Dana Slatkin

Ten Farmgirl Finds for Spring

I know it feels like 2015 has just begun, but I’m so ready for spring! After some hideous world news darkened the past month and my friends on the East Coast are still getting pummeled with rotten weather, spring promises some much-needed positivity. The thought of tulips, asparagus, crop tops and color gets me going! Here are a few things to help bring on brighter days… 1. Smashbox O-Glow Intuitive Cheek Color This cheek color miraculously goes on clear and then activates with your skin to give you the perfect, personalized flush. I’m hooked. 2. TheBu Kombucha Tea When I received four cases of kombucha tea from TheBu, delivered to my doorstep by a gal whose skin was so luminous she was glowing, I ditched my skepticism … [Read more...]

Cauliflower “Risotto” with Green Harissa

In the days before Thanksgiving, everyone’s talking turkey. Cooking blogs are buzzing about how to brine, stuff, and cook the bird for the epic feast. Stores want to sell us brand new roasters, thermometers and deep fryers. And despite all the hours we’ll put into preparing the rest of the meal, the turkey -- in all its stuffed and golden glory -- is the trophy, the emblem of our culinary prowess, the centerpiece of abundance and togetherness. Or not. Personally, I don’t do turkey. Ever since I made my first homemade pinecone/glitter gobbler in kindergarten, I remember deciding never to eat the bird again. In cooking school, I dreaded this time of year, when we had to prepare hundreds of turkeys for faculty and fellow students. Once … [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...]

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...]

Late Summer Salad of Nectarine, Tomato, Avocado and Burrata Cheese with Malt Vinaigrette

I know I’ve been talking a lot about fall lately, but here in L.A., there’s still a long stretch of summer left. Sunshine abounds, evenings are still warm, and Labor Day promises clear skies and a postcard-perfect backdrop for picnics and barbeques. With juicy tomatoes and stone fruits lingering on market stands well into next month, I’ll be taking advantage in the kitchen as long as possible. This colorful salad takes inspiration from a summer favorite, the ubiquitous Caprese. But the resemblance ends there. In fact, it’s got me thinking about salads in a totally different light. Most of us are used to putting some greens and veggies in a big bowl, dousing them with dressing, and then tossing the whole lot together. This technique … [Read more...]

Baby Potato Salad with Arugula, Pine Nuts, Poached Egg and Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette

Much of my summer cooking inspiration comes from my hikes here in the mountains. Just about every day, I trek along rivers, up waterfalls, beside streams and through fields of wild flowers. It’s dreamy, and I pinch myself each time I get to behold such beauty. For those few hours when I’m alone with nature, my mind always seems to wander back to food. On a recent hike up a rocky riverbed, wild leaves poking up towards the sun reminded me of arugula; multi-hued stones morphed into potatoes. On the way home, I stopped at the market and picked up the ingredients for my lunch. I love a potato salad like any good American, but traditional recipes can be heavy and monotone. Add a few interesting goodies to the spuds and they transform into … [Read more...]

June/July Giveaway

Summer’s official takeoff is right around the corner, and the Farmgirl wants you to be ready! With all the fresh salads and light dishes you’ll be craving this season, a proper knife is key. It must be scalpel-sharp, easy to handle, and a breeze to maintain. This eco-friendly ceramic knife and peeler set from Kyocera is a Farmgirl favorite. You will love how the sleek knife feels in your hand while slicing everything from tomatoes to tarragon with microscopic precision without bruising. The peeler is dishwasher-safe and works wonders on tough jobs like squash and potatoes. Both tools come with a lifetime guarantee from Kyocera. Forward the link to a friend and I will throw in this Kyocera paring knife if you win! (Note: Colors may vary … [Read more...]

Strawberry Kale & Quinoa Salad with Cranberries, Nuts & Margarita Dressing

Slightly adapted from Michele Gan, Serves You Right Catering Funny how spring always feels like the shortest season of the year. When you’re gunning for summer, all it takes is a few days of sunshine to prompt some wishful thinking. Besides, kids are already out of school (what’s up with that?), juicy berries and tomatoes crowd the stands at our farmers markets, and barbeques are firing up in backyards all over town. Here in SoCal, spring is already old news. In case you think another kale salad is a snooze, too, try this one from superstar Los Angeles caterer Michele Gan. After serving it at a cooking class earlier this month, I got so many requests for the recipe that I promised to share it with you. Luckily, the lovable Michele … [Read more...]