Tofu — as pretty and tasty as it gets.
Long before most of us started blogging about food, Heidi Swanson led the way with her 101 Cookbooks site.
The San Francisco photographer and writer still remains the one to watch, always imparting class and authenticity to whatever she does.
She does so again with her newest cookbook, “Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.
With her trademark expressive photography and no-nonsense way, she takes you by the hand on a journey to discover delicious dishes inspired by her global travels and by her life in the Bay Area.
The 120 recipes are vegetarian and offer up divine twists that cast the familiar into unfamiliar, thought-provoking territory for things like “Nori Granola” (yes, a savory take), “Quick-Pickled Rose Petals” (to add to a shrub or dollop on flatbread), and “Wine-Washed Arugula” (a fresh salad made with a splash of dry white wine and croutons from day-old croissants).
Miso makes this hummus something special.
There are few things I’m fanatical about.
Hummus happens to be one of them.
It all started when I tried the one at Oren’s Hummus Shop in Palo Alto. It took awhile, though, since the small cafe always has a line out the door, no matter what time of day or night. But it also has tubs of hummus to grab-and-go at a refrigerator case.
After one taste, I was hooked for life. And no other hummus would do.
That’s because Oren’s hummus is the smoothest, creamiest version ever. It’s like the creme brulee of hummus. And I can eat it by the spoonful — non-stop.
The Palo Alto shop, as well as the second one in downtown Mountain View, was opened by start-up investor Oren Dobronsky, who is so finicky about his hummus that he imports the garbanzo beans from Israel.
So, when I spied a recipe for “Hummus with White Miso,” I was intrigued, but dubious. Intrigued, because I wondered what the addition of miso would impart. And dubious, well, because how could it be better than the hummus at Oren’s?
The recipe is from the new cookbook, “Seven Spoons” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. It was written by Tara O’Brady, a celebrated food blogger in Canada.
Green beans you won’t be able to stop eating.
Planning a picnic this Memorial Day? Or a backyard barbecue this long weekend?
Then, you’ve got to make these green beans.
I guarantee they will be the talk of the table.
I first made “Green Beans with Miso and Almonds” last Thanksgiving as a novel alternative to the usual green bean casserole. My in-laws couldn’t stop eating it. Each of them kept reaching for seconds, even thirds. Now, whenever my husband sees me trimming fresh green beans from the farmers markets, he secretly hopes they’re destined for this dish.
Fall is prime time for pumpkins. But instead of choosing the typical one that thumps its deep orange glow so readily on the outside, choose one that reveals its eye-popping color more shyly only on the inside instead.
That’s kabocha for ya. Otherwise known as Japanese pumpkin, it’s squatty, a dull deep-green and rather weirdly knobby looking.
But cut it open to reveal its intense orange-hued flesh that’s like a bright tropical morning sunrise.
It’s my favorite hard squash for its incomparable sweetness and dry, fluffy texture akin to a chestnut or sweet potato.
A wonderful way to prepare it is in this super simple dish of “Sake-Steamed Kabocha with Miso” from the new cookbook, “Japanese Farm Food” (Andrews McMeal), of which I recently received a review copy.