Dana Slatkin

Kamut Pasta with Vegan Roasted Broccoli Lemon Pesto, White Beans and Balsamic Syrup

Roasted Broccoli

My first trip to Las Vegas was in college, a weekend bender with my dorm buddies. The city was unlike any I’d ever experienced, and being a save-the-world student from UC Berkeley, I was simultaneously dazzled and depressed. Back then, Vegas dining meant over-the-top buffets, mediocre corporate restaurants, and greasy fast food. But for a vegetarian like me, the most exciting option was a soulless hotel salad bar. My friends and I took in three days of shows, glitz and hotel-hopping. But I couldn’t wait to get back to my humble Bay Area hamlet, where I detoxed on brown rice and beans for a week. Many years later, with two young children and a baby at home, my husband and I escaped to The Wynn for one night of marriage maintenance. … [Read more...]

Goat Cheese Lavash Pizza with Cauliflower

Cauliflower Pizza

When I was writing my cookbook Summertime Anytime, I spent a lot of time sitting on the beach in Santa Monica, soaking up the salty air, cool breezes, and kinetic parade of boardwalk activity. I found it endlessly fascinating. From my chair on the sand, the sunlight seemed to change the seascape minute by minute, and each morning the chill in the air felt different – sometimes cool and refreshing, sometimes heavy and disconcerting. I remember feeling especially reflective one bright winter day that year. The sun was high, encircled by a celestial ring. There were bikers and even some sunbathers taking advantage of the unusually warm March climate. As I sat sipping a latte, I scribbled in my notebook: “The only imperative of a sunny day … [Read more...]

Roasted Kale Sprouts with Lemon Porcini “Cream”

When I have a crush, I’m not shy about broadcasting it. If you’ve stopped by here in the past, you’ve likely witnessed my obsession with coconut, my affection for avocado oil, my passion for vanilla paste and my lust for everything Yotam Ottolenghi does. In fact, my cooking crushing often becomes the topic of a class, where I've been known to riff on recent affairs of my appetite (Paris, Positano, and next month, Ottolenghi). Introducing my latest infatuation....kale sprouts (also known as Kalettes; sometimes cleverly marketed as Lollipop Sprouts). I first fell in love when I sampled them at a favorite neighborhood hotspot, Laurel Hardware. They were crisply roasted, unabashedly charred, tossed in a creamy sauce and sprinkled with … [Read more...]

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...]

Lentil Mushroom Chili

Ask any herbivore how they get their protein and, chances are, the answer will be lentils. What chicken is to an omnivore’s diet, lentils are to a meatless one. Nutrient-packed and amenable to endless preparations, lentils can dress a meal up or down. Here in the Farmgirl Kitchen, they are always on hand in a variety of colors (green, brown, orange, black). On Sunday nights, when the fridge has been cleaned out from a busy weekend, they’re a lifesaver. I cook lentils ahead of time -- like grains and quinoa -- in a rice steamer, with a good pinch of salt (contrary to what you’ve heard, salt doesn’t sabotage cooking) and a glug of olive oil or knob of organic butter. Use two parts water or homemade stock to one part lentils. The “brown … [Read more...]

Caramel Apple Pie Cheesecake (gluten-free; dairy-free or vegan)

Being a blogger, I am constantly reminded of what I’m good at and what I’m not. Coming up with new recipes to share each week? Pretty good. Giving you tips and techniques I’ve learned from experience? Not bad (I hope). Taking mouth-watering photos? Not so good. When it comes to photography, let’s just say I’m seriously challenged. It doesn’t help that I’m still stubbornly attached to my Blackberry (but I won’t blame it on my sorry phone camera). Luckily, my kids occasionally step in to help. Here’s another thing I’m not good at: following recipes. In fact, I’m such a tweaker that the other day I found myself blatantly rewriting a recipe…one of my own. While I was searching for the ultimate fall dessert for my … [Read more...]

Japanese Vegetable Pancake (Okonomiyaki お好み焼き)

During the week, family dinner is mandatory in my house. It’s the one hour in the day when we all slow down, stash our phones away, and tune into each other. There are no excuses: everyone shows up. It’s also the highlight of my day. But like anything worthwhile, weeknight meals take some effort to pull off. So when I recently served a tasty new vegetable dish that was devoured in seconds, I knew I had a keeper. Have you ever heard of Okonomiyaki? Neither had I. The crispy Japanese cabbage pancakes are a street food staple in Japan. Ever since they were rebranded by a couple of enterprising chefs as “Japanese pizza,” Okonomiyaki (which roughly translates to “as you like it, grilled”) have caught on with the gastropub set, appearing … [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...]