Dana Slatkin

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...]

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...]

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...]

Artichoke Quinoa Risotto

The other night I had the pleasure of experiencing Maude Restaurant, Curtis Stone’s sophisticated newcomer on South Beverly Drive. Tiny, lovingly decorated and filled with nostalgia (the name comes from Chef Stone’s Australian grannie), Maude is the freshest thing to happen to the Westside dining scene in years. Hidden behind a quirky storefront next to a city parking structure, Stone’s dream project features a nine-course tasting menu centered around a different ingredient each month. The star of our meal? California’s own leading lady, the artichoke. Our dinner was a parade of spring’s finest, flawlessly prepared by Stone’s dedicated crew. Each course was presented by proud servers in leisurely succession on dainty vintage … [Read more...]

Tal Ronnen’s Crabless Cakes (Vegan)

Crabless Cakes

This week, I was invited to attend a special dinner featuring Chef Tal Ronnen, vegan visionary and owner of Crossroads Kitchen here on Melrose, who presented a spectacular four-course dinner featuring Gardein (rhymes with protein) delectable meatless products. Having been a fan of Gardein since it hit supermarket shelves in 2009, I was excited to taste what Ronnen could do with it. Though a devout carnivore might find any meat analog a rather sad substitute for a savory chicken cutlet or juicy steak, I knew Ronnen, with his classical training and pitch-perfect technique, could transform a hunk of soy protein into haute cuisine. At Gardein’s groovy Marina del Rey tasting kitchen, the feast began with small bites: Crabless Cakes with Granny … [Read more...]

REALITY BITES 2013

Introducing…A New Season of Classes with the Beverly Hills Farmgirl! Calling All Aspiring Domestic Goddesses: Back to Basics with the Beverly Hills Farmgirl Thursday, September 19 10 am – noon Learn the secrets of a killer chicken soup, a new Farmgirl vinaigrette, knife skills, cooking tips and an irresistible cobbler. Menu highlights: Nice Jewish Farmgirl Chicken Soup, Easy Blender Basil Vinaigrette and a gorgeous salad, How to Cook Perfect Salmon, Healthy Deep-Frying, and Not-So-Sinful Homemade Apple Walnut Streusel Cobbler (whole-grain and refined sugar-free!) GET THE RECIPES:   Fall Vegetarian Favorites! Soups, Squashes, Apples, Root Veggies, Mushrooms, Greens, and More Thursday, October 17 10 am … [Read more...]

Black Bean, Mango and Brown Rice Salad with Lime Balsamic Vinaigrette

If you’ve stepped up your exercise routine this summer like I have, you’re probably having some serious cravings for carbs. After two hours of hiking, biking, or even meandering through a new town, a green salad just won’t do. What your body needs is a quick shot of energy – and I don’t mean a double latte or a bowl of white pasta. To properly refill your tank when it’s on empty, whole grains, colorful veggies, and legumes are the way to go. So when Sandy Brown Forsyth of Birmingham, Alabama submitted her favorite salad for my June Cooking Contest, I couldn’t wait to try it. Being a vegetarian since childhood, I’ve subsisted on rice and beans for most of my life. It’s my go-to wherever I travel – I can still taste the … [Read more...]