Last week my wife surprised me with a delicious birthday meal. One of the dishes she made was this beautiful plate of roasted yams, jalapeños, green onions, goat cheese, and fresh figs with a balsamic reduction. It’s one of our favorites from the celebrated Jerusalem cookbook. I still remember how tentative I was the first time I gave this dish a try. At first glance, it seems like an odd combination of ingredients. But like all perfect recipes, the final result is bursting with flavors much greater than a simple sum of its parts. With figs in season, I thought it was about time I shoot it for the blog – which really was just an excuse for seconds. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!!
It’s official– I’ve moved across town to my new home in Silver Lake in Los Angeles and said goodbye to my little abode in Culver City. I love the neighborhood and just as I’m moving out a long-time resident is opening up a new restaurant. Akasha Richmond, chef and owner of Akasha in Culver City has recently opened her second restaurant Sambar inspired by the flavors of India right next door. I was instantly fascinated by the menu and, as a self-proclaimed Indophile, I was truly impressed by Akasha’s depth of knowledge of Indian cuisine. Her menu takes you far and beyond the same old saag paneer and tiki masala you seem to get at every Indian restaurant. The turmeric naan is made from freshly grated turmeric and the sev (crunchy noodles made from chickpea flour) topped on the sevpuri chaat is made from scratch. It’s so rare that you find something like sev handmade! So in honor of my love for all things Indian, I bring you some of my favorite South Asian inspired links!
I rarely feature the recipes I make on a daily basis on HonestlyYUM, but I thought this one was worth sharing. My weekday meals are usually pretty healthy and consist of grains, veggies and lean proteins. This features one of my favorite vegan sauces that I use over whole grain bowls or as dressing on salad. The creamy sauce is vegan and is made from cashews, toasted pumpkin seeds, cumin, lime, garlic and cilantro. This time I’ve taken some quinoa, fresh corn, beans and zucchini and stuffed roasted poblano peppers with the mixture and topped it with the cashew-cilantro cream. It takes a little extra effort to roast and stuff the poblanos, but if you’re entertaining it’s worth the extra step. You could alternatively assemble bowls with quinoa on the bottom, top with the veggies and chopped up roasted poblanos and dress with the cashew cream. This recipe makes a lot of the cashew dressing as I like to make a lot at once so I can use it through the week. And guaranteed you’ll finish it before the week is done!
As you might have gathered this week, there’s nothing more romantic and fanciful than a Midsummer celebration. The formula is simple: a layered strawberry cake, an Aquavit and elderflower cocktail and some Swedish inspired fare – like a smörgåsbord filled with smoked fish, boiled shrimp, pickled vegetables, roasted potatoes and that wonderful Northern European style, densely sprouted bread. Add plenty of white flowers, greens and some extra baby’s breath to make some flower crowns for you and your guests. Happy Midsummer!
No party is complete without cocktails. That is, at least not an HonestlyYUM party! So that’s exactly what I have for you today – the perfect cocktail to celebrate Midsummer. When coming up with a recipe, it was important for me to embrace the flavors and ingredients of a traditional Northern European Midsummer celebration. Aquavit instantly came to mind. I’ve been dying to use aquavit in a cocktail ever since chatting with Molly Yeh about her wedding drinks. I used an aquavit that had warm flavors of anise and caraway. Naturally I also mixed in some sherry for nuttiness, and elderflower liqueur for floral and citrus notes. The resulting cocktail is intricate, well-balanced, and oh-so-elegant. Let the celebration begin!
Summer solstice is nearly upon us, which gives us plenty of reason to partake in the season’s most fairytale-like celebration. We recently called upon the lovely Leslie Santarina, of Spotted SF, to help dream up the ultimate Midsummer festivity- we’re talking flower crowns, strawberry cake, a Swedish smörgåsbord, and elderflower infused cocktails, friends! So here I am, launching our week of Midsummer-inspired recipes with an elderflower scented chiffon cake, layered with fresh strawberries and boozy whipped cream. It’s light, fluffy, floral . . . it epitomizes summer.