Green Goddess Guacmole

You guys, this guac is so darn tasty.

Green Goddess Guacamole A mashup of green goddess dressing and guacamole, this rich, herb-flecked dip is completely and utterly addicting.  Rumor has it that green goddess salad dressing originated in the 1920′s in San Francisco.  The dressing is typically made with mayo, sour cream, anchovy, lemon and a flurry of finely chopped fresh herbs.  Here, I’ve taken some of these flavors, and applied them to one of my favorite Mexican dips, guacamole.  This recipe starts with cool jade cubes of ripe avocado.  Finely chopped shallot, garlic, parsley, cilantro, chive and tarragon are then added with sour cream and anchovy paste.  Lime juice and kosher salt bring everything to life.  The entire mixture is mashed with a fork to keep the texture somewhat chunky.  Each bite of this adventurous guacamole is packed with incredible herbaceous flavor.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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White Bean, Fennel and Chorizo Salad in a Jar

I have a confession to make.  Over the past several years, I’ve developed quite a jar obsession.

Salad in a Jar Two and half years ago, I was only a few months into dating my boyfriend Jorge.  He was heading up to San Francisco at the time to visit friends, and I asked him to bring me some items from the city.  Can you guess what I asked him for?  Not a loaf or two of glorious SF sourdough.  No chocolate from Ghirardelli.  No artisan, hand-crafted this or that.  Instead, I asked for jars.  Particularly Weck Jars from Heath Ceramics.  At the time, they were a bit of a rarity.  Crate & Barrel and West Elm hadn’t started selling them yet.  I was completely elated the evening Jorge walked through the door carrying two large bags filled with carefully-wrapped Weck Jars.  This obsession has continued ever since.

With such a wide variety of glass beauties at my fingertips, I’m always looking for new ways to use my jars.  And now, I’m jumping on the Salad in a Jar bandwagon.  Here’s the basic idea: salad ingredients are layered inside a large canning jar in such a way that the greens stay crisp and fresh.  Liquids at the bottom.  Greens at the top.  With this framework in place, you can make a number of jarred salads on the weekend to enjoy throughout the week.  Continue reading for my layering technique plus a Salad in a Jar recipe that uses white beans, fennel and chorizo.

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Tomato Confit Pasta

With just 3 fresh ingredients and minimal effort, you can have a plate of this seasonal pasta on the table in under 1 hour.

Tomato Confit Pasta I know the word confit may conjure up some feelings of worry and anxiety, but I assure you, the process couldn’t be easier.  The term confit is typically associated with meat (especially duck), but can also be applied to fruits and vegetables.  Confit simply means to cook something in fat at a low temperature for a longer period of time.

Here, I’m tossing cooked pasta with slow-roasted tomato confit and chopped fresh basil.  To make the tomato confit, simply toss cherry tomatoes, garlic and basil in olive oil, and slow-roast for 45 minutes.  The resulting tomatoes will soften and blister, releasing some of their juices on to the pan.  The tomatoes and juices will have a wonderfully concentrated tomato flavor.  The pasta cooks up while the tomatoes are in the oven, keeping cook time to a minimum.  For best results, give this recipe a try while tomatoes are in season.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Roasted Garlic Bloody Mary

I’m giving the Bloody Mary a bit of a makeover.  A delicious, Italian makeover.

Roasted Garlic Bloody Mary A classic Bloody Mary is made with vodka, tomato juice, hot sauce, horseradish, Worcestershire, lemon, salt and pepper, but today, I’m switching things up.  To start, Roasted Garlic Infused Vodka takes the place of regular vodka.  Garlic and tomato are a perfect pairing.  Roasting the garlic tames its biting heat while adding a deep savory note.  Next, pepperoncini pickling liquid is added with lemon juice to brighten flavors.  Using two types of acid kicks up the intrigue factor.  Finally, the ever-important garnishes get a major overhaul.  Typically, one would garnish a Bloody Mary with a celery stalk, salted rim and lemon wedge.  Here, I’ve adorned this savory cocktail with a pepperoncino, bocconcino (mozzarella ball) and cherry tomato skewered with a bamboo toothpick.  A sprig of fresh rosemary is added for drama and fragrance.  With each sip, you’ll take in the wonderful woodsy aroma that works so well with tomato and garlic.  Next time you’re in need of a bold brunch cocktail, give this Roasted Garlic Bloody Mary a try.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Rainbow Chard Soup

I’m bringing the freshness today.

Rainbow Chard Soup Freshness in the form of a vibrant green Rainbow Chard Soup made with ingredients found in my Specialty Produce Farmer’s Market Box (FMB).  Several weeks ago, I started picking up a FMB at SP, and I’ve really been loving the variety of fresh goodies found within.  Specialty Produce, a local wholesale distributor, stocks many of the restaurants around town with beautiful, high-quality produce.  Some of their products are imported, while others come from farms in the area.  They also open up their warehouse from 8am – 5pm to individuals.  This is where I get almost all of my produce.  Here’s a list of the produce found in my most-recent FMB:

White Corn – Black Sheep Produce
Heirloom Mix Eggplant – Weiser Family Farms
Fennel – Rutiz Farms
White Scallions – McGrath Family Farms
Peewee Mix Fingerling Potatoes – Weiser Family Farms
Baby Mix Beets – Black Sheep Produce
Rainbow Chard – Lakeside
Strawberries – Be Wise Ranch
Broccoli – Lakeside
Jalapeno – Coke Farms

