Celery-Spiked Guacamole

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Remember the Great Guacamole-gate of 2015? I do. The New York Times suggested adding peas to your guacamole, and a near all-out war ensued. And understandably so. Peas do not belong in guacamole. Ever.

Nor does celery, or so I thought. I sort of hate myself for even making this recipe, but it’s really, really good. The celery adds an addictive crunch without overwhelming the avocado-lime-onion trifecta of flavor that makes guacamole, well, guacamole.

Just try it. Sorry not sorry.

Celery-spiked guacamole

Ingredients:

4 avocados, chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 serrano chiles, seeds removed if desired, finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely grated
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus leaves for serving
Salt

1. Mash avocados, celery, chiles, garlic, lime juice, onion, and cilantro in a bowl to desired consistency; season with salt. Top guacamole with remaining cilantro leaves.

Japanese Garlic Chive-Scrambled Eggs

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I probably make these scrambled eggs at least once a month. Easy, healthy, and delicious, they make a perfect breakfast (who am I kidding, I make this for dinner all the time too). You can serve this atop rice, but I prefer these soft and warm eggs by themselves.

Make sure to get Asian garlic chives for these, as the flavor and texture are completely different than your standard grocery store chives.

Japanese garlic chive-scrambled eggs

Ingredients:

1 small bunch garlic chives (about 1/2 pound), cleaned and chopped into 1-inch lengths
4 eggs
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon instant dashi granules (optional)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1. In a bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, soy sauce, salt, and dashi together until blended.

2. Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic chives, sauteing for a couple of minutes until they’re bright green and wilted.

3. Pour the eggs into the pan and turn down the heat to low. Let the eggs cook, undisturbed, until you see the bottom of the eggs turn opaque.

4. Give the eggs a gentle stir, scraping the cooked egg up from the edges off the bottom of the pan, and allowing the raw egg at the top to run underneath. Let this cook until the bottom layer turns opaque and stir again.

5. Repeat step 4 until the eggs have reached your desired doneness (I like for much of the eggs to remain soft and opaque). Remember that the eggs will continue to cook a little after you turn off the heat. Serve warm.

Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry

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This recipe is endlessly adaptable and customizable. No okra? Cool, use zucchini instead. No sweet potatoes? Go with pumpkin instead. You get the picture. What’s constant is the creamy, coconut-y curry that brings it all together — and the crispy shallots that add an extra dose of umami. Don’t skimp on those.

Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry

Ingredients:

1 13-ounce can coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 tablespoon palm or brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
5 cups seasonal vegetables, cut into pieces (I used okra, bok choy, zucchini, and sweet potato here)
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon peeled and shredded ginger
1/2 cup fried shallots

1. In a large saucepan, heat the coconut milk over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the curry paste, sugar, fish sauce, and turmeric and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to a simmer.

2. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat and separately blanch each vegetable, setting aside to drain each time. You want each vegetable mostly cooked but still slightly firm so that they’ll finish cooking in the curry.

3. Meanwhile, thin out the curry with the chicken broth. Once the vegetables have finished cooking, stir them into the curry along with the ginger and simmer for a few minutes until warmed through and combined.

4. Serve alongside warm rice and garnish with fried shallots.

Radicchio and Arugula Salad

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This simple salad is my new go-to when the weather starts getting chilly: it hits all the right notes: savory, earthy, and bitter, with a hit of acidity to boot. Hearty radicchio adds heft and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese makes this salad go faster than you’d expect.

Make a double portion of this one and thank me later.

Radicchio and arugula salad

Ingredients:

3 cups arugula
1 radicchio, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoons olive oil
Salt
Pepper

1. In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, radicchio, and Parmesan cheese. Dress with vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Lightly toss again and serve with a little bit of extra grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Grilled Endives with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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A couple years ago, my cousins brought be a bag of plump, juicy sun-dried tomatoes from their trip to Nice, France. Wanting to make the tomatoes last, I preserved them in olive oil. I still dip into them here and there, like for this recipe.

For this winter side dish, endives are grilled to a tender sweetness and tossed with a piquant sauce redolent of summer flavors. There’s something about grilling greens that transforms them from boring to sublime.

The recipe is originally Spanish, the tomatoes are French, and the endives are, of course, from California.

Grilled Endives with Sun-Dried-Tomatoes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing

One 3-inch strip of Meyer lemon zest, julienned

1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
8 endives (1 3/4 pounds), halved lengthwise 

Salt
Pepper
Sage leaves, julienned, for garnish 


1. In a medium bowl, mix the sun-dried tomatoes with the olives, the olive oil, the lemon zest and the thyme.


2. Preheat a grill pan. Brush the endives with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until crisp-tender and lightly charred, about 
7 minutes. Transfer the endives cut side up to a platter and spoon the sun-dried tomato dressing on top. Garnish with sage leaves and serve.