Wednesday, October 28

Kale & Date Salad

A fall salad with raw kale, sweet dates, and salty parmesan cheese

Kale, Date, and Parmesan Salad

Weirdly enough, some of the foods I've been drawn to most often during my pregnancy are leafy greens. There's definitely still a lot of carbs and ice cream going on in my diet, but my body has been craving vegetables and hearty greens like kale are at the top of my favorites list. This is certainly not the first kale salad I've featured on this site but it's special enough to be added into the rotation. We get catered lunch from Lemonade at one of my company's offices, and this is my version of one of the salads they provided. The combination of sweet, caramel-y dates with the salty cheese and crispy capers add lots of flavor to the raw kale. I pair it with a pretty acidic dressing to counterbalance the sweetness, which also makes this a good salad to pair with a rich main course. This would be delicious alongside braised meat or a fall stew but is hearty enough to have for a light lunch with some good bread.

Note: I am lucky enough to buy dates from a vendor at my local farmers market. If you can do the same or buy them from a specialty store, it's worth seeking out really good ones. If not, medjool dates from the grocery store will work fine - just make sure they aren't too soft since you need to slice them and mix them in the salad.

More Kale Salads:
- Kale, Brussels Sprouts, & Hazelnut Salad
- Kale Ribbon Salad with Parmesan & Garlic Vinaigrette
- Delicata Squash, Pepita, & Baby Kale Salad

Kale, Date, & Parmesan Salad:
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, washed, dried, stems removed and thinly sliced into ribbons
- 1/3 lb. dates, pitted and thinly sliced
- 1/4 c. parmesan cheese, shaved into pieces with a vegetable peeler
- 1/4 c. olive oil + a little more
- 3 tbsp. capers, drained and patted dry
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. honey
- kosher salt
- black pepper

  • Heat a small pan over high heat. Add in a glug of olive oil and add in the capers.
  • Cook the capers, shaking the pan often, for 2 minutes, or until crispy. Set aside.
  • In a large salad bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until combined.
  • Add in the kale and mix very well with the dressing, working it through the leaves with your hands to massage and tenderize the kale.
  • Add in the dates, parmesan, and capers and mix again. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  • Serve and enjoy. This salad can sit in the fridge or at room temp for several hours.

Serves four - six (side dish)

Wednesday, October 14

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Celebrate fall with these hearty whole-wheat apple cinnamon pancakes

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

It feels nothing like fall in L.A., but that doesn't mean I'm not trying to fake it with my food. These pancakes are a great way to embrace apple season and are perfect for chilly weekend mornings. The pancakes are made with whole wheat flour, which adds heft and a slightly nutty flavor, and is at an almost 50:50 ratio of grated apples to batter. Because the apples are grated so thinly, they almost melt into the pancakes as they cook so that each bite is full of apples and cinnamon. It's a quick and easy recipe but the fall flavors would make it an ideal breakfast for the holidays. You can easily adjust the recipe to feed a crowd or scale it back for a casual morning for two.

More Pancake Recipes:
- Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- Dutch Baby Pancake with Sautéed Apples
- Classic Fluffy Flapjacks

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Pancakes:
- 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
- 1 1/2 c. milk
- 1 c. whole wheat flour
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- butter, for greasing the pan
- powdered sugar and maple syrup, to serve

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  • In another mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined, then stir in the apples.
  • Melt some butter in a skillet or griddle over medium to medium-high heat.
  • Working in batches, drop the batter in large spoonfuls in the pan. Wait for bubbles to appear on the surface of the pancakes and for the bottom to get golden brown, then turn and cook for another couple minutes.*
  • Stack pancakes on a plate or keep warm in a low oven while you cook the rest of them.
  • To serve, dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with maple syrup.

Serves four
*Do not have the pan too hot or the pancakes will get too dark on the outside and not cook enough on the inside.

Tuesday, October 6

Late Summer Corn Chowder

A rich and creamy soup made with corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers

Food52 Summer Corn Chowder

It seems that fall comes later and later each year, with the warm summer weather lingering well into October and often even November in L.A. This year has been especially hot, so the whole city was thankful for the first cool day of the season over the weekend (and by cool, I mean 70 degrees and scattered showers). We made the most of it with a lazy day spent inside and a big pot of soup simmering on the stove. This corn chowder, which I adapted from Food52, is the perfect soup to take you from summer to fall. It's warm and hearty for cool evenings but it uses the best produce of late summer - sweet corn, ripe tomatoes, and colorful peppers. The soup calls for no broth or stock of any kind but instead gets most of its liquid from the vegetable juices that accumulate as the chowder slowly cooks over a low flame. The result is a thick, deeply flavored chowder that's full of texture. Serve it with crusty bread and you have the ideal one-pot dinner for the season.

Note: To make this vegetarian, omit the bacon and add more oil to sweat the vegetables.

Related Recipes:
- Sweet Corn Bisque
- Lobster, Corn, & Bacon Chowder
- Jalapeño-Corn Soup with Seared Scallops

Late Summer Corn Chowder:
- 7 ears of corn, shucked (6 if large)
- 1 1/2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, cored, and diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
- 2 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 1 1/2 c. milk (low-fat is fine)
- olive oil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- pinch of sugar
- fresh chives, minced

  • Cut the kernels off the corn, going about halfway deep on the cob. Then use the back of your knife to scrape the cobs and get as much corn "milk" off as possible. Collect both the kernels and juices in a large bowl.
  • Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat.
  • Add the bacon and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until fat has rendered and bacon is crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the fat in the pot.
  • Add the onion and a little oil if necessary and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened and translucent.
  • Add the poblano and jalapeño and cook for another couple minutes.
  • Add in the corn and juices, tomatoes, potatoes, and thyme and stir to combine. Season with salt and sugar
  • Let the mixture sizzle, then turn the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for 40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so, or until potatoes are very tender.
  • Add in the milk and cream and bring to a boil. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  • Fish out the thyme stems and ladle into bowls. Garnish with the bacon and chives.

Serves six, generously