101 Cookbooks is a recipe journal where primarily feature healthy, vegetarian recipes, and the occasional sweet treat. 101 Cookbooks is a huge cookbook collection and focuses primarily on natural, whole foods and ingredients.
This, my friends, is how you want to use that rhubarb you’ve been seeing at the market lately. It’s a syrup, sure, but I’d venture to guess it’s a syrup unlike any you’ve tasted. It has a lot going on, tartness from the rhubarb, tang from fresh lime juice, a backdrop of sweetness that’s anything but shy, and the wildcard finish – rosewater. The resulting syrup is strong, and lovely, and a kiss of it is just what a bowl of yogurt, or glass of soda water needs.
And it really couldn’t be simpler to make. Chop a few stalks of rhubarb, toss with sugar, then let it sit around until everything settles into a cold, sweet stew. Fire up your burner, and simmer until the rhubarb breaks down, then strain out the solids. You’re left with a vibrant rose-hued liquid. When you cook this down with a bit of fresh lime juice you end up with a fragrant, beautiful gem of a syrup. A finishing splash of rosewater is the final surprise – the je ne sais quoi factor.
As I mention up above, I use this syrup in simple spritzers, and as a way to add a bit of flair to plain yogurt. I imagine it would be amazing over cornmeal waffles or pancakes, or in place of a drizzle of honey over certain cheeses – good, soft goat cheese comes to mind. It’s just one of those simple, homemade things that is nice to have on hand. And come to think of it, it’d be a nice lip gloss flavor as well 😉
Let me know if you do something fun with this, or if you give it your own twist. xo -h
You all know by now how much I love a rustic, family-style dessert. And really, the list of desserts that fit the bill better than a simple fruit crumble is short. For those of you who’ve never attempted a crumble, it’s quite simple. Start with fresh seasonal fruit, top it with crumbled dough, and into the oven it goes. Before you know it, golden-topped dollops of baked goodness are crisping up in a shallow sea of bubbling fruit. In this version I combined rhubarb, strawberry, and a splash of port wine with a buttery black pepper, pine nut and oat crumble. Sounds a bit fancy, but really, it couldn’t be easier to make.
With this particular crumble, you can prep the ingredients up to ahead of time if you like. Combine the dry ingredients, cover, and set aside. Chop the fruit, cover, and refrigerate. The rest of it comes together in a flash whenever you’re ready to assemble the crumble and bake it off.
Enjoy the crumble, I know many of you are seeing rhubarb and strawberries in your markets. Looking forward to sharing some highlights (and photos) from my Portland trip when I get back and get unpacked. -h
Also! I scored a rather large community garden plot(!), and will post more about it over time on my Instagram, but let me know if you have any favorite gardening books, or resources. I need all the help I can get!
Asparagus, fava beans, and artichokes are the holy trinity of my springtime cooking. I’m always slightly crushed as citrus season phases out, but baby favas on everything makes up for it. Almost. Oh, and the strawberries! With that in mind, I thought I’d round up a selection of go-to spring recipes. A bit of inspiration focused on all the different ways we can enjoy spring.-h
1. Avocado Asparagus Tartine – (101 Cookbooks) An excellent impromptu springtime lunch tartine: avocado smeared across toasted day-old slabs of sesame bread, layered with arugula and garlicky caraway asparagus + toasted pepitas.
2. An Amazing Vegetarian Paella – (101 Cookbooks) A much-loved vegetarian paella recipe. And, for this veg-centric, California-inspired take on the Spanish classic, you don’t need a special pan.
3. A Simple Asparagus Soup – (101 Cookbooks) A simple asparagus soup – fresh asparagus, new potatoes, a bit of green curry paste, and coconut milk are pureed to make this spring favorite.
4. Sriracha Rainbow Noodle Salad – (101 Cookbooks) This is a noodle salad you’ll crave every day. A radiant, color-flecked tangle of noodles, cabbage, shredded carrots, pickled sushi ginger, and an abundance of cilantro, basil, and scallions. It has tofu and peanuts, coconut, ginger, avocado, and hemp seeds. The dressing(!) – it’s simple but strong, and steps in with an assertive spicy sriracha-lime punch.
5. Roasted Strawberries – (101 Cookbooks) A delicious argument for roasting strawberries – juices from the roasting berries combine with maple syrup, port adds a surprise hint of booziness, and the balsamic delivers a dark bass note.
