Postcard from France

A belated postcard from my beloved Southern coast where the sea breeze has just started to smell of spring, the flowers have opened up to celebrate March and International Women’s Day, and sea urchin season led to the famous village tradition of the oursinade in the town port.

Urchin is an acquired taste, for sure, but once you connect with it, the briny sweetness is fairly addicting.

As spring weather still tries to figure itself out, the sunsets are bright and bursting with color over the sea.

The flower market is also full of the pastels of spring – ranunculus are so magical.

And the patisserie windows hold many delights, as ever.

Mom’s birthday tart, baked with golden grapes and plums, made a great finish touch.

Roasted carrots with rosemary and citrus

IMG_2697

Oh, the various joys of home and kitchen challenges..! You may be surprised to find out that having been without an oven for over a month and a half, the first thing that I made as soon as the new oven finally went into my kitchen were these roasted carrots.

Why? There’s no simpler way to test an oven than to caramelize some beautiful root vegetables, and these carrots were delicious and sweet like candy, even when they were raw.

Coaxing out the deeper, more complex and earthy flavors of the carrots saw the addition of some, perhaps unexpected, flavors and spices – tangerine peels, rosemary springs, grapefruit juice, and red pepper flakes.

My apartment was filled with the scent of caramelizing natural sugars and fresh herbs in no time and felt like home again.

Roasted carrots with rosemary and citrus

You’ll need:

  • two bushels fresh, crisp carrots, washed and trimmed
  • 3-4 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • the peel of one tangerine
  • 1/3 cup pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/3 t red pepper flakes
  • salt, pepper
  • olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Line a baking sheet with foil. Lay carrots out in a single layer, add rosemary and citrus peels all around.
  2. Drizzle carrots with olive oil and juice. Add red pepper and a good pinch of salt and regular pepper, to taste.
  3. Roast for about 25 minutes until just browned, tossing and rotating once in the middle of the roasting time.

IMG_2702

IMG_2704

IMG_2705

spring potato and green bean salad

IMG_2687

Springtime is a hopeful time and one of my favorite times of year in New York City.

Visiting the Union Square Greenmarket, no matter the season, always gives you that whiff of greener pastures. It’s one of my favorite breaks to take in an otherwise busy day. The farmers and their beautiful products always provide me with inspiration for a new dish and I love seeing the colors change with every season.

If you’re a foodie in town, it is a must place to visit (the market is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday). You get to see a little bit of the bounty of the whole tristate area and I love chatting and catching up with my favorite growers – they are a treasure trove of information!

Sure, there is still plenty of earthy browns, yellows, and oranges of winter root vegetables (hint: next week’s recipe involves some gorgeous carrots!), but the brighter, still shy greens of spring produce are also starting to peek out.

I served this potato salad last weekend for a casual friendly dinner party, and it was an absolute hit. I think that you’ll be making it throughout spring and summer!

IMG_2690

(recipe adapted from the NY Times)

Spring potato and green bean salad

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound colorful mixed baby potatoes, cut in half or in quarters, depending on size
  • 6 oz fresh green beans, trimmed and broken in half
  • 2 oz feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup radicchio, roughly chopped
  • 2 T chopped dill
  • 1 T chopped parsley
  • 2 T red onions, diced
  • For the dressing:
    2 T apple cider vinegar
    1 T fresh lemon juice
    1 small clove garlic, minced
    1 t strong Dijon mustard
    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    3 T Greek yogurt
    salt, pepper
  1. Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water, drain, and let cool slightly while you prepare the other ingredients. I like leaving the green beans fresh for extra crunch, especially in springtime.
  2. Whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil and yogurt. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Dress the still slightly warm potatoes before mixing them in with the green beans, spinach, feta,  and radicchio. Top with chopped dill and parsley before serving.

IMG_2688

IMG_2686

Things I love: Hot Sauce

hot sauce

Hot sauce. It’s an entirely non-fancy, non-French ingredient and I love it.

It’s spicy, it’s bright, and it brings a special zing to any dish, whether you use it sparingly or you’re a hot sauce aficionado that pours it liberally on all things (me!).

Still, hot sauce is a bigger multi-tasker than you may think. It doesn’t have to be an immediate tear inducer (if you like pickled chipotles in adobo, you know just what I mean). It can be used as a condiment, dressing, or a marinade – try it out next time you make fried chicken or want to spice up a steamed or roasted fatty white fish.

Click on over to VRAI, the Things I Love issue, to read my whole ode to hot sauce and its many uses in cooking.

Or click on a few of the recipes below for extra inspiration.

Brussels sprouts frittata

Kale and shrimp croquettes

Blood orange and kale salad

frittata

kale shrimp

kale blood orange salad

The ultimate oatmeal breakfast bowl

IMG_2684

The ultimate power breakfast that takes less than ten minutes to prepare – meet my new favorite thing, the oatmeal breakfast bowl.

You know by now that I am a big believer in making time for breakfast, whenever possible, and now, there is really no excuse not to prepare this delicious breakfast bowl that will be ready in the same time that it may take you to pick an outfit this morning.

