I am in love with this salad from my new eBook KALE. Last week on the TV show Top Chef, Dana Cowin (the long time editor of Food & Wine Magazine) said kale is one of her most hated food trends. Then, this……”I love kale, that’s not a trend to me,” says host Padma Lakshmi. ”The idea of kale has now become boiled down to ONE iteration – it’s either Kale Salad or Kale Chips,” responded Dana Cowin.
I am happy to share that I have just released a new eBook chapter as part of my yearlong series – KALE! Welcome to autumn – the season of heavy & hearty greens that are fantastic for you. I am thrilled to share these thoughts and recipes on growing, cooking and eating kale, the trendy new veg everyone is loving lately. This book is one meant as a tool for anyone hoping to (and trying to) eat seasonally. There are LOTS of recipe ideas for any seasonal veg, and sometimes it’s nice to shake up your recipe repertoire.
I hope you’ll download this eBook and send me your thoughts about what’s cooking in your kitchen. My favorite recipe in the book (though, truly this answer always changes for me) is the Raw Kale Salad with Apples & Cheddar. This recipe takes advantage of all the best ingredients available in fall, resulting in a flavor-rich and to-die-for salad that will be your new fave. Report back!
You can buy the Fresh Pantry: KALE book here.
It is very rare for me to share an already published recipe (mostly because I gave up on following recipes years ago, and now consider it an occupational hazard), but this winner is recipe perfection and should not be tinkered with.
My friend Marcus made a batch of cookies this weekend, and they were exquisite. To make the chocolate chip cookies, you must first brown the butter – a brilliant step leading to a toffee-like flavor and a crispy-chewy flavor balance typically only achieved in professional pastry kitchens. They are superb.
You can subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated or opt for the 14-day free trial to get the recipe and read about the food science behind this recipe.
I’ve been knee-deep in apple season already this year, eating them fresh and dehydrating some for snacking. Varieties come and go as the weather changes, and some are only available early on so you have to grab them while you can. (Like this petite Akane apples from eastern Washington.)
Preserving is a great way to extend the season and I’ve been teaching around Seattle this fall. This recipe is included in my recent book, APPLES – From Harvest to Table from St. Martin’s Press. It makes good use of hard and bitter cider apples, but any firm apple will do. My brother & his family just harvested Jonamac’s from an orchard in upstate NY and I think they’d be perfect, too.
spiced apple chutney, from APPLES – From Harvest to Table
Chutneys are savory fruit-based spreads often used in Indian cuisine. Here, apples are perfumed with commanding winter spices. This fragrant chutney has a bit of a heat from red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. Cider apples make the best chutney, as they are tart and firm and hold their shape after cooking.
Suggested varieties: If you can’t find cider apples, substitute another firm apple like Granny Smith or the English variety Bramley’s Seedling.
Makes about 6 half-pint jars
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds cider apples, cored and cut into small dice
12 whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon curry powder
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon mustard seeds, coarsely ground
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1⁄2 cup raisins 1 cup apple cider vinegar
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt and sauté until the onion starts to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the apples and sauté until they start to brown, another 10 to 12 minutes. Add all of the spices, ginger, and raisins, stirring for 2 minutes to incorporate. Add the apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the mixture is thick and the apples are very soft but still hold their shape, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Fill clean, sterilized jars with chutney, leaving ½ inch head space. Using a damp, clean towel, wipe the rims of the jars, and top them with lids and rings, being sure not to tighten the rings all the way. Leave a bit of torque so air bubbles can escape. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove the jars with tongs and let them all cool on the counter. Once the jars are cool, make sure the seals are secure. Sealed jars may be stored in a cool dark cupboard for up to 1 year.
I’m writing so many books this year, that I’m sure your head is spinning by now. I know mine is! Last winter, I was asked to write an APPLE cookbook and I jumped at the chance. Apples are one of my most favorite things to cook with, everyone seems to love them AND I needed a winter project. Perfect math!
This cookbook is a hard cover (!) with a nice, bendable binding, which means you can open up to your favorite recipe and the book will stay open. It has apples recipes for breakfast, appetizers, salads, dinners, preserves and of course, desserts. I worked thoughtfully to ensure that these recipes would be new to most – a collection of recipes to inspire getting in the kitchen all year long. (Although, there IS an apple pie recipe, but it’s my brothers favorite and a real winning dish!)
APPLES is also filled with gorgeous pictures of many of the recipes. It’s practically a coffee table book it’s so gorgeous! For that alone, you should order a copy today. They make great gifts, too!
This from the publisher…
There is something to please every taste with a range of recipes including:
- Apple-caraway soda bread
- Apple & red lentil steamed dumplings
- Hard-cider-braised short ribs with apple slaw
- Whole wheat apple & yogurt cake
- Traditional apple butter, homemade apple cider vinegar and more
APPLES is filled with helpful practical information regarding which types of apples are better for snacking or baking, heirloom varieties such as Cortland and Macoun, and regional apple guides and resources. Pennington also includes fun and easy apple based crafts like homemade applesauce and dried apple stars that kids and parents will love. This charming collection will give you plenty of new ways to enjoy an old favorite.
