NYT article, Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food

forageThis weekends New York Times article, Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food, discussed the need to choose the correct fruits and vegetables to ensure we are getting high levels of phytonutrients from our produce.  I found the article prescriptive, some stated and some is my interpretation.

  • Choose arugula as your go to lettuce.
  • Forage for food or look for wild foods at farmers markets such as morels, ramps, chickweed, purslane, wild dandelion... whenever possible.
  • Choose an heirloom in season apple in order to get the most nutritional benefits.
  • Choose yellow corn over white corn.
  • Choose purple potatoes over white potatoes and blue, red or purple cornmeal whenever possible.
  • Use spring onions and include the green part, this is very easy this time of year when they are abundant at farmers markets.
  • Use large quantities of fresh herbs....

I am anxious to read the author, Jo Robinson's book, Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health.

Almond Torte with Frozen Lemon Verbena, Path Valley Blueberries and Candied Almonds

Had a couple friends over for lunch, have lots of lemon verbena growing in our garden–  made this dessert...

Almond Torte with Frozen Lemon Verbena, Blueberries and Candied Almonds

Almond Torte

3/4 cups sugar, 4 oz almonds, 1 1/2 teaspoons honey, 4 oz earth balance, 3/4 cup pureed silken tofu, 1/2 cup flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor combine sugar, almond and honey.  Process for 2 full minutes.  Put aside.
  3. In a mixer cream earth balance and add almond sugar mixture, process until combined.  Add pureed tofu, flour and baking powder and mix until just combined.
  4. Bake in individual cake molds or any shape individual silicone molds.  Cook until cakes test clean, about 20 minutes.

Frozen Lemon Verbena

1 cup young coconut water, 1 cup young coconut meat, 3 cups coconut milk, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut butter, 1/2 cup agave nectar, 1 teaspoon himalyan salt, 3 tablespoons leaves of lemon verbena

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender.  Adjust sweetness to your liking.
  2. Chill and freeze in an ice cream maker.
Candied Almond

1 cup almonds, 2 tablespoons honey, large pinch of sea salt, large pinch of sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all  ingredients on a baking sheet and place in oven.  Cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

To Assemble Dessert

Top torte with a scoop of frozen lemon verbena, fresh blueberries, a small handful of almonds and julienned lemon verbena.

Friends for Dinner Friday June 22

Six of us had dinner at our house on Friday night– it was hot outside we dined under a ceiling fan– I cooked nearly everything on the outdoor wood burning grill to keep the inside temperature down– grabbed ingredients at the Penn Quarter Farmers market in about 5 minutes and later figured out what went with what– lots of small dishes driven by the herbs in my garden and ingredients– so much good food to choose from this time of year including first corn okra and apricots of the season– had food on the table when friends arrived so there would be no jumping up and down just a relaxed visit... For me, a perfect summer night!

Dinner: Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms, Tomato with Peach and Basil, Corn with Leek Sorrel and Okra, Giant White Lima Beans with Green Tomatoes and Garlic Chives, Baby Collards with New Potato and Rosemary, Rhubarb Ketchup,  Small Cucumbers with Salad Burnet and Mint, Eggplant with Beets Beet Greens and Onion, Maiitake Mushrooms, Spelt Bread

Dessert: Macadamia Coconut Macaroons, Tiny Lavender Cakes with Rose and Pistachio, Gooseberries, Black Raspberries, Watermelon, Apricot, Coconut Cream, Bittersweet Chocolate

(Tissot) Cremant du Jura Brut, (Henri Jouan) Bourgogne Pase-Tout-Grain 2009

Sorrel in February

Sorrel, a favorite herb of ours is a perennial.  We grow a red veined variety in our front herb garden and green sorrel in our back walled garden.  Most winters it completely dies back and returns in the spring– this mild winter it is still going strong.  Saturday night we hosted a Home Restaurant and used it to complement passed Path Valley scrambled eggs.