Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I entered this recipe into a healthy Thanksgiving recipe contest and was one of the winners! I served it on my Thanksgiving table, it's one of my favorites. It is easy, and can be made in advance and you can be sure no one else will have had it.

2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 pomegranate, seeds removed
1 small bunch parsley
4 ounces feta, chopped
4 ounces pine nuts, toasted**
1/4 cup capers
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons mint, chopped
2 tablespoons dijon
1/4- 1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss Cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil and roast until golden. When cauliflower is done, remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, combine lemon juice, zest, dijon and olive oil to make a vinaigrette. Set aside.

When cauliflower is cool enough to handle, finely chop florets until they resemble israeli couscous.

Combine chopped cauliflower with feta, pine nuts and capers. Toss with vinaigrette and herbs. Lightly fold in pomegranate seeds.

serves 8

** As an interesting side note, several of my friends have experienced a strange, metallic, bitter taste in their mouths and the culprit has been...pine nuts. Here is a link to an article about it.

Feel free to substitute toasted sliced or slivered almonds.


As soon as I saw the picture, I knew I would love this dish. Unexpectedly, a package arrived at my door a few weeks ago. It was a book from Robin, one that she had and been drooling over. I also, had been drooling over it not only because of the delicious, seasonal recipes but also because it is beautifully written.

Immediately, I got to work flagging the recipes that I had to try and this was one of the first. Essentially, it is a crustless quiche with, as Robin would say, an assload of greens. The recipe calls for 2 pounds of spinach, which I used but I also added a bunch of random beet greens that been hanging around in my fridge. You couls use any of your favorite greens here or a combination of them all. If you'll notice, the greens in the cake weren't enough for me, I had to add a little arugula salad on the side. One can never really have enough greens and this is a great recipe for that purpose.

I do recommend free range eggs and organic milk.

Spinach Cake

from David Lebovitz,

Ten servings

Adapted from A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes (Artisan) by David Tanis

I liked this very much, but be sure to season the mixture very well, like, more than you think, before baking. I’m curious, and next time I’m going to add small bits of cooked bacon or proscuitto to the batter just after pureeing it in a blender.

David says to simply puree the spinach and custard mix until smooth, but I’m thinking it might be better a little “leafy” so will also blend it to the point where the spinach is fine, but not entirely smooth.

2 medium leeks (you could use two onions, or a bunch of scallions or green garlic instead)
2 tablespoons (30 g) butter, salted or unsalted
salt and freshly-ground pepper
2 pounds (.75 kg) fresh spinach, well-washed and stemmed
big pinch of chile or cayenne pepper
whole nutmeg
2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
6 large eggs
Parmesan cheese

1. Remove the green part of the leeks, slice each lengthwise, rotate them a quarter turn, then slice them lengthwise again, keeping the end intact. Swish the leeks in a bowl of water until they’re grit free, and towel-dry. Cut into small pieces.

2. Melt the butter in a deep pan and sauté the leeks with a little salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until they’re translucent. While they’re cooking, cut the spinach into ribbons.

3. Once the leeks are cooked, begin adding the spinach in batches, putting on the lid until the spinach has cooked down, then you can add more. Add salt and pepper as you go, and include a scraping of nutmeg and chile powder during the final batch.

4. When all the spinach is just barely wilted, turn it out into a large bowl (along with any juices) and let cool. Stirring it a few times will speed it up.

5. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C.) Liberally butter a 9- or 10-inch (23-25cm) deep round baking dish. I used a 2 qt (2l) baking rectangular baking dish.

6. Working in batches, puree the spinach mixture with the milk and eggs until almost smooth. (At this point, if you want to add some cooked bacon or chopped proscuitto, you can.)

David recommends adding more salt and pepper here, which is a good idea: you want the mixture pretty well-seasoned.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Grate a wispy layer of Parmesan over the top and bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife poked into the center comes out clean.

Serving: Let cool to room temperature, then serve.



Friday, November 12, 2010


I have been such a slacker about blogging, but in real life, I have been really busy. It all goes back to October when I was working a job as a personal chef on a film set. This was a really cool job, totally loved it. Part of what makes being a personal chef a great job is when you have a client who appreciates what you cook, which doesn't always happen. Right after that, I picked up a few other clients and have been filling their refrigerators with delicious meals for a week, meanwhile my fridge sits empty.

After a couple of weeks of cooking for others, I thought it was about time that I fill our fridge. I headed down to the Culver City farmers market, grabbed a bunch of veg and headed home to cook. I prepared all of the vegetables that I bought, including 2 kabocha squash (roasted and topped with brown butter and sage), 2 cauliflower (roasted and tossed with salsa verde), 2 bunches of kale (sauteed with garlic and a wee bit o' bacon), 2 fennel (braised and dusted with pecorino). To this mound of veg, I also made some lentils and topped them with some feta (also from the farmers market) and roasted the one chicken breast that I had. It was a spectacular feast, but the best part was that I had all of these great leftovers to enjoy the next couple of days.

Often, when I cook (which, as you know is pretty often) I make extra food, especially the vegetables. This allows me to eat when I am hungry without having to put too much thought into it. So, there's your tip for the week-get some vegetables, make a lot of them and then eat frequently.