And some outtakes from the fab photo shoot with food photographer, Olivia Brent, who deserves a standing ovation for these gorgeous shots.
Stinging Nettles (aka Nettles) are hot hot hot these days. Everyone wants to get their hands on some.Known for their superfood properties (nettles are rich in vitamins A, C, and D and loaded with calcium and even protein), raw nettles will sting you if they come in contact with your skin. The leaves and stem have tiny plant hairs that penetrate your skin and result in welts that sting and burn slightly and are sometimes itchy. Luckily, the welts don’t last for long on most people.
Nettles grow along roadsides and pathways, mostly in woods, so keep your eyes open when you’re on any urban nature walks. They come up first thing at the end of winter and are best harvested around March when they are still young, one to two feet high, but I just harvested some new growth at low elevations (like, Seattle!) last week and they were just fine.
The leaves are deeply serrated and end with a pointed tip. They grow in tiers like a Christmas tree—big leaves at the bottom of the plant and smaller leaves toward the tip. Nettles tend to grow in clusters. If you’re not sure you’ve found nettles, a light brush up against a leaf will quickly confirm any suspicions. Nettles are mildly flavored and can be used as a hearty green, a filling for pastas or roulades, or a quick pesto-like pasta sauce. Nutrient-dense nettle leaves may also be used in the garden as an all-purpose fertilizer for your plants—they are thought to pass their beneficial qualities on to other plants.
To harvest, wear gloves and trim only the top 6″ – 12″ of the stem and leaves. Clip with scissors and place in a large paper bag. When home, set a large pot over high heat and just cover the bottom with water, about 1″ deep. When the water is boiling, toss in the nettles and steam for 10 to 12 minutes. This will remove the sting and leave them ready for eating. I will also often fill a pot with water and blanch nettles for 3 to 4 minutes, reserving the blanching water as nettle tea for drinking.
Nettles can be used as you would spinach or sauteed greens in recipes. You can also leave the nettles on their stalks and lay them out on drying racks or hang them upside down to dry. These dried leaves can be steeped as tea, which is thought to be rich in minerals and vitamins.
To make nettle tea for your garden, fill a large jar or jug densely with nettle leaves and cover in water. Let sit out, covered, for a little over a week. During this time, the leaves will start to ferment. The mixture will smell a bit boozy and yeasty. Spray on plants or add a cupful to each container once a week.
My new eBook Fresh Pantry; Rhubarb is out!
Spring is finally and slowly ‘springing’ in Seattle, though it’s been a bit warmer for weeks. In early February, I had a small nub of rhubarb crown poking out of the soil in one of my gardens – always a great indicator that spring is in swing. Right about now, rhubarb is ready to harvest from some fields. Many commercial growers use hothouses or forcing sheds, so you can find thick stalks easily in your local grocery now. The bonus of this sort of growing (versus field Rhubarb) is the tender and bright red stalks. (There is more on the how and why of rhubarb color in the book, btw.)
My Fresh Pantry Series is a monthly eBook installment highlighting ONE single seasonal ingredient. The goal in releasing books this way is to offer an affordable ($2.99) and creative seasonal guide for home cooks. Each book is full of original and well-rounded recipes to fill your table and whet your whistle. I steer clear of traditional recipes (no Rhubarb-Strawberry pie here!) & offer something fresh & fabulous.
Fresh Pantry: Rhubarb is the fourth (!) volume in the 12-month series and features:
- 14 creative yet easy recipes spanning every meal of the day, including Coriander Ribs with Rhubarb BBQ Sauce, Rhubarb & Celery Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts & Rhubarb-Banana Sherbet
- Lush, full-color photographs
- Tips and techniques for growing & storing
- The fourth of 12 monthly installments: Look for my other e-books on winter squash, onions, carrots, and more to come!
Hello Food Lovers!
I’m so excited about my new ebook series!! Through 2013 – one a month! – I will write and release a seasonal cookbook online that promises to highlight a bounty of vegetables and fruits. It’s called Fresh Pantry. Check it out here.
My first book, Urban Pantry: Tips & Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable & Seasonal Kitchen, introduced you to clever cooking concepts and ingredients, provided experienced cooks with organizational inspiration, and helped cooks of all skill levels create sustainable and thrifty kitchens. But its approach and ingredients reflect shelf-stable, dried, or preserved goods. For anyone trying to eat a seasonal diet, fresh vegetables and fruits are pantry musts as well, albeit ones that rotate constantly over the year and have more limited shelf lives. The Fresh Pantry series picks up where Urban Pantry leaves off—by continuing the conversation about sustainable foods and how eating locally and seasonally is a healthy act that everyone can get behind. It is a tool for anyone committed to eating locally (!) and helps combat seasonal doldrums. You can do a LOT with a winter squash!
