Yotam Ottolenghi is my muse. I love his bold flavors, energetic spirit and infectious love for food. This is a rather radical modification of a recipe in his latest book, Simple. Rose harissa is somewhat hard to find (I get it at the Cheese Importers in Longmont, Colorado), but regular harissa that you make yourself or buy will be totally delicious. This is great as a side dish, something to bring to a dinner party (whenever that happens again…), or to add a little heft to a night when all your serving is a big salad. I find this intensely flavorful dish to be totally craveable. And for me, as long as it’s healthy, I don’t think we should make/eat any food that’s not in the category of craveable. Life is too damn short to spend time making and eating food that’s just meh.
Ingredient: ancient sea salt
My state of origin is Missouri/Misery — one of the increasing number of states where women are now considered chattel (sorry/not sorry to bring up politics). But I was lucky enough to have: 1. A grandmother who was a Master Gardener and 2. Lived in Laguna Niguel, California. Long before we had access to anything “exotic” at our local grocer she would send us boxes of Meyer lemons and artichokes fresh from her back garden. The photo above is a scene from the very beginning of my love affair with my favorite vegetable.
Nearly five decades later the opening of a Trader Joe’s in Boulder introduced 12-ounce bags of frozen artichoke hearts in the freezer section for $3.29. And suddenly, the ways in which I could express my love for the vegetable — a member of the thistle family — multiplied.
Yes, yes, YES – I get it. It’s totally not the same thing as a fresh artichoke and yes, I know they are not organic. And this does give me great pause. But when I asked a certain local chain to source frozen artichoke hearts for me back in 2010 the only ones they could find where $18 for 12 oz. Gulp. So I take my chances and hope that an article I read about one of the biggest growers in California switching to more organic methods is actually the case with these ‘chokes.
Super simple, dead-of-winter soup. My husband always calls this kind of soup: A Bowl of Health. And he’s right. You can’t go wrong with onions/garlic, kale, sweet potatoes and a handful of beans when trying to keep ahead of whatever virus is circulating or nourish yourself when you are sick.
The other thing thatI love about this soup is remembering basically how to make it: 1 cup dried beans, 1 onion, 1 sweet potato, 1 bunch of kale, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 Tablespoon miso…
For the past 23 years, I’ve been making a salad in the bowl pictured above at least three nights a week. The bowl has never been washed, has a crack down the side and on the bottom has burn marks from one night when I accidentally left it on a hot stove top. If my house were burning down, this bowl would be the only thing I would grab from the kitchen. The recipe below is written especially for my dear friend, Marianne.