Dana Slatkin

Cozy Winter Minestrone with Ravioli

Welcome back to reality! How is your 2015 going so far? I hope you’re all feeling rejuvenated from the holidays as I am. Predictably, my blissful downtime vaporized as soon as the kids started school again. But I’m happy to be back home. I really did miss you. My family spent a quiet week in a heavenly small town, surrounded by silent snow, frozen trees and empty trails. Our days were long; our nights were peaceful. We lit a lot of fires, played cards, and cooked almost every meal together. This soup, inspired by a version we slurped up during a long layover at the Denver Airport, was frequently on our menu. Hearty, loaded with wholesome vegetables, and totally restorative, it was just the winter solace we all craved. Though I made … [Read more...]

Honeydew Cucumber Gazpacho

The other day, my daughter and I caught some girl time, while the boys happily stayed at home, glued to their respective screens. We ended up in Hancock Park, where she attends the same high school I went to. With its stately old homes and charming mom-and-pop stores, it’s a neighborhood I’ve always felt at home in. I remember fantasizing about living there some day…when I became a grown-up. Larchmont Boulevard, the neighborhood’s main drag, where I used to loiter after school with my classmates, is still home to some of my favorite eateries. There’s Chan Dara, for excellent Thai, and Le Petit Greek, which got me hooked on spanakopita in seventh grade. And there’s a new mainstay, Café Gratitude, the all-organic vegan restaurant … [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...]

Vegan Cauliflower Velouté á la Farmgirl

A few months ago, my oldest son got his driver’s license. It was a milestone to ponder as we stood in line together at the DMV. While he texted triumphant selfies to all his friends, I ran through a slideshow of dreads in my mind: son attempts parallel parking á la Fred Flinstone…son gets lost on his way to school…son drag races down Sunset Blvd. The moment reminded me of my own mother’s reaction when I left home to work as an apprentice in France. I was heading halfway across the world, the lone girl cooking in a hot kitchen full of arrogant males, with no knowledge of French and no idea what lay ahead. Though my mother might have been terrified for me, she sent me off with a strong, confident hug. “Remember,” she said. “Just … [Read more...]

Fava Bean Purée with Sautéed Greens

Does it feel like someone turned up the speed on December? All of a sudden, my to-do list is twice as long, my inbox is overflowing, traffic is extra heavy and everyone seems edgy. We’re all ready for a vacation. But first, we have to get through the holidays. I have a suggestion. Make soup…from scratch, of course. It’s comforting and nourishing. It keeps you warm. And it’s a delicious way to escape the chaos out there. We made this rustic Puglian purée in the Farmgirl kitchen last week, for my final class of 2013. It starts with dried, peeled fava beans, the kind that are available year-round and don’t require an hour that you hardly have right now to peel them. Soak them overnight to give them a head start softening up. … [Read more...]

Finbarr’s Curried Vegetable Soup

While everyone is complaining about how busy they are these days (it’s not a contest, peeps!), I’m still savoring summer. After all, late-season tomatoes, zucchini and basil still figure prominently in my cooking. And a little reminiscing doesn’t hurt when you’re stuck in gridlock traffic or buried in work. So allow me to indulge in some of this summer’s best bits. On the most basic level, the weather was historically quite mild. I did an unforgettable hike to the top of a mountain with my 6-year old. And a trip to the Iowa State Fair after my Smucker’s cooking shoot left some indelible impressions: the live birth of twin lambs, the butter sculpture of Mt. Rushmore, and the fried Oreo on a stick…which was not as orgasmic as … [Read more...]

Fresh Spring Pea Soup with Fennel and Chives

cold pea soup

Adapted from Shutters On The Beach When I met my husband twenty years ago, I was fresh out of cooking school and working my first restaurant manager job at L’Orangerie in Los Angeles. My husband and his brother had just inked a deal on a half-built beach hotel that needed a roof, thousands of new sheets, and an identity. We were young and ambitious, eager to please. A year later, when Shutters On The Beach opened its doors in 1993, I remember tasting a fresh pea soup at a table overlooking the sea. The peas came from the Santa Monica Farmers Market just down the street, all grassy and new, perfumed simply with fresh mint, some salty air and sweet beach breezes. It was one of those meals that became a signpost for me, a verdant bowl … [Read more...]

Sweet Corn Chowder with Lotus Root (adapted from M Cafe)

corn-chowder-lotus-root-2

I’m always trying to teach my kids how to have their own sense of balance. I want them to learn to appreciate the yins and yangs of life…to know when to excel and when to exhale. It’s not always an easy lesson. But we know that incorporating balance wherever possible can improve our well-being and even our health. It can moderate stress and boost our immunity to disease. Apparently it can help our cooking taste better, too.   I learned this while preparing for my class on Macrobiotic Cuisine, which I taught last month with Yuta Tsunoda, the spirited and visionary owner of the popular M Café chain here in Los Angeles. In macrobiotic cooking, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and fish form the basis for … [Read more...]