Thursday, February 19, 2009


Last night I roasted fennel, potatoes, golden beets, mission figs, chantrelles and asparagus...and I drove the tractor. Served the roasted beets with a red quinoa pilaf and a parsley sauce. Steve's parsley is the sweetest, imagine getting excited over parsley. Oh and did I mention the tractor? I was inspired by the gremolata sauce I had a couple of weeks ago; on top of paella. It was cooked by Lora Zarubin.. in Jim and Lisa's orchard for an article which will be coming up in LA Times Sunday magazine. It started out as a blustery day but suddenly Lara blew us and the rain away.

This is how I made my sauce:

you will need a grater, a juicer, a measuring cup, a garlic press and a knife

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
2 small limes, squeezed
zest from 1 orange
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1/2 cup olive oil
salt to taste

Combine parsley, lime juice, orange zest, garlic, olive oil and salt to taste.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


you will need: a knife, measuring spoons, a peeler

1 head radicchio
1 baby curly endive
3 oranges, peeled and sliced, cut into quarters
1/2 red onion or 2 shallots, sliced thinly
8 dried figs, cut into quarters

3 tbls olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tbls honey
1 pinch cinnamon
2 tbls orange juice
1 tbls ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt

Wash the radicchio and endive thoroughly and drain well. Tear into bite-size pieces. Add the orange pieces to the salad leaves, along with the onion/shallots and figs.

Whisk the oil, vinegar, cinnamon, orange juice, ginger and honey in a small bowl. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over the salad and toss.


you will need: a wok, blender, knife, measuring spoon, measuring cup

2 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp honey

Toast the chile at 200' for 3 minutes. Place chiles in a small metal or ceramic bowl with enough hot water to just cover the chiles...let sit for 10 minutes. Blend until smooth. Add the soy sauce and honey and blend to combine.

1/2 cup yellow onion, cut into long strips
2 cups broccoli, stems peeled and cut
1/2 cup peanuts
1 Tbls vegetable oil

Stir-fry the onion and peanuts in the hot oil, add the broccoli and move continually until broccoli is soft but still bright green. Add the chile sauce and cook for 1 minute more. Done

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


what you'll need: roasting pan, foil, knife, measuring spoons, measuring cups, 1 quart saucepan

6 medium beets (1/2 lb), topped
1/3 cup water
3 Tbls olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Trim and scrub or peel beats. Quarter beets. Place in a shallow roasting pan and pour in water and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 30-40 minutes or until tender (fresher, smaller beets cook faster). During the last 10 minutes of cooking uncover to evaporate the liquid and brown the beets. While the beets are cooking make this sauce…

2 cups dry red wine
1 tsp honey or sugar
2 Tbls shallot or onion, minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp thyme
salt and pepper

Pour wine, honey, shallot or onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Pour wine sauce over beets.

Serve with whole yogurt (you can add ginger, horseradish, dill, wasabi or mint to the yogurt if you’d like)

I like to serve over a bed of beet greens, just saute them for about 4 minutes before the beets are done.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Selling next door to Friend's Ranch at the Ojai Farmer's Market gives me a chance to watch Emily's son Oliver learn the business of belonging to a citrus family.

I've am crazy for marmalade ....and look forward to winter citrus. It begins with satsumas in December and then navels and blood oranges and then my favorites; the giant pummelos. The last batch of marmalade I made with the pink cara cara oranges grown by Muriel Lavendar.

This is my basic recipe for marmalade...follow the directions but experiment with your favorite citrus and add sugar or honey until the taste amazes you.

what you will need: knife, coarse grater, measuring cup, juicer, wide and heavy saucepan, deep pot, canning jars and lids, lifter, canning funnel


grate citrus peel from about 5 oranges, using the coarsest grater you have….you’ll need 3/4's of a cup.
Cut down to the flesh with a sharp knife..discarding any pith or peel.
Cut the peel off of another 4 orange and cut the oranges into quarters and trim the core and seeds off of each quarter, cut into small pieces …you'll need 5 cups
Squeeze 1 cup of lime juice.
Simmer the citrus peel, the orange segments and the lime juice in a heavy, wide pot for 30 minutes.
Add 3 cups of sugar or 2 cups of honey and simmer for another 40 to 90 minutes or until it starts to look like marmalade…spoon a small amount onto a plate and put in the refrigerator... if it is too thick add some water, if it is too thin then cook it more...taste it and add more sweetner or another bit of tart lime or lemon juice to balance the flavors…tangerine juice is the best if you need more citrus sweetness.

Boil jars for 5 minutes
Ladle boiling water over lids
Sterilize ladle and funnel in the boiling water
Ladle jelly into jars, top with lids; boil submerged for 10 minutes.

makes 3- 9 oz jars

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The farmer and the cook label was designed by my friend Katy Overstreet; but I had the idea to include a dicho on the inside of the label...a prize, if you will, inside of every box. Now a dicho is an idiom or saying of which my Colombian mother has many. Whenever I see her she has remembered a few more gems for me. Here are some now:

"Mas popular que un chupon in el orphanato"
More popular than a pacifier in an orphanage

"Un boca cerada, no entra mosca"
A closed mouth doesn't let in flys

"El ambition, rompe el saco"
Ambition breaks the bag

"Mata un hormiga y un million viene al funeral"
Kill an ant and a million come to the funeral

Sunday, February 8, 2009



you will neeed: knife, ice, pot for blanching the kale, heavy bottomed saucepan, colander, measuring cup, measuring spoons

4 bunches lacinato kale, stemmed and cleaned
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 sprig rosemary
1 dried chipotle chile, chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided, more as needed
2 tablespoons water, optional

1. Blanch the kale in a large pot of salted, boiling water just until softened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the kale and immediately place it in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain again and set aside.

2. In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan heated over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onions, rosemary and chipotle. Gently sauté for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and season with one-fourth teaspoon salt. Continue to cook until the onions are transparent and just beginning to color, an additional 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Stir the kale into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 30 to 40 minutes. As it cooks, it will turn a deep dark green, almost black color, and the texture will go from soft to almost a little crisp from caramelizing on the bottom of the pan. This is good and will enhance the flavor. If it becomes too dry, add a little stock or water to moisten the bottom of the pan. Season with the remaining one-fourth teaspoon salt and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

Note: Adapted from Suzanne Goin of Lucques via an article in the LA Times