05.08.2017

DSC_0238 (1)

“Why, it is May!” said Toad as he climbed out of bed. Then he and Frog ran outside to see how the world was looking in spring.

This quote from Frog & Toad runs through my mind all the time these days. We are huge fans of the green and brown dynamic duo and I just love the one-liners in their stories. But yes, spring, asparagus, book events, green grass, flowers – it’s all happening! I am quickly stopping in here to share a super simple spring side dish, one that I made for our cookbook club meeting a couple of weeks ago. Our cookbook club read, cooked, and ate from The Silver Palate and I brought this Crisply Roasted Asparagus with Gremolata and Chicken Dijonnaise (which did not get a pretty picture but was DELICIOUS, you should make it. The main ingredients are mustard and creme fraiche so really, how could it be bad). Oh, and I finally ate the famous Chicken Marbella – two thumbs way up.

The weekend before cookbook club, I was up in Boston strutting my urban stuff at Olives & Grace.  Sofi, the shop’s fearless leader, was so welcoming and knows how to throw a party! I wish I took a break to snap photos of all my pals, new and old, who stopped by to say hello but I was having too much fun. A huge thank you to Sofi and everyone who came out to chow on falafel bites and buy a copy of Feeding a Family. I am so grateful.

DSC_0222

IMG_2799

Crisply Roasted Asparagus with Gremolata

from The Silver Palate

Gremolata:

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon

2 teaspoons finely minced garlic

Asparagus:

1 pound medium-size asparagus, woody ends removed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 lemons, halved crosswise, for garnish

IMG_0390

IMG_2810

1. To prepare the gremolata: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl with a fork. Cover and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 400F.

3. Place the asparagus in a roasting pan in a single layer, facing the same direction. Toss with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake on the center rack for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes longer, Remove to a serving dish and sprinkle with gremolata. Serve with lemon halves.

IMG_0388

IMG_0389

 

02.14.2017

DSC_0209

To celebrate Valentine’s Day I made my loves a lemon tart while watching Beyonce’s grammy performance over and over and over again. Now I’m tearing up looking at these amazing pictures my pal Becca snapped of me and the boys in the fall. I love you Waldman boys – so very very much.

REALmotherhoodproject--Sarah-34

REALmotherhoodproject--Sarah-42

Lemon Tart from My Kitchen Year

makes 1 9-inch tart

1/2 cup cashews (or unsalted almonds or hazelnuts)

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

3/4 cup flour

Salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

5 large eggs, separated

4 large lemons

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

REALmotherhoodproject--Sarah-25

REALmotherhoodproject--Sarah-48

REALmotherhoodproject--Sarah-56

Begin by making a tart shell. Toast the cashews then grind them in a food processor with the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and a pinch of salt. Add in 4 tablespoons of butter and pulse until it is the size of peas. Stir in the olive oil and 1 egg yolk.

Form the dough into a disk, put it between two pieces of plastic wrap, and roll it out to an 11-inch round. Press dough gently into a 9-inch tart shell with a removable bottom, and chill for half an hour. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes and allow to cool on a rack.

To make the filling, grate the zest from 1 lemon. Squeeze all 4 lemons and mix the juice with the zest. Put the lemon mixture into a heavy-bottomed pot and whisk in the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in 2 eggs plus 2 additional yolks.

Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium high. Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to boil, then keep whisking for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth and thick.

Remove from the heat, add 6 tablespoons of butter (cut into pieces), and whisk the mixture until the butter has vanished. Spread into the tart shell and allow to cool. Put the tart in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

I sliced a few kumquats for the top and served slices with whipped cream.

DSC_0237

02.02.2017

Cecil_Juice-81

I wrote The Beginner’s Guide to Juice Making for Food52. Check it out! 

Whether you received a juicer over the holidays, are in the midst of a New Year’s resolution kick, or simply want to get more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet (who doesn’t?), you may be curious about juicing…click here to read the full article and get the recipes.

Cecil_Juice-40

Photography by Elizabeth Cecil

01.18.2017

DSC_0812

I made this warm vegetable salad the other day when I wanted to eat something filling yet nutritious, warm and comforting yet light. In the season of salads, juice cleanses, and bunny rabbit diets, food like this (flavorful, unique, satisfying) is welcomed. Miso-Curry Winter Squash with Tofu, Kale & Cilantro packs up perfectly for lunch but also makes a delicious light dinner or side dish. The original recipe calls for pepitas to be sprinkled atop the veggies. I didn’t have any handy but I’m sure any nut or seed would make a nice crunchy topping. This dish also holds up well in the fridge making it a perfect make ahead dish.