The oatmeal is just a little sweetened by the fruit, with flavors punched up by a sunny egg yolk and sprinkling of savory cheese. Everything you love in one easy breakfast bowl!

Note: For more oatmeal breakfast ideas, look back on savory porridge with young garlic and rye bread or creme brûlée oatmeal.

Oatmeal breakfast bowl

You’ll need:

(per serving)

  • 1/2 cup quick cook steel cut oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T freshly grated parmesan
  • 5-7 apple chips (make your own apple chips!)
  • 1 t good olive oil (I used ILA’s evoo)
  1. Prepare the steel cut oats according to package instructions. You can also make them the night before, if they are not the quick cook variety. That would be better, but does require a bit more planning!
  2. Once the oatmeal is ready and in your serving bowl, crack an egg carefully on top of it. At this point, I like to cook the egg gently in the microwave, on medium power, for about 45 seconds to a minute (depending on your microwave).
  3. Once the egg white is set, remove the oatmeal from the microwave.
  4. Layer apple chips on top, grate some parmesan and add a teaspoon of good olive oil. Serve immediately.

IMG_2682

IMG_2683

Pancakes everyday

IMG_2645

Happy Pancake Day! Or Shrove Tuesday or Semla, to those of you celebrating around the world.

Putting aside any religious holidays, Fat Tuesday is just a wonderful excuse to indulge before indulging less… Kind of like New Year’s resolutions all over again, a re-do, if you want.

This is the simplest yet most delicious pancake blini recipe, to me, and no wonder, since this is the way my mom always made them. And they are just perfect for everyday.

Serve them with syrup, butter, jam, sour cream or something salty like salmon roe or caviar.

Note: This recipe uses kefir instead of buttermilk, but you can substitute in buttermilk, if desired or if it is easier to find.

IMG_2654

Pancakes or blini

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups kefir
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1.5 T sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • about 2 T oil (for pan)
  1. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, salt and sugar until just frothy. Add most, but not all, of the kefir and mix to combine.
  2. Sift together flour and baking soda and add them to the kefir mixture gradually, whisking to combine everything smoothly.
  3. Set aside and let the batter sit for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Heat up an oiled pan – a thin but sturdy crepe pan is great here. Use a soup ladle to pour the batter into the middle of the pan, tilting the pan to distribute it evenly. I prefer thinner blini-style pancakes, but you can make these as thick or thin as you like them.
  5. Cook each pancake for about 1-2 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for another minute on the other until golden. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  6. Smother each pancakes with butter before stacking them.

IMG_2655

IMG_2648

IMG_2642

St Valentine’s Day Sweets

st valentine's day sweetsLove it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is almost here again.

While I am a firm believer in treating your sweetheart to something special on any given day, just because they are them, here are some lovely homemade ideas for St Valentine’s Day sweets and treats.

When in doubt: think chocolate! There are plenty of ideas for desserts you can share with your honey – even a delicious dairy-free one – below.

ps. And for you, boys – flowers are still always a good idea. Hint hint.

IMG_2103

Chocolate-covered graham crackers

Vanilla and chocolate coconut meringues

IMG_1305

Coconut macaroons – topped with chocolate, of course.

IMG_1274

Chocolate tofu mousse (I promise it’s delicious!)

IMG_2128

Vanilla-almond rise au lait – I think caramel can be very seductive.

20131026-185839.jpg

Farmer’s cheese and berry souffles

IMG_1352

Raspberry clafoutis – perfect for Sunday breakfast in bed!

Sharing them together makes these treats extra sweet.

If you need non-edible gift ideas for that special foodie in your life, reminding you of the round-up here!

Duck dinner salad

salad 2*This article originally appeared in the January issue of VRAI magazine.

We all make ourselves promises of virtuous starts in January: exercise more, sleep better, be a kinder person, eat healthier.

All of these goals are admirable, even necessary, but some of them are more realistic – and actually achievable – than others.

In terms of eating better and healthier, the simplest way to keep to a plan is to be organized and make it as easy for yourself as possible. This means planning ahead, making smart substitutions, and being flexible with ingredients, but consistent with your flavor profiles.

And if you’re ever in doubt, follow my favorite ‘rule’ – eat colorfully, with at least three bright colors on your plate.

Green, orange, and red are fairly easy colors to incorporate this season. Sturdy winter greens will keep you going, the Vitamin B will give you energy, and the antioxidants will make sure you don’t get sick in funky weather.

Let me introduce you to the dinner salad. It is a satisfying, simple and delicious dinner.

You need your choice of protein – here, I used leftover roast duck – which is flexible depending on what you have. Then, you add the colors and textures (crunch!) to your plate, then a bit of tartness or spice with your dressing, depending on what you prefer.

salad 4

Duck dinner salad

You’ll need:

  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup duck, cooked and shredded (you can substitute chicken or beef etc.)
  • raspberry vinegar glaze
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  1. Wash and dry the greens thoroughly. In a large bowl, combine arugula, carrots, and pomegranate seeds.
  2. Shred the cooked duck into the salad and toss together using your hands or salad tongs.
  3. Season lightly, then dress with a few tablespoons of olive oil and tart raspberry vinegar glaze.

salad 3

salad 1