Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower with Shaved Almonds & Golden Raisins

I’m not sure if I told you, but Tal and I moved in together! That’s right, my friends. And we love this place. Ayla (our cat) loves it, too; and since she’s the boss it’s important that she’s pleased. Today was our first brunch here with friends. I can’t tell you how much work we’ve put into this place, and to now see that it isn’t filled simply with tools and paint prep materials but actually resembles a home is utterly delightful. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still so much to do, but at least we have a functioning kitchen.

And this, my friends, is how we do brunch. 

 

The Brunch Menu

Mimosas (courtesy of Betty)

Kale-Pesto Beet Salad

Curried Cauliflower with Shaved Almonds & Golden Raisins

Citrus Roasted Yams with Mascarpone

Kale, Chard, Spinach Winter Salad with Shaved Fennel and Pomegranates

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It’s finally autumn, so I’ve taken it upon myself to roast pretty much everything I eat these days. Everything. You have been warned.

It was Laura Peskin who introduced me to the beets and pesto combination. It’s genius. I’m currently working on a kale-pesto variety that I think works really well with the roasted beets for the project with Jenny. When it’s ready I’ll share the recipe with you. For now you’ll have to wait in anticipation.

The Curried Cauliflower salad is inspired by a similar salad at Lemonade, the one at theMOCA. It’s so delicious. Let me tell you, curry flavors go very well with roasted cauliflower. I’ve definitely added my own twist to it, but this is my attempt to recreate that salad at Lemonade.

As for the winter salad, I’m all about using the pomegranates from my mother’s tree. I usually make this salad with cumin-roasted delicata squash, but I didn’t have any on hand this morning. When I do, I’ll post the recipe. It’s divine.

 

Curried Cauliflower with 

Shaved Almonds & Golden Raisins

 

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serves 4-6

ingredients:

  • 2 heads of cauliflower
  • 3-4 Tablespoons cumin, turmeric, salt,pepper combination, to lightly coat
  • a liberal amount of evoo, to coat
  • 1 cup shaved almonds
  • ¼ cup chopped chives, optional

directions:

  1.       Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2.      Chop/separate the cauliflower into small florets, put in a bowl
  3.       Toss cauliflower with spice mixture and evoo until completely coated
  4.       On a baking sheet roast the cauliflower for 25-30 minutes.
  5.       Set roasted cauliflower aside in a bowl until cool.
  6.       Toss in almonds, golden raisins, and lemon juice.
  7.       Top with chopped chives, optional.

 

Iraqi Pickled Garlic: the Cure-All

beets, chickpeas, garlic, & a full-moon hike

Let me tell you, the Aggs and I have plans for pickling and fermenting all sorts of things. We tend to get a bit dreamy-eyed and forget the details so we decided to have a meeting to draw up a game plan. The objective soon became to pickle at least one jar for each of us by the end of the meeting-also-known-as-lunch.

There is this book that I think is perfect for our ambitions called The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz with a forward by my hero Michael Pollan. We want to make sauerkraut and tempeh and dosas, too.

First day's pickling of choice: garlic! My mom used to always pickle garlic until it was black and make us eat it whenever we were sick. She hasn't made it in years and I miss it. So I called her up and she gave me her recipe which I will gladly share with you. I will also share with you the delicious lunch we ate while dreaming of pickley treats.

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Mom's Pickled Garlic

ingredients: 

enough garlic cloves to fill your jars, still in shells                                                         apple cider vinegar to cover entire jar

directions: 


step 1: heat apple cider vinegar over stove on medium heat for about 20 minutes
step 2: placed garlic cloves in jar
step 3: pour warm apple cider vinegar over cloves to cover jar, seal tightly
step 4: don't open until 6 months later! don't store in direct sunlight but somewhere with a little warmth.

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Agatha's Chickpea & Beet Salad

ingredients: 

2 beets with greens | steamed, coarsely chopped, and cooled

1 can chickpeas | thoroughly rinsed

1/2 red onion | thinly sliced into half moons

some chopped flat leaf parsley 

vinaigrette: salt|pepper|lemon juice | olive oil

directions:


step 1: toss together the cooled beets, beet greens, chickpeas, red onion, and parsley
step 2: mix vinaigrette ingredients together and toss in with salad. serve cool.

