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Category Archives: Vegetables


I have been meaning to give you this recipe for a few weeks. Not yet having done so, I find myself in the unusual state of hoping winter will stay and chill us just a few days longer, until I can share this recipe with you. As such, my heart saddened a little as I saw the pale pink blossoms while walking with Elinor through the park a few days ago. But I was fortified to see the daffodils with their green blades still merely stretching for the clear, blue sky, not yet smiling up at us with their open-topped top-hat blossoms. A false prediction of snow last night, what would have been the first in 35 years in San Francisco, was also encouraging. So I have made it, pushing the “publish” button while it is still a nippy 40 degrees outside,

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ApresFete - Such a beautiful dish which makes it great for entertaining. I love the heartiness of the lamb brightened by the fresh tang of the pomegranate. Such a well rounded dish. While I’m ready for Spring (peas, asparagus, spring onions, green garlic!!) I appreciate the delicious recipe. Looking forward to your interpretations of the next season.March 19, 2011 – 11:23 pm

J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) - I’m intrigued by the pom molasses. Sounds very interesting and flavorful.March 16, 2011 – 11:37 am

Hoddy - So colorful!March 9, 2011 – 12:18 pm

Alana - The first time I had this was when you made it for friends and it knocked us out it was so delicious and it looks beautiful. The next time you asked us to make it. I was skeptical to begin with as there are many steps. It turned out to be simple though since each step can be done individually at any time during the day and then just compiling it right before serving!! Thank you for introducing me to another wonderful recipe!!February 28, 2011 – 2:27 pm

Soames - I wish you had posted this when I was looking for something to do with the thirty pomegranates we had just havested from the Haver’s tree! I will keep the molasses in mind for next year.February 28, 2011 – 2:22 pm


Oregon—Portland, specifically—is home. Growing up, it meant summer afternoons spent picking from neat rows of small, glossy strawberries or tangles of blackberries, which left my hands stained purple and forearms stinging from crosshatched scratches. In the winter, we would trudge up snowy forest roads deep into the Mt. Hood National Forest, insulated bottles of hot chocolate (and the requisite permit) in tow, until we found the perfect Christmas tree. The ocean, mountains, high desert, and idyllic pastureland were all within an hour or two, and we took advantage of them all.

Originally known as “Ouragon,” Oregon is beautiful country, but I left it in 1998 in exchange for a state known

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ApresFete - Just divine. This piece took me on a ride of nostalgia that pulled at my heart’s strings and, at the same time, had me yearning for the Portland that is now. The local, the real deal, the we mean business (and pleasure) eating of now. I want to respond to every word: Oregon berries, breweries, Powell’s, the salty air of the coast, early a.m. walks with an infant and castelvetrano olives (why are they so good?). Thank you for your wonderful writing and for a recipe that makes my mouth water. I’m all for words like ‘mysterious’ in more recipe titles.January 25, 2011 – 10:41 pm

Alana - Thanks for a mini tour of Portland, my favorite town!! It sounds like you had a fun time. So many new places to try!
Your story telling is always really interesting and something I always look forward too! Keep it up!!!January 25, 2011 – 6:30 am

Soames - welcome back, old friend.January 18, 2011 – 6:14 pm

Borlotti Bean Mole with Roast Winter Squash and Black Kale

My 11-month-old daughter has developed a reputation in our neighborhood. Mind you, we live in a densely populated, urban neighborhood, so this is not an easy feat. And, while she is out and about three times most days, she is not outside for that long. But each neighborhood has its characters, even if you only see them every so often. We have the compact septuagenarian with a stern gait, undoubtedly a former dancer, who walks her twin black Scottie dogs several times a day. Without fail, she is adorned in black tights, a black wool topper, and a cloche hat (yes, also black). There is also the heartbreakingly skeletal woman who used to inch along alone on her spindly pilasters of legs, but walks these days with her blond Labrador Retriever service dog. Now, apparently, there is also Elinor. While she was at the park admiring dogs with my parents, a woman announced, “There’s the naked baby again!” (“The naked baby,” as in a baby that has been previously specified as naked: people are talking about her. This is quite different from the indefinite “a naked baby,” as in, “Is that a naked baby working on her tan?”)

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Larkyn - I love this recipe! I never liked kale before but it seems to arrive in my CSA basket every other week so I’ve been forced to eat it and this recipe does a great job of disguising it for me :-) Even better I toss a cup full in the cuisinart and feed it to my one year old who loves it too!January 4, 2011 – 8:02 pm

ApresFete - This piece makes me smile. I saddened to think of Elinor’s little body wrapped in fabric but am comforted with the thought that she will return to her naked ways in time for eating watermelon. Your mole looks incredible. Must try. Immediately.November 27, 2010 – 8:08 pm

Megan Gordon - What a great story about your daughter! Love it. And boy, I’m ashamed to say I’ve never made mole at home although I absolutely adore it. I know of a few goods spots in San Francisco go get authentic mole, but I think it’d time I make a batch myself. Thanks for the nudge & Happy Thanksgiving!November 22, 2010 – 10:35 pm

Kimberley - It’s so easy for me to get stuck in a rut where winter soups and stews are concerned, and this is the perfect way out.November 17, 2010 – 2:09 pm

Erin - Thanks for your kind comment! As for the mole, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed; it really is one of the most unusual and satisfying stews I make.November 17, 2010 – 7:16 am