THANK YOU SO MUCH for checking it out ~ ox amyp
Skipstone Books published my first book, Urban Pantry, and continues to put out awesome books that support and encourage a self-sustaining lifestyle. Last fall, they published The Urban Farm Handbook to be used as “City-Slicker Resources for Growing, Raising, Sourcing, Trading, and Preparing What You Eat.” Annette Cottrell and Joshua McNichols penned the book and recently asked me to join their Urban Farm Handbook Challenge.
With that, here is a great recipe for getting farm-y in the city. It’s an awesome and easy way to stock your pantry and a super easy and affordable option for Christmas gift giving – Preserved Lemons.
To make preserved lemons yourself, you can use regular lemons or Meyer lemons when they are in season (in winter). Cut off the blossom end of the lemon. Slice the lemons in quarters, leaving the end intact so they are split open into fours, but still “whole” lemons. Rub each lemon in salt (about 1 tablespoon per lemon), making sure to press salt into the flesh and cover the rinds. Place the lemons in a clean glass jar, and press down to expel some juices. Cover and store on the counter to monitor progress for three days. Over the next several days, the jar should fill, covering the lemons in their own juice. If after three days the lemons are not submerged in their juices, add some fresh squeezed lemon juice to cover fully. Store in a cool, dark cupboard for three to four weeks before using. After the lemons are completely soft and preserved, store them in the fridge and use within six months.
Rinse preserved lemons thoroughly in cold water before using. You must rinse off the salt, leaving behind only the sweet skin. You can scrape out the pulp and pith and finely chop or thinly slice the skins. It is also safe to use the entire lemon, but that is best used in stews or roasts. Be sure to adjust the salt in your recipe accordingly, as the preserved fruits will give off some salt.
A NOTE ABOUT PRESERVED LEMONS:
To make, lemons are sliced and rubbed with coarse salt, the juice and salt acting as the preservative. Over a few weeks the lemon rinds, pulp, and pith become soft and velvety and can be chopped and sliced for salads, relishes, stews, and more. They are delicious.
Salt has long been a means of food preservation. When this concept is applied to simple lemons, the outcome is an intensely flavored pantry ingredient that is simple to make and stores well. Preserved lemons are a staple of Moroccan cuisine but can be used in most savory dishes calling for lemon. Tasting of muted lemon, with none of the sour tang, they add a subtle undertone to dishes. Replace the fresh zest in Gremolata with preserved lemon, and you’ll instantly change the dish. Preserved lemons have a flavor unto themselves, at once clean yet rich. They can be added to a compound butter or used in long braises. They also add a nice flavor note to room-temperature salads, like Apricot– Chickpea Salad and can be used as a quick garnish to simply steamed vegetables.
Fall is HERE, and I have the wool sweaters to prove it. Makes me crave fall-food – anything cozy and warm, like this quick and simple Onion Thyme Tart from Urban Pantry as published in Leite’s Culinaria.
Puff pastry is a delicate, flaky pastry made by folding layers of butter between layers of dough. Puff is an excellent staple to keep in your frozen pantry, as it can be used for both sweet and savory dishes. I made it once (a very laborious process!), then decided that I’d rather save time and buy it from the freezer section of my local grocer. I consider it my lazy food: it’s quick-baking, takes little effort to embellish, and is a great shortcut for serving a crowd. I serve this Onion Thyme Tart recipe as a complement to soup or salad or for an easy pre-dinner nibble.–Amy Pennington
from Leite’s Culinaria Pretty as a Picture: We have a thing for simplicity. At least when it takes the shape of this stunning, conversation-stopping tart strewn with sweetly burnished onions and traces of fresh thyme. That’s not to say you can’t embellish this five-ingredient phenomenon from Amy Pennington, whether with a crumbling of feta or goat or blue cheese, a splash of balsamic, maybe even…well, we’ll let you fill in the blank. Although speaking of perfection, why is it that the photos we snap of our dinner or other random moments of the day never turn out as lovely as the one above, taken by the talented Della Chen?
Hands-on time: 20 minutes | Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Onion Thyme Tart Recipe
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 whopping big yellow onions, cut into thin half moons
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 to 7 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted but kept cool (Editor’s Note: Splurge on the all-butter puff pastry from Dufour. Pepperidge Farm has too many ingredients–none of them butter–for us to feel good about.)
- 1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and stir continuously until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the salt and continue stirring until the onions release their moisture and the pan becomes more and more dry. When this happens, add half of the thyme and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and golden, 30 to 40 minutes or so. (If the onions start to brown, reduce the heat as low as your stove goes.) Remove from the heat and set aside
- 2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176° C). Adjust the oven rack to the center position.
- 3. Unfold the sheet of defrosted puff pastry on a parchment-lined baking sheet. You may wish to run a rolling pin over it a couple times just to even the dough. Scatter the top evenly with the onions.
- 4. Bake the tart for 25 to 35 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and flaky. Remove it from the oven, sprinkle the remaining thyme over the top, and let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing into small squares for serving. (Any leftover tart can be kept at room temperature, lightly covered with parchment. Best to crisp it in an oven or toaster oven prior to nibbling.)