Oven-Roasted Zucchini with Fresh Oregano

(OK this is seriously AMAZING)

ingredients:

 

1 large zucchini | from Aggie's garden, super thinly sliced length-wise

a few stems of oregano| also from Aggie's garden
some minced garlic

salt|pepper|olive oil

directions: 


step 1: set oven to 375 degrees
step 2: toss sliced zucchini in garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil
step 3: lay zucchini on baking dish or pan (easier clean on parchment paper)
step 4: sprinkle oregano on top
step 5: bake zucchini for about 30 minutes or until slightly crispy

 

Iraq + Iran: Middle East Grill Fest

grillfest

I can see it's been a while. Hello, I missed you. How are you?

Last weekend, Tal and I drove up to San Francisco to see friends and their respective cats. We listened to a podcast called Back to Work with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin that my younger brother suggested. You should check it out if you struggle with ohyouknow procrastination, motivation, an overwhelming amount of someday-maybe projects. The first few episodes are slow, somewhat of a setup but trust me it gets good. I really recommend season 1 episode 7 for the twenty-somethings who feel lost. He also really puts into perspective first world problems. Look, I have a wonderful partner, a beautiful apartment, a fun job, friends, family, hobbies, food -- what do I have to complain about? Sure my job pays just barely enough to get by, but I am getting by just fine. First world problems. 

For those of you who have read The Artist's Way -- which I have not but have been told many times to do so -- Merlin suggests a pretty neat website called www.750words.com to fulfill the daily three page "morning pages" to help get the creative energy going for the rest of the day. I started yesterday and am really excited to continue because nothing helps me organize my thoughts better than writing. It is entirely private but there are these really interesting stat generators on the page that make evident things that you might overlook about yourself. For example, yesterday I was introverted, positive, uncertain, and feeling. (I'm not exactly sure what that last one means). It takes something like seven days of writing for more accurate results.

Okay but seriously it's summer and let's talk about this grill-fest my friends Pedrum and Nima had about a week ago at their new house off of Mulholland.

Side note: I recognize that I am extremely lucky to have friends and family who can actually cook. Who wants to live a life where a potluck translates chips and soda? This delicious potluck barbeque was entirely homemade thanks to Pedrum, Delia, Hasen, Nima, my mom, Pedrum's mom, Pedrum's cousin Sara who just moved to LA from Tehran, oh and me. Just look!

 

teamwork

GRILL FEST menu

Grilled Meats:

skewered shrimp, skewered salmon with bell peppers, grilled beef, grilled chicken, various sausages

Grilled Veggies:

zucchini, tomatoes, scallions, corn

Salads:

summer bean salad

maast-o-khiar

red cabbage salad

diced cucumber-tomato salad

Delia's Special Menu:

fancy mac-and-cheese

stuffed-breaded portobello

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Sauerkraut Summer Omelet

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Sauerkraut. I love it. I didn't realize it until now. I want it on everything.

 Just a heads up, it's really good on eggs.

 

breakfast for one

ingredients:

  • 1/2 zucchini, chopped
  • 3-4 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, diced 
  • a large splash of evoo*
  • salt/pepper
  • dried combination of oregano/thyme/marjoram/ basil
  • 2 organic farmers market eggs, whisked 
  • another large splash of evoo
  • 1 tablespoon sauerkraut of choice or salsa verde
  • (mine: Farmhouse Culture Raw Organic Kraut Horseradish Leek)

 

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directions: 


This can be made quicker with two pans, but I'd rather do fewer dishes.

in a skillet on med/high:
sautee vegetables in evoo for a few minutes
add salt/pepper/spices and flip around to mix
set veggies aside

in the same skillet on med/low: 
add more evoo
add the whisked eggs to the skillet, making sure to spread egg evenly to create a circle

let sit until solid

move egg to plate  

fill with sauteed vegetables | perhaps add some sharp aged cheddar

fold over the egg

top with sauerkraut or salsa verde (or both)

Mother's Day Brunch

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Alas there are no photos, but here are a few from my trip to Roma, Italia seven years ago this month! 

 

MENU

sangiovese wine

french baguette from la brea bakery

organic pasture butter

olives

roasted asparagus w/shaved parmesan 

a lovely spring salad 

tomato, kale, lentil soup topped with saffron yogurt

dates rolled in coconut

blood orange gelato!

 

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a lovely spring salad

 ingredients:

  • organic butter lettuce, spin dried
  • organic colorful radishes, thinly sliced
  • organic fennel, thinly sliced
  • organic scallions, finely chopped
  • organic fresh peas, flash boiled 
  • bulgarian feta, crumbled

dressing: 

  • 2 cups mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 dates, pitted, chopped
  • a liberal amount of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons 
  • zest of 1 lemon 

directions: it’s a salad! you know the drill. 

as for the dressing: put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor! add more evoo if too dry.