Sarah - P.S. I just read your “about” section and saw that Elinor Dashwood is your favorite literary character and got incredibly excited. Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Jane Austen novel and one of my favorite books altogether. I have offically bookmarked your page and I’m looking forward to more beautiful posts and delicious recipes!November 14, 2010 – 4:59 pm

Sarah - Your website is beautiful! I love everything about the layout and the design. It reminds me of a softly lit kitchen on a December morning or a line from a Joni Mitchell song. And this recipe looks spectacular. I’m a newly converted vegetarian and a freshman in college and all this fall find myself missing the hearty stews my mom usually makes this time of year. I’ll definitely be making this mole when I go home for Thanksgiving. Thank you so much for the delicious recipe and the lovely blog!November 14, 2010 – 4:54 pm

Jeff Blackwell - Even tough it may take some time, I’m willing to give this recipe a try. It will try my patience. And as far as your blogs go. OMG! You should be writing books. I’d rather read your blogs than a book. Your writing of recipes , Elinor or whatever else captures me and I’m stuck like glue. Have a nice day and keep your bellys warm.November 11, 2010 – 9:32 am

JehanP - Omg, I want to lick my screen! This looks so hearty, so delicious and flavorful.November 11, 2010 – 7:07 am

Alana - Well written entertaining and fun story about Elinor that makes me smile! Your writing is always what I look forward to with your posts! This stew recipe is delicious!! It is a nice change from chili and cornbread!! So flavorful!!November 11, 2010 – 6:37 am

Susan - I cannot wait to try this recipe. Vermont has had it’s first snow,and it now gets dark by 5 pm with the time change. Bring on the warming stews that last for days.November 10, 2010 – 8:32 am

Roasted Squash with Roasted Tomatoes, Feta, and Basil Oil

There’s a dirty little trick to recipe writing used to draw in the unwitting cook. At first glance, the cook sees a reasonable number of ingredients, say, eight or ten. But as she reads down the list, she sees that the last two ingredients are proper nouns referring to other pages in the cookbook, meaning that the once-manageable recipe now requires three recipes and no less than 15 discreet ingredients. This is such a recipe.

See, I really had no choice but to make this, and neither do you. What was I to do when one small farmer at the market presented me with truly fall ingredients, like the beautifully knobby winter squash tucked into an old wooden apple crate, while the late summer bounty—mounds of bold, glossy dry-farmed tomatoes and bunches of basil stuffed tightly into galvanized-steel buckets—beckoned from the next?

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Soames - We LOVE our fall veggies, including roasted squash and I can never decide whether to go savory or sweet. I love that your recipe does kind of both.October 28, 2010 – 9:24 am

Nikki - I had something very similar at Incanto the other evening. I will definitely try yours! I just want to jump into the picture! Thanks for sharing!October 26, 2010 – 3:18 pm

Heather - Inspiring and helpful send-off for someone like me. Beautiful colors indeed – happy fall!October 26, 2010 – 2:53 pm

ALANA - Beautiful, bright and colorful photo!! Inspiring story and great ideas on other ways to use all of the leftover ingredients! I have had this squash recipe and it is so tasty!!! I can’t wait to have it again!October 26, 2010 – 10:31 am

Rustic Provençal Vegetable Casserole

After I took the bar exam, we spent a couple weeks in Provence in a house that Van Gogh painted. Each day was slow and languid and developed organically; we seldom thought beyond what we wanted to do in that instant. Sometimes it was wandering through the Roman ruins across the way. When the sun was blazing, we would follow our gravel road to its end and hike, with branches and leaves cracking underfoot, through the pine-forested foothills. And when relaxation got the better of us, we would walk next door to tour Vincent’s cloister in the the asylum—with a view of our little stone house in the distance—and thumb through the artwork of the current residents, who were apparently welcome to roam the gift shop. “Américaine?” a toothless octogenarian shrieked, not two inches from my face, before deftly turning away, her pastel cotton nightgown floating ethereally behind her.

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Erin - PQ and Annette: I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe as much as I do! Annette, thanks for sharing your insights on making it. Mine may have turned out a bit drier because I cooked it with a pizza stone on the shelf above it, which probably drew out more moisture from the zucchini and tomatoes.October 19, 2010 – 9:44 pm

PQ - I tried this! It turned out so amazing, thank you!October 19, 2010 – 2:42 am

Annette - This was absolutely delicious. While your photo is fabulous, it still can’t capture the incredible flavor.

A couple of things to note:

1. I added water to the eggplant, because I couldn’t seem to get enough oil to keep it from sticking. I’d used only 1 T from the 1/2 c for the onions/garlic, so about 5T went to the eggplant (and another 3T for drizzling at the end).
2. I had to move the contents to a 9×13 baker, because there was no way all the topping would fit in the medium baker. The topping was so crowded that it didn’t dry out as much as what I noticed in your photo. I think I will use 2-3 tomatoes and 1 zucchini next time. While they weren’t dry, they were very juicy and flavorful.

Thank you for the wonderful recipe. It will be a regular go-to for me.October 18, 2010 – 10:51 pm

tobias cooks! - Delicious looking dish. Simple and tasty.October 17, 2010 – 12:56 pm

imfullblog - a perfect side dish for the season! i’ll try it soon!October 14, 2010 – 5:13 pm

So - Darling, this looks wonderful. I cannot wait to make it. Your writing is poetic and flawless. Keep them coming!October 14, 2010 – 2:51 pm

Heather - The image of Elinor and the arm-flapping gave me a huge smile.October 12, 2010 – 9:39 pm

hODDY - Nice! Looks delicious and relatively simple. I will try to make soon.October 12, 2010 – 2:37 pm