DSC_0799

DSC_0810

Miso-Curry Winter Squash: Tofu, Kale, Cilantro adapted from Super Natural Every Day

Serves 4

12 ounces delicata or acorn squash

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup white miso

1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste

14-ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes

6 baby red potatoes, quartered

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups chopped kale leaves

2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

 

Preheat the oven to 400F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to clear out all the seeds. Cut into 1/2-inch thick half-moons.

In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, miso, and curry paste. Combine the tofu, potatoes, and squash in a large bowl with 1/3 cup of the miso-curry paste. Use your hands to toss well, then turn the vegetables onto a rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.

Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until everything is tender and browned. Keep a close watch as the vegetables can go from browned to burned in a flash.

In the meantime, whisk the lemon juice into the remaining miso-curry paste, then stir in the kale until coated.

Toss the roasted vegetables gently with the kale and cilantro. Serve family style in a large bowl or on a platter.

11.14.2016

 

dsc_0503

In the November issue of Bon Appetite, Anna Jones shares a few “healthy-ish holiday survival” recipes. If you’re not familiar with Anna Jones this is what the magazine has to say about her: “The former food stylist to Jamie Oliver, Jones has a refreshing food sensibility that we can’t get enough of. Her recipes are practical yet creative, and they’re packed with feel-good ingredients that make the finished dishes more-not less-delicious. And guess what? They’re all vegetarian.”

Anna suggests making this Skillet Phyllo Pie with Butternut Squash, Kale & Goat Cheese for dinner on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. That’s some good advice although we enjoyed it very much as a Sunday dinner last weekend. The recipe is highly adaptable. Try it with Swiss chard or spinach in place of kale. Any squash or root vegetable will work in place of the butternut.

We also made a tray of her Seedy Oat Crackers or “the guiltless cracker” which can be made ahead of the holiday craziness (they’ll keep for up to ten days). Seedy Oat Crackers are gluten-free, and have very little fat. Packed with nutrient-dense seeds and oats, these special crackers leave you feeling satisfied.

dsc_0489

Skillet Phyllo Pie with Butternut Squash, Kale & Goat Cheese from Bon Appetite November 2016

Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing

2 medium red onions, finely chopped

1/2 small butternut squash (about 1 lb.) peeled, cut into 3/4″ pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 bunch Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, thinly sliced crosswise

2 large eggs, beaten to blend

3 ounces Parmesan, grated

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

8 ounces frozen phyllo pastry, thawed

4 ounces fresh goat cheese or feta, crumbled

dsc_0403

dsc_0519

Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400 F. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 6-8 minutes. Add squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, 8-10 minutes. Mix in thyme and red pepper flakes and transfer to a medium bowl; let cool. Wipe out and reserve skillet.

Add kale, eggs, Parmesan, and lemon zest to squash mixture and gently mix to combine; season with salt and pepper. Layer phyllo sheets inside reserved skillet. Spoon kale-and-squash mixture into phyllo and dot top with goat cheese. Brush edges of phyllo lightly with oil and fold over filling, overlapping slightly, leaving center exposed.

Cook pie over medium heat until bottom of pastry is just golden (carefully lift up on side with a heatproof rubber spatula so that you can take a peek), about 3 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake pie until kale is wilted and tender and phyllo is golden brown and crispy, 20-25 minutes. Let pie cool in skillet at least 15 minutes before slicing into wedges.

Do Ahead: Pie can be baked 6 hours ahead. Let cool; store uncovered at room temperature.

dsc_0509

 

dsc_0507

Seedy Oat Crackers “the guiltless cracker” from Bon Appetite November 2016

Makes 8 servings

1 cup old-fashioned oats

3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/3 cup sesame seeds

3 tablespoons chia seeds

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

dsc_0483

dsc_0526

Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, poppy seeds, and salt in a large bowl to combine. In a separate bowl, stir oil, maple syrup, and 3/4 cup room-temperature water together. Pour over oat mixture; toss until soaked. Let sit 10 minutes to allow mixture to thicken. From into a ball. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, press another sheet of parchment on top, and roll out to 1/8″ thick (the shape doesn’t matter). Remove top layer of parchment. Bake cracker until golden brown around the edges, 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn over cracker; remove parchment. Bake cracker on same sheet until firm and the other side is golden brown around the edges, 15-20 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet, then break into pieces.