When I first saw the contents of the box, I immediately started thinking of soup ideas, and with San Diego LGBT Pride happening in just a few weeks, I decided to focus on the rainbow chard.  This soup recipe starts with chopped fennel sauteed with scallions, garlic and jalapeño.  Water and coconut milk are added along with chopped rainbow chard leaves.  Once the leaves turn tender, everything is blended until silky smooth.  I like to add a handful of spinach to the mix just before blending to amp up the green flavor and color.  The soup is finished with a a dollop of Greek yogurt, toasted almonds, coconut flakes, sliced scallion greens, and freshly pickled rainbow chard stems.  Such a bold variety of toppings may seem over-the-top, but I just love all of the contrasting flavors and textures.  Both flavorful AND healthy, this Rainbow Chard Soup is bright, fresh, and incredibly satisfying.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Blueberry Ice Cream with Oat Crumble Topping

Aside from flavor, my favorite part of this dessert is it’s color.  Will you just look at that:

Blueberry Ice Cream with Oat Crumble Topping Blueberry Ice Cream with Oat Crumble Topping is summer in dessert-form.  It’s like that piping-hot, all-American blueberry crumble, but… cold.  This recipe starts with a base of simmered fresh blueberries flavored with lemon juice and sugar.  The cooking process draws out some of the moisture while concentrating the blueberry flavor.  After a quick strain, the resulting liquid, stained a deep shade of blue-purple, captures the pure essence of blueberry.  This flavor bomb is mixed into a French custard base (see gif below), then churned into a cold, creamy confection.  A final sprinkling of crunchy oat crumbles provides a satisfying contrast in both flavor and texture.

I’m not going to lie, I love making ice cream (and sorbet) at home.  It’s one of my favorite things to do during the summer months.  Here are some of my past favorites:

What about you?  Do you love to make ice cream at home?  If so, please share some of your favorite creations below in the comments!  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Grilled Kale Caesar with Torn Croutons

Several months ago, I had a grilled kale salad at a special event, and I’ve been dying to recreate it ever since.

Grilled-Kale-Caesar-(smaller) Organic lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur or black kale, is the star ingredient of this healthy, summer salad.  When cooked over hot coals, this leafy superfood transforms into something truly delicious.  Crispy edges provide savory notes of smoke and char while the inner portion of the kale leaf stays tender and chewy.  These grilled greens are tossed in a creamy Caesar dressing spiked with lemon, garlic and Parmesan cheese.  Torn croutons add pops of satisfying crunch.  This salad is a delicious mix of flavors and textures.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Grilled Tri-Tip with Green Garlic Salsa Verde

I’ve got some exciting news to share!

Grilled Tri Tip with Salsa Verde For the next few months, I’m partnering with the new Jimbo’s… Naturally! located at Westfield Horton Plaza on some seriously tasty and organic recipes.  Jimbo’s… Naturally! is a local San Diego business that focuses on high quality organic and natural food.  Their new location at Westfield Horton Plaza is a beauty!  In addition to a juice bar, deli, and bakery, they’ve got a sizable selection of organic produce.  The green garlic I discovered in the produce department was the inspiration for this Italian salsa verde.

To showcase some of the products found at Jimbo’s… Naturally!, I put together this recipe for Grilled Tri-Tip with Green Garlic Salsa Verde.  Organic, grass-fed beef tri-tip is quickly marinated in a sharp blend of garlic, rosemary, lemon and olive oil.  The roast is then placed on a searing hot charcoal grill to develop a wonderfully charred, caramelized crust, and finished over indirect heat to keep the center tender and juicy.  After a brief rest, the tri-tip is sliced against the grain, and served with a Green Garlic Salsa Verde.  This vibrant condiment is made with fresh parsley, garlic, red chile, capers, lemon and olive oil.  Bright, fresh flavors permeate both the beef and the sauce, making them a perfect combination for any summer barbecue.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Cardamom Breakfast Cereal with Fresh Raspberries

If you follow me on Instagram, this may look familiar.

Cardamom Breakfast Cereal

When I’m not eating chia pudding, this Cardamon Breakfast Cereal with Fresh Raspberries is my go-to for early morning eats.  Old-fashioned oats are mixed with freshly ground cardamom, sliced almonds, dried currants, and flaked coconut, then splashed with sweetened almond milk.  After a 5 minute hydrate, the cereal is finished with gloriously red raspberries.  If you are a fan of cardamom, each bite of this healthy breakfast cereal is pure heaven.  Raspberries and cardamom are a perfect match.

Aside from the flavor, three things I love about this cereal are its convenience, versatility, and cost.  I like to make a batch of homemade cereal on Sunday, so I can easily enjoy for breakfast throughout the week.  Also, most of the elements of this cereal can be switched out.  Don’t like almonds?  Add pecans.  Can’t find currants at your grocery store?  Try raisins.  Raspberries not in season?  Go for apples.  You could even sub in cinnamon for the cardamom.  Flavor combinations are endless!  Finally, this recipe is cheap.  Cereal in grocery stores is obscenely expensive.  There’s no need for that.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Tomato and Horseradish Cocktail Sauce

We’re in the middle of a heatwave here in San Diego, and all I want to do right now is sit by a pool (or at the beach or in a backyard) with an ice cold michelada, and a plate of shrimp cocktail within arm’s reach.

Cocktail Sauce With Shrimp
Preferably this plate of shrimp cocktail, featuring my Tomato and Horseradish Cocktail Sauce.  Made with charred tomatoes, freshly grated horseradish root, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce and honey, this homemade condiment is fresh, bright, and has an incredibly light mouthfeel.  The flavors are similar to a classic cocktail sauce, but with the volume turned way up.  What I love the most about this sauce is that it allows the flavor of the shrimp to come through, giving the crustaceans a chance to be more than just a sauce delivery system.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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