This soup is a test of patience and restraint. If you're easily distracted, skip it. If you can mind a pot, stirring, singularly-focused, for a half hour, perhaps longer, you'll be rewarded with a beautiful, herbed, Persian yogurt soup, Ashe Mast. This is a vegetarian version - chickpeas, lentils, brown rice, and herbs bathed in thin, savory yogurt broth. Each bowl is finished with a drizzle of minted garlic butter. Lately, I've been browsing my old cookbooks late at night, I used Maideh Mazdeh's Ashe Mast recipe, from In a Persian Kitchen, as a jumping off point here. Her cooking technique requires babying the broth throughout the cooking process...
This is the salad I made on Thursday. My intent was to assemble a big, green salad. It would be the sea of green on the Thanksgiving table. There was no real plan aside from that. No real intent to feature it here. It should be said, I'm terrible about photographing or documenting recipes if I'm cooking or helping out in a social setting (like Thanksgiving). I like to chat with people, and hang out, and sit around doing not a lot, and it's hard to do any of that if I'm jotting notes, measuring ingredients, swapping lenses, moving dishes around, and standing on chairs. This salad, it started as a simple arrangement of beautiful little gem lettuces, shaved endives, and an assortment of ingredients - delicata squash, avocados, pepitas, garlic, butter - that were on my counter in San Francisco at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. Into a bag it all went, for the drive to my parents' house, a hour south, in Los Gatos. Flash forward a few hours, and I'm in the salad zone. As I was tossing the little gems, I kept getting more and more excited about the way the garlickly lemon butter drizzled across the top was perfect on their crunchy, little ruffled edges. There was the tender avocados, and roasted squash...Before I knew it, as everyone was filling their plates and sitting at the dinner table, I grabbed my camera, pushed Wayne out the back door, into the remaining natural light, and popped off a few frames. Continue>>
Hi friends, a number of you have mailed me over the past week asking about vegetarian thanksgiving recipe ideas, so I thought it might be high time to update this page. There are also recipes I've come across on other sites that looked like they'd be exciting to try, so I added a number of those here as well. I hope those of you celebrating Thanksgiving this week have a wonderful time with friends, and loved ones. I'll be back after the holiday with a special soup recipe I found browsing an old Persian cookbook from the 1960s. Its ingredient list is a bit unexpected, a challenge to cook, and incredibly tasty. xo -h
Roasted Vegetable Orzo - Roasted delicata squash and kale tossed w/ orzo pasta & salted yogurt dressing.
Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts - A quick and easy brussels sprouts recipe that will convert the biggest skeptics. Vibrant green, tender brussels sprouts that become deeply golden and crusty where they touch the pan, dusted with cheese.
Heirloom Apple Salad - heirloom apples, shaved celery, and toasted nuts of your choosing. The dressing is crème fraîche spiked with rosemary, garlic and champagne vinegar.
Roasted Delicata Squash Salad - So tasty! Pretty, scalloped-edged cross-cuts of the delicata squash, a few small potatoes, chopped kale, radishes, Marcona almonds - and a bold miso harissa dressing.
This time last month I was setting off on a journey that started with me flying through Charles de Gaulle airport to Marrakech where we spent the better part of the week in the historic medina. There was a train ride from there to Fez, where we stayed in the restored residence of a 17th century imam, and wandered guide-less through the medina's thousands of intricate alleyways eating beghrir and msemmen. I loved seeing the historic madrassas in both cities, and did my best to finish each day sitting atop one of the many high terraces, letting my eyes hopscotch across the rooftops. There were ancient dead-ending alleyways, communal cab rides, orange blossom dreams, and much bad French spoken (on my part). We made our way back through Paris, before hopping the long flight home to San Francisco with an extra suitcase and the snotty remnants of a nasty cold. Three weeks out of a small suitcase, and as much as I love to explore far-away cities, it is, indeed, nice to be home.Continue>>
After three weeks away, I'm home. Bags are unpacked, laundry clean, refrigerator stocked! It feels nice to be back. We started in Marrakech, then made our way by train to Fes, and eventually hopped a flight to France where we traded apartments for a stretch with Clotilde. We've done the swap once before, where she stays at our place with her family, and we stay at hers. If you've never swapped apartments with a friend, I'd completely recommend it. It's a great way to explore a new town or city while still having a kitchen, laundry, and a real home to stay in. While I regroup a bit, here are a few things that I've come across in the past few weeks - a handful of good reads and recipes, and movies and whatnot for you to browse. xo -h
Read this, and then this, and now this.
- A Road Trip Across Iran From Shiraz to Esfahan
- Fantasy listings: Merida, 1930's California adobe, Marrakech
- To cook: Roasted Romanesco Curry & Leek, Fennel, Apple & Walnut Soup
I find myself poaching eggs two or three times a week. And, I know it seems obvious, but I sometimes need a nudge to poach them in something other than water. All sorts of broths and infusions are fair game, it's funny that I don't branch out more often. These, for example, were eggs poached in white wine accented with minced shallots and herbs. A simple twist that immediately transformed the humble poached egg into something just a hint special and unexpected. The nudge came from a tiny cookery volume titled The Flavors of France Volume II, published by Hastings House in 1964. Often, before I leave on a trip, I find myself cooking from cookbooks related to my pending destination, and I picked up this little gem in a thrift store in Napa, California years ago. It charmingly juxtaposes French regional architectural photos with regional recipes. This was a twist on an Oeufs Poches au Vin Rouge recipe, that I tweaked to my liking - using white wine, simplifying the instructions, and serving it open-faced on toasted bread.Continue>>
Delicata is the lazy cooks winter squash. Its the sole squash I'm able to square off with in breezy fashion. Unlike working with other squash, I'm typically able to maintain composure throughout its preparation. If you've ever cursed a Hokkaido, or permanently lodged a knife in a hubbard, you know what I'm talking about. The delicata is a dream. Thin-skinned, there is no need to peel them. A length-wise slice from end to end is the toughest maneuver, and from there it's typically smooth going. A quick drag of a spoon clears the seeds, and a run of cuts yields a perfect deck of scalloped crescents. More often then not, at this point, I'll roast the squash a few degrees shy of oblivion - it becomes golden, crusted, and perfect straight from the oven. As I'm traveling for a stretch, I thought I'd do a quick round up of a few of my favorite delicate squash recipes from the archives, and link out to a handful of delicata gems I've spotted out and about as well.Continue>>