Dana Slatkin

Brie and Tomato Sandwich with Chutney and Other Lunchbox Ideas

brie tomato sandwich

Here in Los Angeles, summer has a way of lingering well into Fall. The steamy weather often lasts until Halloween, making getting our heads back in the game even more of a challenge. If you have kids starting school or are returning from vacation, reality is likely setting in: our schedules are already stuffed, and the lazy days of summer are gone. So I am all for making life easy wherever possible. In my house, that means planning meals ahead. Even if it involves some Martha Stewart-style obsessing. I may not be able to figure out how to use my Blackberry calendar, but I know what I want to feed my family. So on Sunday mornings, before heading out to my farmers market, I’ll jot down all the recipes I plan to make for the week. Then … [Read more...]

Lunchbox Fix: Curried Tofu Salad Wrap

Curried Tofu Salad Wrap

Towards the end of the school year, making school lunches becomes a real chore. Every night, I line up the lunch boxes and, with assembly line rhythm, fill them with fruit, nuts, roasted seaweed and whole-grain snacks. But by now, the kids are tired of their usual repertoire. Cold grilled cheese and pasta just aren’t thrilling anymore. When they discovered one of these in their lunches, they were anything but bored. An inviting sunny yellow swirl inside a whole wheat tortilla is definitely a departure from the usual. For those of you with finicky eaters, eliminate the curry and mango chutney and it becomes a vegetarian chicken salad. If you prefer your salad on the sweeter side, toss in some halved grapes, currants, or raisins. … [Read more...]

Prosciutto (or Poached Egg) and Brie with Arugula and Caramelized Onions

Prosciutto Sandwich with Brie

Announcing the winner of our April Sandwich Contest! Shonny Ramljak of Los Angeles writes, “[This is] a grownup grilled cheese sandwich. I like the saltiness of the prosciutto ham with the sweetness of the caramelized onions, slightly bitter arugula and the melted cheese. I would serve this with a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc, such as Sancerre, the ultimate summer wine.” Since I am not a prosciutto fan, I tried Shonny’s recipe as an open-faced vegetarian sandwich, using poached eggs in place of the prosciutto. The sandwiches made for a perfect Sunday supper. If you are short on time, eliminate the onions, which take a fair amount of patience to properly caramelize. Instead, try piling on the punch with colorful tomato or avocado … [Read more...]

Mushroom Edamame Burger

Edamame Burger

Adam Fleischman, the founder of Umami Burger, has been very busy lately. Aside from opening three sizzling-hot burger joints in the last year with another on the way, making final tune-ups on his fleet of roving UB trucks, and spawning a somewhat revolutionary burger renaissance in this town of vegetarians, food-phobics and healthier-than-thou puritans, Adam graciously paused to answer a few questions. Why would the Beverly Hills Farmgirl be interested in this Messianic meat monger? For two good reasons: first, he is obsessed with umami, that delectable “fifth taste” that drives foodies wild and consumes chefs in its pursuit; and second, anyone who flouts rules with such balls is intriguing to me and—okay—a little sexy. When … [Read more...]

Persian Chicken Burgers

Persian Chicken Burger

As I confessed on this blog in April, I have been making the same breaded chicken cutlets for years. Granted, they are decidedly above average—the chicken is always Kosher and organic, the breadcrumbs are never store-bought, and they are lovingly cooked in a minimal amount of healthy grapeseed oil. But now that my children are finally becoming more adventurous eaters, it’s time to bring on something new. I first learned to make these juicy, flavorful burgers from my friend Isabelle, who has been serving them to her family for as long as mine has had to endure those chicken cutlets. Her secret — and her Persian touch — is a dash of cardamom (or cinnamon). It’s the spice that makes everyone wonder why these taste so uniquely delicious. … [Read more...]

Shutters’ Vegetarian Burger


The only veggie burger that completely sends me into orbit is on the menu at Houston’s. But my habit was getting expensive, so I came up with a recipe I could make at home. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. Once you have measured everything out, this wholesome burger, with brown rice, black beans and beets, assembles and cooks quickly. I keep cooked brown rice in the freezer so it is always available. This burger deserves an extra-large, whole-grain or sprouted-wheat bun. It may end up converting even your most carnivorous friends! Quench your thirst with healthy Pomegranate-Mint Mojitos. … [Read more...]