Bar Tartine Cauliflower Salad
Bar Tartine Cauliflower Salad Bar Tartine Cauliflower Salad

Bar Tartine Cauliflower Salad


I'm not much of a menu collector, although I have a small stack of gems in one of my desk drawers. A good number of them are menus from past meals at Bar Tartine. For those of you who have yet to visit San Francisco, Bar Tartine is a much loved establishment in the heart of San Francisco's Mission district, just a couple of blocks from the (deservedly famous) namesake bakery. After Tartine, Chad Robertson and Liz Prueitt opened Bar Tartine - nearly ten years ago - and chefs Nick Balla and Cortney Burns have been at the helm since 2011. It's the place Wayne and I like to go to celebrate a birthday, or walk to on a sunny day for brunch, or just sit for a drink and a couple of little plates. That said, there are a lot of great places to eat in San Francisco, and when I think about why I appreciate Bar Tartine as much as I do, it's not because I love the scale of the space, the nice staff, the old floors, or the hand-thrown plates and drinking vessels - because that stuff is all good. I like to go because, foremost, the food is fascinating to me. The menu is always evolving, the food intensely flavorful - beautiful without being fussy or contrived. It's deeply California in source, but influenced by travel, and family, and life beyond that. There's all sorts of fermenting, drying, and experimenting going on, and the kitchen is open, so you get to watch as everything unfolds. I was incredibly eager to crack the spine on their upcoming cookbook, pestered my pals at Chronicle for an early copy of it, and chose this cauliflower salad to start. It's a crunchy, hearty mixture of cauliflower, seeds, chiles, radishes, chickpeas, and green onions slathered in an enveloping garlicky yogurt dressing, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.Continue>>

 
 
Green Juice
Green Juice Green Juice

Green Juice


Everyone should have a green juice recipe in their repertoire, and this one is a ringer. Its heart and soul is straight green, not at all sweet, with a good amount of lemon-lime tang, and invigorating ginger lift. Like many green juices, it makes you sing from the inside, and is reason enough to invest in a juicer, or dust one off. When I traveled to Paris last year, I spent a beautiful first day and night there, then came down with a (particularly miserable) cold - throat on fire, raspy cough. Being sick away from home is hard, begin sick in a city like Paris, when you're there for just a short time, is spiritually deflating. So, in preparation for my most recent trip, I became a vigilant hand-washing, snotty three-year avoiding, soup eating individual with a juicer on the counter. I religiously drank a glass of this green juice every day, punctuated with a gingery version of this turmeric tea a few times along the way. It's a variation on one of the (many) green juices highlighted in Pressed Juicery's Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing, and Living Well, a book I purchased recently, before realizing we share the same editor! Continue>>

 
 
Momo Dumplings
Momo Dumplings Momo Dumplings

Momo Dumplings


I'm in France right now, for a relatively quick trip. Or, another way to think of it, a quick trip flanked by two long flights. I took it as an opportunity to up my dumpling game, making and freezing an assortment of them in the weeks leading up to my trip. It made it easy to leave some for Wayne to enjoy while I was gone, and to pack a box, bento-style, for my flight. Dumplings at 30,000 feet are a treat, and worth the effort - filling, nutritious, plane-friendly finger food. Here's the wildcard. This time I made my own dumpling wrappers. It's only about half as crazy as it sounds. In reality, making your own wrappers is very similar to making fresh pasta (not difficult), and equally satisfying. So, I thought I'd share the basic jist of what I did to make momos - or what I think of as Himalayan dumplings. Little poufs are stuffed with a ricotta cheese base mixed with chopped cabbage, spinach, ginger, chiles, cumin, scallions, and the like.Continue>>

 
 
 
 
A Good Shredded Salad
A Good Shredded Salad A Good Shredded Salad

A Good Shredded Salad


One of the things I love about having a work studio is our location. It means most days, at one point or another, I find myself standing in the middle of San Francisco's Chinatown. It's a neighborhood in transition spanning a handful of steeply sloping blocks east to west, from the dragon gate at Bush Street north to Broadway. There's a new subway stop scheduled to open in the coming years, and a good number of cranes reaching skyward to facilitate the construction of new buildings. My hope was that we'd have a Chinatown dispatch ready to follow our summer one, but here it is, summer gone, and it's not quite ready. Hopefully soon. In the meantime, I'll leave you a few photos, and this beauty of a salad inspired by the much-loved, shredded cabbage composition found on a good number of menus in the the area surrounding Grant Avenue - green layered on green layered on green. It is all about the play between shredded ingredients like cabbage and scallions, and crunch from ingredients like cabbage, and peanuts, and celery.Continue>>

 
 
Muhammara
Muhammara Muhammara

Muhammara


Muhammara (or mouhamara) is something I love to turn people on to. It's a traditional red pepper spread originating from Syria made with a beguiling blend of red peppers, walnuts, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, and a handful of other ingredients - depending on the cook. I included a recipe for it years ago in Super Natural Cooking, and make it when something reminds me of how much I love it. Which is exactly why you're seeing it today. I was having dinner the other night at Aziza, here in San Francisco, and always order Mourad's beautiful spreads - one of which reminds me of muhammara (although I think he makes his with piquillo peppers and almonds, or perhaps whatever looks good at the moment). It's a perfect spread for late summer -- you can use red peppers from the market and grill them -- ideal alongside grilled flatbread or toasted pita...Continue>>

 
 
Zucchini Agrodolce
Zucchini Agrodolce Zucchini Agrodolce

Zucchini Agrodolce


I suspect we've talked about this before. I fight a losing battle to keep my kitchen under control. Looking at the counter tops this morning I see - Corsican honey, clary sage-blackberry honey, also olive blossom honey. There are voatsiperifery peppercorns I picked up in Paris months ago, preserved kumquats from the Saturday farmers' market here in San Francisco, dried candy cap mushrooms, dried celery blossoms in a small bowl, camu and wheat grass powders, midnight beans, and a lavender thyme za'atar blend I made over the weekend with dried rose petals and black sesame. The sprawl extends to the refrigerator, cupboards above, and kitchen island behind me. But there is a limit, and every couple of months, I put the brakes on, refrain from bringing anything else into the kitchen, clean up, re-organize, and do my best to use what I have on hand. Enter today's recipe, a pretty, summer-centric zucchini agrodolce. The premise is simple - shredded zucchini doused with a garlic infused agrodolce splash of vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Add to that a good number of other tastes and textures pulled from the cupboards and pantry - toasted coconut and walnuts bring crunch, red onion for bite and assertiveness, a couple of chopped dates, and tiny greens (you could do herbs) threaded about...Continue>>

 
 
How to Make Ghee
How to Make Ghee How to Make Ghee

How to Make Ghee


I make homemade ghee from good butter every few weeks. It's a process I enjoy, and it yields one of my favorite cooking mediums. For those of you who might be unfamiliar, ghee is an unsalted butter that has had the milk solids removed after separating from the butterfat, resulting in beautiful, golden, pure fat with an unusually high smoking point. This means ghee (and its cousin, clarified butter) is remarkably stable, even at higher temperatures. The process for making clarified butter is similar to that of making ghee, ghee is simply cooked longer and has more contact with the browning milk solids, in turn lending a different flavor profile. So(!), there you have a basic description, but ghee is so much more than this...Continue>>

 
 
 
 

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