All tagged summer

kale salad with cherries & walnuts

Cherries are everywhere now and they'll just as quickly disappear when their short season ends.  I bought so many at the market I've been stewing them down into sauces, blending them into smoothies and tossing them into this kale salad.

It's such a simple recipe and one that will do just fine served as leftovers.  The ripe cherries burst in your mouth and the walnuts provide a nice crunch.  Shaved grana parma will make the salad elegant for a dinner party but if you want to keep it dairy-free it’s great without it.  Make sure to give your kale a good massage with the vinaigrette, this breaks it down and yields a tender texture. If your cherry season has already ended, swap the cherries for fresh peaches.

pasta elbows with pesto and fresh tomatoes

'Tis the season for barbecues, pot lucks and social gatherings.  I'm always racking my brain for dishes that can be made ahead of time and don't necessarily need to be heated or chilled upon serving. And on such occasions, particularity when it's hot, it's best to make a dish that's simple and requires no baking.  This elbow pasta fits the bill and is oh so delicious with sweet summer tomatoes and a vibrant pesto sauce.  If you find some amazing tomatoes at the market that you can't fathom cooking, just forgo that part of the recipe and slice them up, mix them with some good olive oil, salt, pepper and crushed garlic and add them to the pasta that way.

Bon appetit!

grilled potatoes with lemon & parsley vinaigrette

Summer is in full swing here and so is the heat! I've relegated all cooking to the grill as our little kitchen gets a lot of afternoon sun and tends to collect the warm air throughout the house.  We've been making these grilled potatoes with a lemon and parsley vinaigrette, along with a giant salad every week since the heat rolled into town. The high heat of the grill gets the potatoes nice and crispy and the simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice plus the zest, and some salt and pepper is like a bright burst of flavors in your mouth.

summer greek salad with avocado

Saddled with this sluggish motivation this week and a persistent craving for something crisp, zesty, refreshing and vibrant, came this feel-good, healthy salad full of veggie-deliciousness.   Our productivity has suffered some what since our unbelievably comfortable couch arrived this week, but it's suffered in comfort at least. I made this salad two times in the past week, and added in some grilled potatoes (more on that later). I tossed everything (potatoes included) with a lemon-parsley vinaigrette--it's like summer in your mouth! If potatoes aren't your thing (you cray-cray!) you could add a grilled protein of choice, or perhaps some pepita seeds to "beef" it up.

Bon appetit!

sheet-pan lemon & broccoli pasta

I've been meaning to put this recipe up on the blog, as it's always in my weekly rotation in some form, especially during spring and summer.  It's crunchy, tangy, savory and all together one big sheet-pan of yum! Oh, and you'll want to serve this pasta right on the pan so everyone gets equal access to that crunchy top layer. You can prepare this dish in advance and then pop it in the oven just before serving. It can be enjoyed at room temp, making it a great companion for a pot luck or BBQ.

grilled apricot & asparagus salad

After a cold winter in New York and a month of traveling, it's been nice to settle back at home for the last part of spring in Los Angeles. Mostly I've just been enjoying reconnecting with all my kitchen tools (esp. my new Vitamix that I got for Christmas but haven't had a chance to christen!!!)...and family and friends, of course!

This dish is perfect to bring to an alfresco dinner party and can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature.  The combination of texture from the raw asparagus, sweet and tart flavors from the grilled apricots and crunch of the roasted hazelnuts creates a perfectly balanced dish. Oh, and it looks pretty too!

Bon appetit

buckwheat soba noodles with crispy tofu & veggies

I usually turn to pasta for a simple mid-week dinner, but things changed a couple weeks ago when my friend Amber came over with a soba noodle recipe from A Modern Way to Eat.  She also taught me how to knit that same evening, but I'll save that story for another time.  Anyhow, since then, I've been exploring different recipes and enjoying the fresh flavors and crisp texture unique to soba noodle dishes. Another plus is that soba noodles can be served warm or cold--meaning you can make this recipe, or any of your choosing, ahead of time.  Olympic dinner party anyone???

kale caesar salad with roasted chickpeas {vegan, gf}

Living away from California for the time being, I've come to appreciate the availability and quality of fresh produce (not to mention the weather!) all year long, every day of the week.  The farmers' markets around Los Angeles are always stocked with a plethora of fruits, vegetables and delicious fare. While there are countless restaurants with accolades and organic markets here New York, there is an element of freshness in California cuisine that seems to effortlessly meet the needs of one's (my) vegetable intake requirements. It is so cold here it's hard not to crave hearty, warm meals that fill the belly and warm the heart. But after a few weeks it's taken a toll and I've felt the need to actively incorporate more seasonal fresh greens and produce into my diet.  Enter: kale caesar salad with roasted chickpeas.

avocado toast with walnut pesto

The last of our Santa Fe visitors have long departed and it's just me and our dogs, Billy and Lola, having dinner together in our casita while Joshua is working late tonight.  It's always a thing, being alone and wondering what to cook for dinner.  You never really want to make anything fancy, as no one's there to enjoy your carefully crafted meal.  So what's easy and equally satisfying in these situations?  O.M.G., avocado toast of course! 

