October 27, 2014

Deconstructed Sushi Plate

Woosh! This year has been racing along at an unmatched speed and I've been like a dry leaf in its gust, dreamily floating from project to project, getting stuck in a gutter or two and catching a few glimmers of light along the way. I'm just returning from two glorious weeks out west spent camping, climbing, and eating at some of the best vegan restaurants (list to come)! I realize I've been a bit neglectful towards the veganette as of late but am happy to see that so many of you are still using it as a source for recipes! Thank you for your support and readership!

Deconstructed sushi is one of my favorite weekday meals. Use whatever veggies you have around and get creative about your slicing techniques! I like to incorporate a few hot items to the plate along with the seasoned rice, but if you're in a hurry, raw toppings will do just fine. This week's special included a baked maple tofu, green meat radish, roasted acorn squash seasoned with mirin and sesame oil, cucumbers, slivers of purple carrot, avocado, and celery leaves!

To make perfect sushi rice, cook short grain as directed (I use Nishiki or Botan brands). In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons sugar until dissolved. Pour over the cooked rice and stir with a wooden spoon. Allow to cool slightly while preparing the vegetables.

Yours in celebration,

August 8, 2014

Raw Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Cashew Mint Filling

Munching on flower blossoms is like taking bites out of the sun! Truly, there is nothing more delicate and classy than adorning a plate with a few ruffled petals. I'm new to the whole edible flower scene, but supposedly you can consume snapdragons, geraniums, even roses (!) though it's hard to find these beauties untainted by pesticides. For that reason, I've been sticking to boxes of these golden squash blossoms from the Fort Greene Farmers Market  and have been trying them in all sorts of recipes. Does anyone how to go about making candied violets? I'm dying to try them on a birthday cake. Can't you imagine it? A layered vanilla bean cake with a creamy Madagascar custard filling and pillows of fluffy buttercream, pink from a tint of beet juice, little candied violets floating on the peaks. Perfection! Okay, I've gotten ahead of myself and drifted into sugar-land.

The recipe, the recipe! Here it is- nothing too fancy! I'm not into deep-frying, especially in the summer, so this is an unusually raw take on the whole stuffed squash blossom business, with flavors inspired by a delicious plate of tamales I enjoyed at Pure Food and Wine. Serve with a swirl of mole on a pile of fresh sweet corn. Best eaten outside under the summer sun!

1 cup cashews (covered in water and soaked overnight)
2 tsp. white miso paste
1 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1 Tbs. olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbs. fresh chopped mint

Drain cashews and blend in a food processor until gritty. Add the miso paste, nutritional yeast, olive oil, and lemon and blend until smooth. Add water, salt, and lemon juice to taste. Mix in the chopped mint and stuff into fresh blossoms! Serve over fresh sweet corn and avoid the stems- they can be quite bitter.

To the weekend!

July 10, 2014

A Tomato Grows in Brooklyn

This summer I have the most delightful weirdo garden growing on my roof in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. It's been a really fun project with a healthy dose of trial and error (tomato plants blowing over in the wind, rainbow chard flu) not to mention the combined effort of many (thanks PS and HD!) to simply get the planting supplies to the apartment! It's funny how difficult starting a garden can be, especially here in our car-less, stair-filled, brownstone universe. I'm happy to report that many of the plants are doing well despite my amateur status and that we recently enjoyed the first tiny strawberries (pictured above). They were sweet and bright, delightfully unlike the store bought varieties. 

A few of the herbs were planted from seed, but many of the plants are from my favorite neighborhood store, Natty Garden on Dean Street. Check them out! Lots of organic soils, bat guano, and the funkiest succulents in town. A few of the tomato plants are from the Park Slope Food Coop, starters from Hepworth Farms upstate.

In this corner we've got two tomatoes chasing the bright sun (out of the frame!), lemon verbena, chives, basil, dill, alyssum, and dusty miller. Along the other side of the porch are poblano peppers, bell peppers, more tomatoes, rainbow chard, collard greens, strawberries, mint, sage, and coxcomb. I've been shuffling things around throughout the month as the sun moves, and painting the pots with affirmations (plants need a little positive encouragement too, right?).

Please pass along any advice you have for container gardening! I'm just learning as I go and would love to hear your tips on watering throughout the day and resupplying nutrients after the plants drain the soil. Remember when Ron Finley told us that growing your own food is like printing your own money? Well, it is. I'd love to see more guerrilla gardens in New York and am thankful for organizations like 596 Acres who are making them happen in abandoned lots!

Breaking in the dog days with whatever chill can be harnessed,