Dana Slatkin

Roasted Salmon with Pickled Lemon Green Olive Relish

Pickled Lemons

The Farmgirl Kitchen has been humming this month, with a birthday party for 25, a party for NBC Universal execs, and lots of new recipe testing every day. It’s just how I like my kitchen -- warmed with delicious aromas and filled with good company. I love when my students share with me what they’ve been craving, inspiring me with fresh ideas and surprise tastes. To celebrate her birthday, one of my favorite Farmgirl regulars suggested I teach her friends how to make preserved lemons. I bought a couple different jars at a neighborhood gourmet shop and got to tasting. But the store-bought lemons had an off flavor to me, and I couldn’t find a way around the overpowering salt. So I flipped through some of my cookbooks for a homemade version, … [Read more...]

Introducing…Cozy Fall Cooking with the Beverly Hills Farmgirl!

The Edible Farmers Market - SOLD OUT Thursday, September 18 10 am – noon Do you love going to your farmers market but have no idea what to cook once you get home? Let the Farmgirl show you how to turn the freshest finds into a weeknight feast! Menu highlights: Still Life in Salad (you’ll never think of salads the same way again); Seared Market Fish with Mushroom Tapenade and Mustard- Caper Herb Sauce; Shredded Zucchini with Scallions, Parmesan and Chile; Ten-Minute Berry Buckwheat Cobbler (whole-grain, gluten-free and refined sugar-free!) $140 per guest 2-hour class includes recipes, lunch, and a donation to a local charity If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please e-mail Dana here.   Fall Vegetarian … [Read more...]

Pan-seared Tandoori Fish (or Tofu) with Mint Chutney

tandoori fish or tofu recipe

Last week, something happened on the way to my latte. I was reaching for my favorite white chocolate powder, which I always stir into my coffee, when I noticed the ingredients on the label. Well, sort of. Squinting to read the microscopic words (yes, I’m now that age), I realized I couldn’t pronounce any of them. It dawned on me that I had been greeting each day with a scoop of chemicals. After resolving last month to try and eat less c.r.a.p. (chemicals, refined sugar, artificial ingredients, and processed foods), I had been tanking my best intentions every morning. Bummer. Did I have to dump another indulgence down the drain? I peeked into my cupboards, scrutinizing the boxes of food I had stocked simply out of habit, convenience, … [Read more...]

Black Magic Spice Mix and Blackened Fish


For weeks, I’ve been steeping myself in the rich, enchanting world of Southern cuisine. With the help of some dog-eared cookbooks borrowed from my gorgeous Mississippian friend, I’ve cooked my way from Meridian to Mobile, New Orleans to Natchez. The dishes are spicy and complex, redolent with intriguing flavors from France, Spain, Africa and India.   I know what you’re thinking…what does the Beverly Hills Farmgirl have in common with gumbo and grits? My next cooking class, actually: Healthy Southern Classics. If you smell an oxymoron, you’re right. In fact, trying to slim down a decadent cuisine is like sneaking vegetables into ice cream…not a good way to make friends. So rather than interfere with … [Read more...]

Tuna Brochettes with Vine Leaf Salsa

Tuna Brochettes with Vine Leaf Salsa

One of the best things about summer is having the time to attempt a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. After digging through the game drawer of our rental, I chose an intricate map of Aspen, each mountaintop, tree, and street sign painstakingly illustrated and cut into squiggly bits. But weeks later, when I finally placed the last piece, there were gaping holes in my handiwork. I shrugged off the missing pieces, probably lost many vacations ago. Flash to this past weekend, puzzle long forgotten, I’m back in Los Angeles, having a hard time adjusting to the frenzy of life in a big city. So I flip through my recipes, searching for one that will take me somewhere else. I spot the grape leaves and Aleppo pepper in this fabulous dish from my … [Read more...]

Easy BBQ-Spiced Roasted Salmon


When I teach cooking classes to kids, what tickles me most is watching the transformation on their eager little faces over the course of two hours. This past weekend, I taught a group of girls, ranging in age from six to twelve. They were all giggles and enthusiasm until I told them what was on the menu.   “Ewwww!” they all moaned, squirming at the thought of having to eat fish for lunch. I could see the thought bubbles above their heads as they planned their escape to the nearest California Pizza Kitchen. First, I showed them how to select a piece of fish, letting them sniff it first to make sure it was fresh. They learned about the importance of buying local, wild, and not previously frozen. And then they prepared … [Read more...]

Seared Island Fish with Spicy Barbadian Cucumber Relish

Seared Fish with Cucumber Relish

I know Spring has only just recently sprung but, in New York City last week, you had to look hard to find any signs of warmth. A few baby pink cherry blossoms ventured bravely from barren branches, but most of the metropolis was still in winter mode. It was so frigid, even swigging soup and tea every few hours couldn’t thaw me out. It was enough to give me an early yen for summer. So as soon as I returned home, I headed straight for the kitchen, to cook some sunshine back into my bones.   I was testing some recipes for my upcoming class on island cooking when I came up with this dish. My Barbadian friend Ronnie shared with me her recipe for the spicy cucumber relish, which she says is a common condiment on tables throughout … [Read more...]

Smoky Fish and Chips

Deep-Fried Fish

Among chefs, restaurateurs, and food retailers trying to entice fickle foodies in this shaky economy, the latest buzzword is pop-up. There are moveable feasts turning up everywhere, resurrecting shuttered restaurants, re-purposing basements, and invigorating department stores. For the hungry and adventurous, it is the equivalent of speed dating, a noncommittal way to form a flavorful yet fleeting connection.   So I got to thinking about what I would prepare if I were the pop-up chef. And for some reason, this crowd-pleasing fish ’n chips came to mind. Quick to prepare and primally satisfying, it is what I make when company pops over unexpectedly. The quality of the fish and the hint of smoky Spanish paprika take this comfort staple … [Read more...]