Tag Archives: fall

A holiday meal : futsu squash soup, braised lentils with roasted root vegetables & crumb topping apple tart

November 20, 2017

I love Thanksgiving and I will readily admit that I love it for one sole reason. That reason is this, it is an excuse to break the rigidity of routine, to step outside the confines of our everydayness and shirk gleefully those habits we practice, mostly out of necessity and for the sake of efficiency, every other day of the year. It is an excuse to make those familiar routines take a back seat – if only for one day and only for one meal. At its core, Thanksgiving is the simplest of holidays – no strings attached, no pressure around gifts or the like. It is a day reserved simply to step outside the familiar and celebrate the everydayness of the everyday : one table, one meal and perhaps a few (or many) guests to share it with however and with whatever food feels the most appropriate in that moment. And the meal can be one as complex or elementary as one chooses and need not conform to any rules or practices (other than the fact that I do very much like to think about those things I am grateful for and thankful for and practice kindness – but ideally that is everyday not just one)  -so for the love and poetry of food and gatherings, we celebrate Thanksgiving. continue reading

Kuri & Quinoa Porridge

October 31, 2014

This month I worked on a recipe for the lovely ladies at The Pressery. If you aren’t familiar with them, they supply London with gorgeous, all natural almond milk. It make using almond milk accessible and easy in my daily routine since I don’t make it myself. Typically it goes into smoothies, but since fall and winter aren’t great for fresh fruit and berries, I wanted to find a way to keep using it in my morning routine. 


The recipe below has been the stand out favorite –  a lovely autumnal breakfast; warm, comforting and deeply flavorful. It is gluten & dairy free and uses only natural sugar from the sultanas. I start this the night before – when using kuri squash to top salads or accompany a risotto – reserve around 200 grams for the mornings breakfast. I really like the savory element that the salt, black pepper & olive oil lend the breakfast. 


The same is true for the quinoa – soak it over night (add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the water) and in the morning drain and rinse before cooking. It makes nutty fluffy quinoa and cuts down cooking time. 

I have been experimenting with other grains for breakfast such as amaranth & millet but the quinoa has been my favorite
Serves 2 – 4 
You will need:
200g roasted Kuri squash cut into chunks. 
1 cup quinoa soaked over night (if not soaked in water, anticipate needing more almond milk during cooking. rinsed & drained)
2 cups almond milk (1/2 cup reserved for serving)
1/4 tsp fresh ground cinnamon 
1/4 tsp of vanilla paste 
1/4 cup sultanas 
1 small apple washed & chopped into small pieces.
handful each of shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds & chopped raw walnuts 
****
Place a medium sized sauce pan over moderate heat & toast the cinnamon until fragrant. Next, add chopped apple & stir to combine, about 2 minutes. Then add the rinsed quinoa and toast for another 2 minutes. Add the kuri squash & sultanas, stir to combine and quickly add 1 1/2 cups of almond milk  & 1/4 tsp vanilla – bring to a quick boil and reduce the heat to low. Cook until quinoa is the desired tenderness, stirring occasionally – approx 10 – 15 minutes. 
Keep an eye on the mixture while it cooks as you may need to add a bit more almond milk. 
Spoon porridge into individuals bowls and pour a bit of the remaining almond milk over each, making sure it is equally divided. Top with some of the shredded coconut, pumpkin sees & chopped walnuts. If desired, drizzle with a bit of maple syrup. 

Beet & Plum Salad

August 25, 2014

I love the change of seasons. That gentle, nearly imperceptible shift from summer to autumn is my favorite. 
It comes in, barely noticeable, on the tops of the warm summer breezes, chasing at their heels. A coolness, the smell of earth, the little changes in the light ~ 

My neighborhood farmers market starts not too early every Sunday morning. And there isn’t anywhere else I would rather be, coffee in hand, pick over produce for the coming week. Its become a ritual I’ve come to cherish. 
Apples, fennel, cob nuts, the most gorgeous colored beets and sweet plums have been first on my shopping list of late. 
They bridge the gap between the light sweet flavors of summer and darker earthier flavors of autumn. 
This salad mixes some of those early flavors of autumn with some of the last bits of summer lightness. Rich jewel tone beets, sweet english plums, toasted shallots, and creamy goat cheese ricotta. 

Poach the beets covered in a baking dish in the oven with a bit of red wine vinegar and water to really release their sweetness. The skin should be tender enough that you won’t need to peel them just make sure to scrub each really well before putting them in the oven. Use the freshest ricotta or better yet, make some! Its really very easy and super satisfying. Bring a pint of goat’s milk and a dash of salt up to just boiling, take it off the heat, stir in 3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice, stir once or twice and let it stand for 5 minutes. Then pour the mixture into a strainer lined with cheesecloth. I like to keep the whey that runs off and use it in smoothies! After about an hour the ricotta should be ready.

Beet & Plum Salad 

1lb of beets. mixed colors but roughly the same size. scrub well and place in a shallow baking dish with 1 cup water and 1/4cup red wine vinegar, cover with foil and bake aprox 1 hour at 200C/400F until tender. When they are cool slice, rough chop into various sizes – the different textures are wonderful. keep lighter color beets away from the darker red if you want to keep their color. 

1/4 lb of plums. washed and chopped 
1 large leek sliced very thin and toasted over a low heat with a knob of ghee until tender add in 1 clove crushed garlic and  1 tsp grated fresh ginger and cook another few minutes until fragrant.
For the dressing, whisk together in a bowl the juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime 1 tbsp honey 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill a pinch of sea salt and a grind or two of black pepper. Then whisk in the cooked leeks & ginger. discard the garlic clove. 
sautee a few shallots in ghee over a very low heat until lightly browned and crisp. transfer to a paper towel to drain and cool. should make some leftovers which will keep in an airtight container for a few days.  
Mix chopped beets & plums through half the dressing (reserve some to drizzle over the top), stir through until everything is well coated. 

Plate the beets along with any golden beets, if using, and a large dollop of the ricotta. drizzle with some of the remaining dressing and sprinkle with a generous handful of crispy shallots 

A little cottage in the country

October 6, 2010

i often feel between two worlds – caught between the buzz and modernity of the city an the calmness of the rural. Always longing for one when im in the other –

i spent a few days at my brother’s cottage in yountville ca. its tiny but filled with light. its everything i imagine needing in a country house. a small front porch with an ancient rocking chair. A perfect side yard just big enough for a garden and with a little deck and table for outside meals. Old heavily polished wood floors and a giant claw foot tub in the bathroom to wash away the good country dirt.

its simple here. its about good food and conversation. sunshine makes things grow and they grow rich and full. Bugs and birds and butterflies are everywhere…and so are some of the creepy crawlies that go bump in the night.
its a place where i feel creative, innovative and overwhelmed by the need to create. A mouthfull of wine taste like the work of thousands of honey bees and the fresh figs plucked from the trees are the sweetest things one can ever imagine.
i feel fortunate at the moment to have the possibility to escape from the city and camp out here for a few days…or at least until i miss the hummm of the city.

Fall in The French Laundry gardens

October 5, 2010



yesterday i had the privilege of walking through the fall gardens of the world renowned The French Laundry. not only are the gardens immaculate they stand for me as a symbol of many of the things i hold most important in my life. Its a thrill for me to be walking among their neat rows.

“Take your time. Take a long time. Move slowly and deliberately and with great attention” – Thomas Keller