Category Archives: California Slow Food

Backyard Feast: Fava Beans and Pecorino, Rosewater Fruit Salad

Backyard feast with pecorino and fava beans, rosewater fruit salad, mexican chia crackers, and raw macadamia nut cheese rolled in pistachios

Fava Beans with Pecorino

 

Rosewater Red Fruit Salad

The weather has been wonderful lately, a real treat compared to last year’s never ending “winter” in SF. We’ve been enjoying our backyard and sat out around 3:30pm yesterday to have a little backyard feast after a rough day of household tasks (and, admittedly, the diligent avoidance of all things Bay to Breakers, and the decision to not leave our own property, which has become an annual tradition on the day Bay to Breakers is held; we cannot get that drunk anymore, we are too old). Oh, and to observe the solar eclipse, which made some really neat patterns on our front door and cast an interesting level of clear, bright light onto the whole Golden Gate Park area.

I offered up a civilized bottle of vinho verde, raw macadamia nut cheese rolled in pistachios, raw “Mexican” chia crackers, raw sugar snap peas, rose water fruit salad with raw cashew cream sauce and delicious fava beans with pecorino.

 

Coconut Cabbage and Eggs

Coconut cabbage and eggs with spring peas, almonds, and herbs

Coconut cabbage and eggs with spring peas, almonds, and herbs

I was craving some vegetables this morning and remembered I had a beautiful Wakefield cabbage in the fridge–I unpacked it from my CSA box from Eatwell Farms last Thursday and noticed how soft and supple its leaves were, and its unusual pear shape. I don’t think I’ve had this variety before–it’s a pale, bearess lime type of green with a pointed top. The green garlic and eggs in this recipe are also from Eatwell.

The bowl in the photos above is my favorite at the moment, for everything from a meal of strawberries & cashew cream to soup to salad and beyond. It’s from Art & Manufacture on Etsy, and she shipped super quickly!

Coconut Cabbage and Eggs Recipe with Green Garlic
Serves 1-2

3-4 large cabbage leaves (tender Wakefield if you can find it), sliced very thinly
1 stalk green garlic or 2 scallions or 1 spring onion, sliced thinly
1/4 C fresh English peas, shelled (I bought 5 lbs from Mariquita Farms recently!)
1/3 C coconut milk or Spicy Lemon Coconut Sauce
2 eggs, whisked
10 almonds
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
Optional: 1/2 Jalapeno or other hot, small pepper chopped finely

Heat a pan to low heat and add 1-2 tsp olive oil. Add the green garlic (or scallion/spring onion) and cook until beginning to lose shape, a few minutes. Turn the heat to medium high and add the cabbage, stir, and add a generous pinch of sea salt. Cook 2-3 minutes until cabbage begins to wilt.

Add the coconut milk, peas,  and the pepper if using, and cook until cabbage is totally wilted, about 4 minutes. It will still have texture. Reduce heat to medium and add the scrambled eggs.

Chop the almonds (mine were soaked and sprouted) while the eggs cook, stirring the egg and cabbage mixture occasionally. When eggs are cooked, it is finished. Top with parsley and lightly mix, and finally the almonds.

 

Bubbly Fried Squash Blossoms

Bubbly Fried Squash Blossoms

Piled Bubbly Fried Squash Blossoms

Every year about this time I find myself craving squash blossoms–it’s a habit I developed in 2006 when Marcella Ansaldo at Apicius taught me how to make them–that such a thing existed. It’s terribly disappointing to me that they didn’t exist in my life earlier. My parents grew squash each summer growing up in Missouri–what a missed opportunity!

These are very simple–the key to making them fantastic amounts to three things. 1) Thin batter 2) Salt and 3) hot oil.

Fried Squash Blossoms Recipe

Leffe beer, or other beer or champagne
12-20 squash blossoms*
White flour, as fine as can be
Salt
Safflower or other frying oil

Wash the squash blossoms in a lot of water, gently rinsing the insides if possible. Spin dry or allow to dry upside down for an hour or two. If they are wet, they will spit when fried and hurt you! For especially large blossoms, you may want to check for any worms or creatures inside near the stem.

Begin heating your oil to an appropriate frying heat (as hot as you can stand the spitting, basically–and trust, this takes some experience to figure out, just go for it and in time you’ll be a pro on your stove) in a manageable sized pan. I find a smaller pan (a 9″ cast iron, in my case) works better when you don’t *have* to crank out a huge volume–better control.

For about 15 squash blossoms, put 3-4 heaping tablespoons of flour into a smallish mixing bowl. Add a generous pinch of salt. Add beer or champagne little by little, until you get a batter the consistency of cold maple syrup, or a little thicker than cream. Add more flour and a touch of salt if needed as you go.

When the oil is hot, dip each flower in the batter and let the excess drip off before placing into the oil. It should float to the top and begin sizzling immediately. If not, raise the heat and wait a minute or two. Place onto paper towels or a drying/cooling rack. Sprinkle with additional salt immediately.

When you bite in, they should smell of the alcohol you used (in a very pleasant way) and should be crisp on the outside, tender at the stem area. It’s one of my very favorite summer delicacies.

* If you have difficulty finding these, check your local farmers’ market at any vendor who sells zucchini or summer squash. If they don’t have them, ask them if they can bring some the next week for you. They only keep 1-3 days at best, and they’ll need to be kept dry to prevent decay and cool, such as within a plastic ventilated container within the crisper of your refrigerator. It’s best to use them the same day they are picked.

