Spring menu today

 Mixed greens with orange, walnuts, and goat cheese
 Cream of asparagus
 Ono, mango salsa
 Langostino and spinach frittata
 Chicken with wild mushrooms
 Beef liver, sherry sauce
 Quinoa with asparagus and peas
 Braised greens
 Sautéed cauliflower and broccoli
 Herbed sweet potatoes

Ono with mango salsa (Manila mango, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro)

Chicken breast stuffed with wild mushrooms (porcini and chanterelles from Mendocino sautéed with spring garlic and thyme; white wine sauce)

Langostino and spinach frittata

Sautéed beef liver with shallots and sherry reduction

Quinoa with asparagus, peas, and lemon

Za’atar spiced sweet potatoes

Sautéed baby broccoli and cauliflower florets, white balsamic glaze
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Spring moments in the kitchen

Squash blossoms. Stuff them with seasoned cottage cheese and fry.

Heirloom tomato salad, fillet mignonette, new potatoes with ramp pesto


Pappardelle with rabbit ragu. The spring version includes peas and spinach

Spring lamb chops, asparagus with quail egg and ramp-lemon butter

The first heirloom tomatoes with herbs and olive oil

Grilled chicken and bacon sausages, rosa blanca potatoes, heirloom tomato salad

Springtime mirepoix: spring onion, green garlic, baby leeks, carrots

Paella mixta with asparagus and fava beans

Green peas


Baby greens with herbs, flowers, and goat cheese salad

Cowgirl Creamery Inverness cheese
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Tiny eggs

It’s the end of November, and the girls are slowing down for the winter, but I still get 9-10 quail eggs every day. Here’s what I did with them so far.

Quail eggs fun
 Fried quail eggs with salmon roe and tarragon

Mini Nicoise salad

Quail eggs on toast

Chorizo and quail egg on toast

Salmon roe with raw quail egg

Salad of cherry tomatoes, quail eggs, and microgreens in a noodle “nest”

Quail egg steak tartar
 Deviled quail eggs
 Pickled quail eggs with beets

Mini-burgers with quail egg on potato cakes

Zucchini flower and quail egg pizza

Quail eggs with seaweed salad and tobiko

Quail eggs in a cloud
 Quail egg ravioli

Quail eggs baked in a meat ragu

Chinese tea marbled eggs
 Zucchini and mushroom cups with ham and eggs

Polenta cakes with quail eggs and Parmesan

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Spring in California

Mixed microgreens salad with purple asparagus, sunchoke, and boiled egg;

Cowgirl Creamery St Pat cheese, fresh baked roll.
 Everything for this lunch comes from the farmers market, except the roll that I just baked.
 Am I turning vegetarian? No way. But after all the long braises and hearty soups of winter, I really enjoy the effortless, no-recipe, no-cooking, fresh food of the warmer seasons. And eating it outside.

St. Pat is a soft ripened cheese wrapped into stinging nettle leaves. It’s only available in spring.

For the salad:
 (1 serving)
 A handful of mixed microgreens, or baby bitter greens
 2-3 sunchokes, unpeeled, scrubbed, thinly sliced
 4-5 thick purple (or tender green) asparagus stalks, thinly sliced
 One large egg, boiled 9 minutes, halved
 Maldon sea salt (or flaky salt of your choice)
 Good olive oil
 Combine the greens, sunchokes, and asparagus, toss with your hands. Garnish with egg, season with salt and olive oil. Enjoy.
 True leaves. Here is another sign of spring: the Persian cucumbers 2014 show their first true leaves.

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Because it’s spring…

Raw asparagus, artichoke heart, and crimini mushroom salad, Meyer lemon vinaigrette, 9-minute egg, goat cheese rolled in edible flowers and herbs, Maldon sea salt. Not pictured: Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc (because it’s a Saturday!)

This salad is a “no-recipe” recipe: a combination of any fresh spring vegetable that you have on hand will work.
– Asparagus, thinly sliced
– Artichoke heart, thinly sliced, drizzled with lemon juice
– White or crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced (please, wash the mushrooms, they grow in compost!)
– English peas, blanched
– Pea or fava bean greens and flowers
– Fava beans, blanched and peeled
– Spring onions, thinly sliced
– Radishes, thinly sliced, and tender radish tops
– Baby turnips, thinly sliced, and tender turnip tops
– Carrots, thinly sliced or grated
– Baby greens, such as lettuce, arugula, mâché, etc.
– Micro-greens and sprouts

Combine the vegetables in a bowl, mix. Season with Meyer lemon juice, good olive oil, fresh ground pepper, and your favorite flaky salt. Garnish with boiled egg halves and goat cheese on toast or cracker.

To make goat cheese “coins” rolled in herbs and flowers, bring the cheese in it’s wrapper to room temperature, to soften and make it easier to squeeze. Add herbs and flowers, shape, and refrigerate. Rosemary and lavender flowers add beautiful shades of blue, but their taste is strong and can overpower other herbs, so use sparingly.

Goat cheese rolled in herbs and edible flowers
Makes about 12
A handful of chopped soft herbs (parsley, chives, tarragon, chervil, or any combination) and edible flowers, such as mustard, arugula, chive, rosemary
1 12-oz log of plain goat cheese, at room temperature

Cut plastic wrap into roughly 5-6 inch squares. Line 12 mini-muffin tins with plastic wrap, leaving extra wrap hanging over the sides. Divide herbs and flowers between the tins. Cut a corner off the goat cheese wrapper. Squeeze the cheese into the tins. Bring the edges of plastic wrap together to enclose the cheese, press lightly into the tins, refrigerate.

To serve, unwrap the plastic and bring the cheese back to room temperature. Serve on warm baguette toasts or crackers. Season with sea salt, if desired.


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Location:San Rafael, CA