grilled naan bread {gf+v}

My very best friend, Heather, visited me here at our little casita in Santa Fe for a few days last week.  Both of us love ethnic cuisine and splurged on Persian, local New Mexican and Indian food.  Heather's family first introduced me to Indian cuisine at Anarbagh in Los Angeles when I was about 11 years old.  On her last night in Santa Fe we went to Raaga, a modern Indian restaurant, located in the Railyard District. I always miss naan bread when dining out at Indian restaurants ever since I started eating gluten-free a few years ago.  But, I was reminded of a great recipe that I had on hand to share with all you fellow naan lovers, both gluten-free and gluten-ful.

grilled summer veggies with fresh herbs

I apologize for the bombardment of emails that were sent out [accidentally] this weekend and for any past or future typos to come : )))).  I am still learning how to maneuver the digital world and only have myself as an editor.  With that said, I present you with another simple summer recipe that I hope you will enjoy. We're still here in Santa Fe and feel so lucky to spend a summer in such a special place.  There's something in the air, or maybe it's just the altitude, that generates a relaxed vibe throughout the city.  Santa Fe has a rich history and is filled with great restaurants, creative people and many local artists.

One of our favorite restaurants is a place called Milad Bistro.  It's a Persion restaurant and the chef/owner features many of his grandmother's recipes on the menu.  The food is fresh and light, and they have a great wine list.  One of my favorite dishes, aside from the spicy carrot falafels and dolmas stuffed with turmeric rice, is the vegetable skewers.  They are simple and served with fluffy basmati rice, a grilled tomato and lots of fresh herbs.  I love this dish so much that I decided to recreate it!

grilled corn summer salad

It's very, very dry here in Santa Fe.  I can't remember a time when I've craved summer foods so intensely.  All we've been eating is watermelon, cantaloupe and other juicy fruits and vegetables.  With freshly grilled corn, cilantro, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and lots of lime, this salad is oh so refreshing, simple and can be prepared in advance.  Enjoy it as a taco filling, alongside a grilled entrée, or scooped on top of grains such as millet or quinoa.  Finish it all off with some sliced avocado and perhaps some cilantro chutney, yum!

savory herb-scented cornbread

This is the third time I've made this cornbread this month and I've had multiple requests for the recipe, so here you go!  I usually make it with dried herbs, but we are currently in Santa Fe, and I don't have my usual cooking inventory.  However, I did have some fresh herbs on hand so I used those in lieu of dried--boy oh boy was that a happy accident!

heirloom tomato galette

The heirloom tomatoes this season are more beautiful and delicious than I can remember in a long time. I've been buying them every week at the farmer's market and putting them in salads with avocado, summer pasta, or just popping the small ones in my mouth like popcorn!  Naturally, I decided to throw them into a galette, surprise, surprise! 

As most of my friends and family know, I am always making galettes for dinner parties.  You can do the bulk of the work ahead of time and everyone loves them; they warm the soul and fill the belly.  How can anyone ever tire of a comforting, savory pie? I won't go on too much about my love affair with galettes, but I will say that this recipe is muy deliciosa!  Objectively speaking, Maggie (my sister and fellow galette aficionado) along with her Italian boyfriend, Andrea (in Italy galettes are called crostatas), say this one is their absolute favorite (my potato galette ranked no. 1 for several months).


spiced japanese sweet potato fries

Recently I've been getting into Ayurvedic cooking, à la my new favorite cookbook, What to Eat for How you Feel by Divya Alter.  Her recipes have done wonders to calm my stomach and make me feel good in general. The philosophy of Ayurvedic cooking stresses the importance of seasonal ingredients and specific food pairings.  Both of these affect your digestive system and as a result, your mood. Some ingredients used in traditional Ayurvedic cooking can be hard to find, but Divya gives resources on where to buy specific products online.  However, in a pinch, I always use the absence of ingredients as an opportunity to improvise--hello spiced Japanese sweet potato fries!

cilantro chutney

All you cilantrophobes, kindly avert your eyes please!  This chutney is solely for palates that welcome this pungent and robust herb.  Now now, don't feel bad if you're among the cilantro (a.k.a coriander) haters; Julia Child also expressed extreme dislike for the herb.  She once said of cilantro in her food, "I would pick it out if I saw it and throw it on the floor."  But, for those of us whose olfactory nerves enjoy it (moi included), this chutney is bursting with a mélange of bright flavors. Use this recipe to accompany Indian foods, grains, roasted veggies, sweet potato fries or any vehicle that assists in getting this chutney into your mouth. 

summer garden pasta with creamy cashew-miso sauce + tomato relish

Last week my family and I rented a beautiful home in the Montecito neighborhood of Santa Barbara.  The house was set high up in the hills and overlooked the Santa Barbara and Ventura County coastline.  We had a pool, hot tub, BBQ, a breathtaking view (pictures to come!), so naturally we didn't want to leave our lavish digs. 

Since there were usually between six and eight of us for dinner, we wanted to plan meals that were simple and could feed a large group of people.  I scoured through some of my favorite cookbooks to find some tasty, family style recipes. This pasta dish was adapted from one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks, Love and Lemons by Jeanine Donofrio.  Jeanine's recipe uses roasted brussel sprouts which would be delicious, but brussel sprouts really make my IBS symptoms flair up.  You can honestly throw in whatever vegetables you fancy and substitute ingredients depending on what's in season.  We easily doubled this recipe and had leftovers to take on our picnic lunch in wine country the following day.