Focaccia

Focaccia

This recipe is easy. SO SO EASY. Do not be intimidated because it has yeast in it and it involves a rise. If you can make chocolate chip cookies you will excel at this. If you can mix flour and water with a spoon you will excel at this. This recipe manages to be super impressive, really really delicious and very little work. This last weekend I topped it with kalamata olives - it is also very adaptable!

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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!

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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.

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Spaghetti with Eggplant Sauce

Spaghetti with Eggplant Sauce

The recipe calls for eggplant, but suggests you can use zucchini or cauliflower, and it was so so good and the best way to use up some odds and ends. You basically cook eggplant (or zucchini, cauliflower or broccoli) until it softens, then add just enough stock to allow it to bubble away and fall apart so it becomes a savory pasta sauce

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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.

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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.

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Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

These cookies combine two holiday classics, chocolate and gingerbread, although I have never thought to put the two together. How is this possible? Why are we not adding chocolate ganache glazes to gingerbread bundt cakes, and why has it taken me so long in my life to realize this a most delicious combination? 

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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.

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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.

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Mixed Berry Cobbler

Mixed Berry Cobbler

This is a dessert - as in there is a hefty amount of good ol' white sugar and I'm gonna recommend you top this off with some softly whipped cream. While a piece of simple fruit or a wedge of dark chocolate at the end of a meal is great, I also feel strongly that a baked sweet dessert is an act of love. 

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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. 

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Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Along making spring rolls I made a fairly traditional noodle salad, but added some grilled eggplant to give it more heft. The sauce is similar to a spring roll dipping sauce - very tangy and bright, with lots of lime juice and fish sauce. The chopped, fresh herbs (and many of them) make this salad so flavorful and complex. I look forward to making this in the weeks and months to come, changing up things here and there, and making plenty of leftovers for a great lunch.

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Brussels Sprouts + Squash with Dried Cranberries and Dijon Vinaigrette

Brussels Sprouts + Squash with Dried Cranberries and Dijon Vinaigrette

It was one of those perfect moments - a crisp fall day when the light is just right. That day, Get Up! student Leia brought this delicious roasted veggie dish that is the perfect embodiment of fall food. This would be a great addition to your holiday table, work lunches, or weeknight dinners. Enjoy and feel grateful for the bounty our gardens provide.

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Seasonal Grain Salads

Seasonal Grain Salads

This is the best kind of picnic food, hearty and easy to transport. It's what I made when I took Get Up! and needed a healthy and satisfying lunch for a group. It's great for dinner at home with leftovers for lunch. It could even be a great side at Thanksgiving, especially if for whatever reason you had to, gasp, forgo the stuffing.

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