You’re going to want to cook this now

201409-r-skirt-steak-with-roasted-tomato-chimichurri-and-potatoes

Photo courtesy of Food & Wine

At my house, we love chimichurri and make it often to dress up grilled skirt or flatiron steak. In fact, I sometimes joke that my herb garden is a “chimichurri garden,” because I grow all the herbs needed to make a good, standard chimichurri at a moment’s notice.

I recently came across a recipe for roasted tomato chimichurri with skirt steak and potatoes and bookmarked it immediately. I made it last night with just a couple of adaptations. I used red wine vinegar instead of rice vinegar, added in a few sprigs of fresh oregano from the herb garden, and used aleppo pepper, because I love it and was out of plain crushed red pepper. It also took closer to 30 minutes for my tomatoes to get a bit browned.

This sauce is beyond good– really balanced deep flavors. You get the herby freshness from the parsley, spice from the crushed red pepper, tang from the vinegar, and of course the caramelized sweetness and umami-richness of the roasted tomatoes. It was perfect paired with the steak and potatoes.

But as I was tasting a few spoonfuls for seasoning, I realized this chimichurri would be delicious on all kinds of things– drizzled over eggs, slathered on toast, and as a pasta sauce, just to name a few.

Chilled cucumber avocado soup for the last days of summer

IMG_1173.JPG
Here in Portland, hot, sunny days continue well into September. The cucumbers and cherry tomatoes in my garden are still going crazy. I often make gazpacho to put them to good use.

This summer, I added a new chilled soup to the rotation, inspired by the abundance of cucumbers, tomatoes and jalapeños from my garden and my love for avocados.

It’s creamy and refreshing with tang from the lime and a bit of heat from the jalapeño. Plus, the avocado makes it a bit more filling. Crusty bread, salami, or grilled shrimp (or chicken or fish) all make worthy companions. Continue reading

Citrus season!

20140217-210331.jpg

It’s hard not to swoon over all the citrus that’s at its peak right now. The jewel-like beauties above are moro blood oranges and cara cara oranges piled high on our breakfast plates.

I’ve been bringing home armloads of grapefruit, kumquats, cocktail citrus, oranges, meyer lemons and tangerines and turning them into muffins, scones, and curds, using them in vinaigrettes, soups, salads, and slow-roasted pork shoulder, and spritzing them on fish, Mexican and more.

20140217-210351.jpg

I love citrus curds. And I recently discovered how quick and easy they are  to make. You can use almost any of the season’s bounty to delicious effect. Just be sure to choose tart citrus like lemons, meyer lemons, limes, grapefruit, and Seville (sour) oranges. Or mix 50 percent lemon juice with less tart citrus like tangerines and blood oranges.

Pictured above are ingredients for meyer lemon curd, meyer lemon curd with apple oatmeal muffins, and with the little French almond tea cakes known as financiers. The muffins and financiers are both adapted from recipes in the La Tartine Gourmande cookbook.

Some deliciously citrusy recipes:

Comfort food that won’t weigh you down

20140127-214603.jpg

I don’t know about you, but this month I’m craving lighter food with fresh flavors. It’s definitely still winter, so warming and comforting is also a requirement. To me, warm salads strike just the right balance.

The warm salad formula = lots of roasted and raw fruits and vegetables + a bit of protein + herbs and spices + the perfect tangy vinaigrette

Here are three to try:

Stay warm and be well!

Time to relax: A winter playlist and cranberry scones

20140107-210831.jpg
Welcome to the time to catch your breath and cozy up with something warm part of winter. I have a playlist and a super tasty paleo scone recipe recommendation to help you along.


This playlist has been the soundtrack to my January. It’s mellow but not sleepy, with a hint of melancholy. Perfect for curling up by the fire (or imagining you are). Continue reading

Thyme-scented tomato orange soup

20131204-191040.jpg

Elephants Delicatessen in Portland makes a terrific tomato orange soup. It’s creamy and comforting with some brightness and zing from the hit of orange. Perfect on a winter day.

Unfortunately for me, it has quite a bit of dairy in the form of butter and cream, so I’ve had to skip it. The good news… I found that Elephants published their recipe in the local paper, and not only is it quick and easy to make, it was a cinch to adapt it to make it dairy free.

Continue reading