6. How to Dry herbs – (101 Cookbooks) This is the time of year I find myself drying herbs. In part, it is because I tend to come across special, unusual varietals in the spring and summer – caraway thyme, pineapple sage, fresh coriander. Some will appear for a week or two, then aren’t seen again for another year…
7. Garlic Lime Lettuce Wraps – (101 Cookbooks) Ginger and garlic tempeh rice, folded into lime-spiked lettuce wraps with lots of herbs, cucumber, and carrots. A one-pan meal that comes together in no time!
9. Olive Oil Braised Spring Vegetables – (101 Cookbooks) Back in the late 90’s Vogue Entertaining + Travel was the Australia-based magazine I splurged for any time I came across it on the news stand. Today’s recipe for silky, tender olive oil-braised spring vegetables was inspired by paging through one of the cookbooks Vogue published in conjunction with the magazine.
10. A Few Words on How to Cook Artichokes – (101 Cookbooks) A primer on how to cook artichokes, particularly the baby ones. A lot of people are intimidated by the process, or they think it’s not worth the effort. But with a little patience, salt, and fat – you can absolutely cook some of the best artichokes of your life.
11. Simple Red Fruit Salad – (101 Cookbooks) Red fruit salad, arguably better than old-school fruit salad. Made with plump strawberries, sweet cherries, lemon zest, and coriander brown sugar. Five ingredients. So good.
12. Diana Henry’s Uzbeki Carrots – (101 Cookbooks) The most interesting carrot recipe I’ve attempted in a long time – infused with fragrant spices like saffron, cumin, and cinnamon. Punctuated by dried fruit, savory from caramelized onions and tomatoes, with spots of fresh, green herbaceousness from mint, and chiles, and cilantro. Things just get increasingly delicious from there.
13. An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing – (101 Cookbooks) Blender dressings are great, in part, because they’re fast. Everything into one container, puree, and you’re set. This one is great – carrots, turmeric, coconut milk, shallot, and ginger come together into a dressing perfect for everything from green salads to grain salads, or as a brilliant finishing touch for sautéed, steamed, or simmered vegetables.
14. Mushroom Scallion Tartine with Poblano Yogurt – (101 Cookbooks) A substantial, delicious, mushroom sheet pan sandwich recipe. You roast a bunch of mushrooms and scallions in a hot oven, whip up a simple poblano yogurt while those are roasting. So good!
15. Ten Ingredient Alkalizing Green Soup – (101 Cookbooks) This is the greenest of green soups, and it couldn’t be simpler to make. You put ten ingredients in a blender, puree, and then decide if you’d like to enjoy the soup hot or cold. It’s a potent jolt of alkalizing vegetables and herbs, with some staying power thanks to the fat in the silky coconut cream, and the protein-rich split green peas.
This is a recipe I tucked into the final pages of a cookbook I wrote eight(!) years ago. You’d likely miss it if you skip the little recipes that tend to find their way to the miscellaneous or accompaniment section at the back of many cookbooks. It might seem a bit of a shame to take a basket of the season’s sweetest, most fragrant strawberries and roast them. But this is an alternative I love. There are few things better slathered on a flaky buttered biscuit, hot crepe, or piece of toast. Or, scooped over your favorite yogurt. A little bit of special magic.
When it comes to roasting these strawberries, you know you’re on the right track when the juices from the roasting berries seep out onto the baking sheet and combine with the maple syrup to form a thick and sticky, just-sweet-enough-syrup. At the same time, the flavor of the berries cooks down and concentrates. The port adds a surprise hint of booziness, and the balsamic delivers a dark bass note. The recipe can be doubled or tripled, just be mindful not to crowd the baking sheet.
This is a primer on how to cook artichokes – if you’re going to invest the time into cooking artichokes, you want them to be fantastic. Spring is the time I tend to cook them once or twice a week. And, although the process takes time and attention, I can’t help myself. When artichokes are good, there are few things I’d rather be eating.
Straight up, I think a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of cooking artichokes, or they think it’s not worth the effort. My friends confirm this. The topic has come up a few times lately, and the conversations are typically punctuated by a confession that they never cook artichokes at home.
So(!) I thought I’d do a quick outline of how I handle these armored spring ambassadors. Eight times out of ten I use the cooking method I’m going to outlined in the recipe sectin below. It requires nothing more than good (baby) artichokes, olive oil or clarified butter, and sea salt. If you can pair those ingredients, with a bit of practice, a hint of patience, and a window of time, you can absolutely cook some of the best artichokes. Not kidding. Once you hit your groove with these wondrous thistles, few of you will look back.