The platter is from the Mad Platters on Etsy.

Green Garlic Soup & Fennel Barley Salad with Roast Radishes

Green Garlic Soup

Fennel Barley Salad with Roast Radishes

Paired with a quick asparagus appetizer, this Green Garlic Soup and Fennel-Barley Salad made a wonderful vegetarian 3-course meal. I made this for an old roommate who came to visit last night; were stuffed but happy and feeling good. Our fourth course was chocolate-covered honey cake with sliced mango.

Green Garlic Soup Recipe
Serves 4

~1lb green garlic, sliced roughly
2 T butter or olive oil
1/2 C dry sherry
1 large turnip, roasted or boiled
3-4 cups spinach
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
salt & pepper

In a soup pan, warm the oil or butter over medium high heat. Add the green garlic, cooking until nearly tender and beginning to color.  Add the sherry and cook 3-4 minutes until no brash smell remains. Add salt, and the broth, and bring to a simmer. Add the turnip and the spinach, cooking 1-2 minutes more. Puree in a high powered blender or by another method, being sure to go in batches if needed to avoid a mess. Adjust the seasoning, adding some sherry or wine vinegar if needed. Serve with delicious croutons and garlic chives on top.

 

Fennel Barley Salad Recipe (with roast radishes and flageolet beans)
Serves 3

1.5 C cooked pearled barley
1/2 head fennel, sliced very thinly
1 C flageolet beans, cooked, or other salad bean
9-12 stem on mix of easter egg radishes, french radishes, or petite turnips, roasted whole and sliced in half
3-4 C mixed tender salad greens
3-4 T Fennel Citrus Dijon Salad Dressing
2 T olive oil

On high heat, fry the cooked barley in olive oil until grains separate easily and everything is warm. Add the fennel for 1 minute, then turn the heat off and add the radish mixture and beans to the pan. Toss well. In a large bowl, dress the salad greens generously in dressing. Add the warm barley mixture and toss. Serve!

 

Fennel-Citrus Dijon Salad Dressing Recipe

1 T dijon
1/4 C fennel fronds
Juice of 1/2 large orange
Zest of 1/2 an orange
1 T honey
1 T olive or sunflower oil
2 T apple cider vinegar

Blend all ingredients very well. Stores for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt Sauce & Pomegranate

Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt and Pomegranate

About six months ago I switched to a new CSA/Farm Shipment service–Eatwell Farms. I’ve been fantastically happy with them, and lately I’ve given a few of their suggested recipes a try. Most CSA services give recipes with their products, which I’d assume is mostly to help those who have never eaten kohlrabi, or don’t know what to do with an eggplant. That said, the recipes from Eatwell have been especially tasty ideas and have been great at combining multiple things from the shipment into one dish.

This romesco recipe is adapted from one of their more recent blog entries.

Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt Sauce & Pomegranate Recipe

1 head romanesco, green cauliflower, or cauliflower, chopped smartly and evenly
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp caraway seeds, lightly crushed
1 tsp Balti seasoning or a bit of garam masala; if you can’t get either, use more cumin and maybe a bit of paprika
1/2-1tsp kosher salt
1/2 C whole milk yogurt (I used the thin, Russian style Pavel’s)
2-3 tsp Turkish Seasoning or a mixture of oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, sumac and a pinch of cayenne
1/2 a pomegranate’s seeds (about 1/3rd cup)
2 T white truffle butter or 1 tsp truffle oil
olive oil

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large skillet to medium high. Add the romanesco or cauliflower and the salt. Cook until some brown bits occur and the cauliflower is mostly soft. Add the cumin, balti, and caraway seeds and toss. Add the truffle butter and turn off the heat, stirring to melt.

Transfer to an oven-safe serving dish and either keep warm for up to 1 hour or place immediately under the broiler for 1 minute to carmelize the top and make it crispy. Mix the Turkish seasoning with the yogurt and add salt to taste. Upon serving, pour the yogurt over the dish and add pomegranate seeds on top.

I like to share this one as an appetizer over wine and a block of good sheep or goat’s cheese.

Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt Sauce & Pomegranate
Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt Sauce & Pomegranate
by
A fresh, easy, and impressive way to use romanesco or cauliflower, served family style, with a mediterranean edge.
Ingredients:
  • 1 head romanesco or other variety of cauliflower, chopped in nice size slices
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp balti seasoning or garam masal
  • 1/2-1tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 C whole milk yogurt
  • 2-3 tsp Turkish seasoning
  • 1/2 a pomegranate's seeds (about 1/3 C)
  • 2 T white truffle butter or 1 tsp truffle oil
  • olive oil
Instructions:
Heat a bit of olive oil in a large skillet to medium high. Add the romanesco or cauliflower and the salt. Cook until some brown bits occur and the cauliflower is mostly soft. Add the cumin, balti, and caraway seeds and toss. Add the truffle butter and turn off the heat, stirring to melt.</p> <p>Transfer to an oven-safe serving dish and either keep warm for up to 1 hour or place immediately under the broiler for 1 minute to carmelize the top and make it crispy. Mix the Turkish seasoning with the yogurt and add salt to taste. Upon serving, pour the yogurt over the dish and add pomegranate seeds on top.