Oven Roasted Apple Sauce

Oven Roasted Apple Sauce

The really amazing thing about this applesauce recipe, that comes from Zuni Cafe here in San Francisco, is that after peeling and coring the apples you just roast them. In their own juices. And that's it! It's so easy - no stovetop watching or food mills. Just an oven proof pan, a bit of butter, and a little time. And the smells this brought to my kitchen was an added bonus!

Read More

Farm Inspired Tomato Sauce

Farm Inspired Tomato Sauce

I learned a new way of making tomato sauce, under an arbor of wisteria and grape vines, in the outdoor farm kitchen. We washed tomato flat after tomato flat, cooking down some whole, and chopping others up. After a morning of processing we made 91 quarts of sauce and the next day I stepped in to the cellar, where the shelves were once again full of tomatoes.

Read More

Basic Bean Recipe

Basic Bean Recipe

For the longest time, I didn't bother to cook my own beans (and still often end up reaching for a can at times) despite people telling me how far superior home cooked beans are. I'm not great at planning meals ahead, and was always bound to have last minute plans come up the day after setting beans to soak on my counter. The notion that I had to remember to soak beans and then be sure I was home to cook them was more than I could deal with. And yet, everyone really was right. Home cooked beans are outrageously good.

Read More

Spicy Cauliflower Soup

Spicy Cauliflower Soup

Somehow through the magic of soup alchemy, a few veggies, chopped onion and herbs turn into something so deeply delicious. I sautéed onion, carrot and lots of spices, then added a head of cauliflower, water and broth. After just 10 minutes of prep my dinner was simmering on the stove and I was advocating for our programs to a funder. After 40 minutes or so, dinner was ready - warm and satisfying. Cheap and easy. It was the perfect weeknight meal, with lots of leftover for lunches.

Read More

Chicken Soup with an Egg

Chicken Soup with an Egg

One of my favorite food bloggers posted this non-recipe that I would not have normally given a second thought, except  I was desperate for something quick and satisfying. The short ingredient list was truly underwhelming, until I realized it made me something so deeply satisfying. This is now my go-to quick lunch or dinner, perfect when you're sick or feel like you have nothing in the house to eat.

Read More

Burnt Eggplant with Tahini

Burnt Eggplant with Tahini

A friend of the garden, Caroline, dared me to eat eggplant every day on my trip, a challenge I gladly accepted. The eggplant in both countries was staggeringly good and it tasted like something, like its own beautiful eggplant flavor, rather than the bland sponge it is often relegated to here. There, the eggplant is king, treated with respect, coaxed from its shiny skin into super stardom. We ate it rolled around chunks of feta and lightly braised in tomato sauce. In Tel Aviv they would split it down the middle, leaving the stem in tact to hold it together, and drizzled with a nutty tahini sauce.

Read More

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto

I heard something recently about the emotional memory wrapped up in smell, and how through cooking we can bring emotions to the table simply through scent (this was in a recent episode of the excellent Netflix documentary Chef's Table). For me, basil immediately jogs memories of summer - grilled corn, deep joy, and warm lazy breezes. Even as gloomy Bay Area summer is upon us, sniffing a fresh bunch of basil transports me away from thick fog to somewhere warmer where the pace is slower.

Read More

Cookbooks for Gardeners

Cookbooks for Gardeners

This time of year I pull a few of my favorite cookbooks off the shelf and read them before bed, dreaming of what I'll grow this year. Every chef writes, "a dish is only as good as its ingredients", and plucking something from your ground into your kitchen is the freshest and best ingredient you can find. 

Read More