A Case for Cooking Artichokes
Nutritionists celebrate artichokes for a long list of reasons. They’re packed with fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, and have long been known to support the liver. They don’t get as much of the limelight as other ingredients – for example pomegranate, turmeric, acai, etc. – but they bring quite a lot to the table. It’s worth incorporating them into your meals, particularly when they’re in season.
A Worthwhile Shortcut
Update: I recently discovered frozen bags of artichokes at a local Trader Joes, and started experimenting to see if using them would be a worthwhile substitute to using fresh artichokes. At the very least, this could be a way to extend artichoke season. I don’t love canned or jarred artichokes, and it turns out, the frozen option is pretty great. You can cook them in a covered skillet in a bit of olive oil, straight from the freezer, until they’re cooked through, and then remove the cover and dial up the heat to get some nice, golden color on them. Season and serve. So good!
Turmeric fans, this is for you. I’m teaming up with @diasporaco for a GIVEAWAY of a year’s supply of my favorite turmeric. That’s FOUR jars of vibrant, potent, organically farmed, single-origin turmeric grown in Andhra Pradesh, India with a 4.7% curcumin content. TO PARTICIPATE: Follow both of us ( @heidijswanson & @diasporaco ) on Instagram and leave a comment (on Insta) telling me what you’d do with this special turmeric. I’ll select my fave this Sunday (3/31)! To kick things off I’m highlighting a few of my favorite turmeric recipes here. Let’s do this! xx, -h
Pasta videos are one of my favorite things on the internet. To be specific, the making and shaping of pasta using traditional ingredients and methods. There are all sorts of videos out there, and pasta enthusiasts on all the different platforms, but I love watching Italian grandmas (nonnas) the most. I’m going to highlight a handful of favorite pasta videos here, and let these Italian grandmas show us how it’s done.
I also want to mention a channel on You Tube, Pasta Grannies, because it’s an absolute treasure trove of pasta videos by Vicki Bennison. I’ve embedded a few favorites episodes down below, definitely poke around the archives as well. There’s also some great inspiration at #pastamaking, and Miyuki Adachi is one of my all-time favorite Instagram accounts. Let me know in the comments if you have any favorites in this vein as well, I’m always adding to my list!
Pici(!!!) Pici is my first pasta love, and my favorite pasta to shape by hand. You roll out long spaghetti-shaped noodles across a countertop, and because you’re doing it by hand the shape is beautifully irregular and rustic. I thought my pici game was respectable until I came across this Tuscan grandma. Around the :50 second mark of this video, she shows us who’s boss.
Pasta Grannies make pici pasta in Tuscany - YouTube
Trofie is the most recent shape I’ve tried to master. To make these tiny coils, some people wrap the pasta dough around a thin needle or umbrella spoke. I don’t have the patience for that (I’m so slow), and always resort to something more like this. Look at her outside-the-palm technique!
How to Make Hand Rolled Trofie with Pesto & Beans | Pasta Grannies - YouTube
3. Fusilli Ricci
Proof that making fresh pasta keeps you strong! A beautiful portrait of nonna Maria at 86 years old making fusilli ricci.
Fusilli ricci alla tricaricese - YouTube
Nonna Elena makes beautiful tagliatelle here, and make you think you can ditch your pasta machine for a pasta board and mattarello rolling pin. If you watch carefully, you get a sneak peek into her refrigerator too :).
Tagliatelle di nonna Elena (www.videoviterbo.com) - YouTube
I visited Puglia years ago, and could watch the ladies make traditional orecchiette (little ears) for hours. In this video we see an orecchiette master at work, but don’t look away, because at the 2:00 minute mark, she goes big.
The Orecchiette Ladies - YouTube
The shaping of the cavatelli kicks in around the 2:00 minute mark here. I remember meeting some of these ladies when I travelled to Puglia years ago.
Puglian Pasta Lady Making Cavatelli (Fast) - YouTube
7. Sicilian Maccheroni
One more from the Pasta Grannies series. Filmed in Menfi, Sicily, I love this video for a hundred reasons. Watch Damiana and Gaetano make an incredible fava bean pasta lunch. Her knife skills are the best, the fresh from the garden favas(!), the sunny patio(!), Damiana’s fruit and berry tablecloth!
How to make Sicilian Maccheroni | Pasta Grannies - YouTube
8. Miyuki Adachi
Not a nonna, but I suspect you’ll love Miyuki nonetheless. I found her on Instagram, and love watching her video shorts and pasta shaping demonstrations from Toronto. This is a video of some of what you’ll find her working on. As you can see, her trofie game is quite strong as well! (Follow Miyuki)