Category Archives: Salads/Vegetables

Meet Gail Hayden, the godmother of California farmers markets

Hayden has been at the forefront of the farmers market revolution in California for 40 years.

(Published by South Bay Accent magazine in May, 2019)

Farmers markets have been supplying towns and villages with fresh produce for eons, with these lively bazaars feeding citizens worldwide as well as serving as social institutions in the community. Thomas Jefferson reportedly bought his meat, eggs and vegetables in the early 1800s at a Georgetown farmers market and billions of less-renowned individuals have historically relied on such operations. But unlike in Europe and Asia, farmers markets in America dwindled away as industrialization rose, farms got fewer and larger and bureaucracies interceded.

Gail Hayden helped change that. Continue reading


(Recipe) Try Delicious Cauliflower “Steaks”

Cauliflower is definitely having a moment, being discovered in recent years by chefs and home cooks who resonate with its mild, goes-with-anything flavor and appealing texture. I love, love this veggie and cook it frequently, including making up recipes using a relatively new offering from Trader Joe’s called “riced” cauliflower that looks a lot like the grain and can be whipped up as a non-starchy substitute. TJ’s also sells riced broccoli but I prefer the white stuff.

Thus I was primed to like a new recipe from UK-based Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi that appeared in Bon Appetit that is the best thing I’ve tried from this popular cookbook author.  The dish consists of “steaks” of thick-cut cauliflower with a puree of the veggie underneath, punched up with a “salsa” of walnuts, capers, parsley and currants that takes the delightful dish into new territories of delicious. Continue reading

Finding the Best Summer Food

summerHot weather means bring on the cool, light ingredients.

(Published by South Bay Accent in August, 2014.)

Hot summer days can define your dining choices. Who wants stick-to-the-ribs dishes when sizzling weather calls for light, cool cuisine — if possible, featuring all of summer’s divine fruits and vegetables. So slip into your shorts and peruse our list of 10 great restaurant choices for summer dining and drinking, featuring dishes so delectable that you’ll want to have them all year long. Continue reading

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower with Vadouvan

cauliflower with vadouvanThis made-up vegan dish is delicious, with soft, spiced flesh and crispy edges. The cauliflower is cut “steak-style” rather than in the usual florets and the exotic, tart but rich, spiced flavors are very appealing. Vadouvan is known as “French curry,” being a French interpretation of an Indian Masala called vadavam, from the Pondicherry region of southern India, where France colonial influence is still felt. Basically, it adds that French staple, shallots, to a classic spice blend that features turmeric, cumin, curry leaves and coriander, among others. Continue reading

(Recipe) Two Salads in One: Tomato Green Salad

tomato salad-5Fast to prepare, lighter than tomato-only salads and very delicious, this is my summer staple.

During tomato season, it’s tempting to pile these luscious fruit that we treat like a vegetable along with cheese and other ingredients into the ubiquitous tomato salads that pop up on restaurant menus in many guises.  Don’t get me wrong; I love those tasty towers of tomato and I’ve got some recipes here.  But sometimes, a lighter approach is desirable. Continue reading

(Recipe) Herb Salad – It’s Great as a Sauce!

DSC_0007Herbs make a mouthful of taste when used as a salad and work as a great counterpoint to many savory dishes.

Many sauces include herbs as a key flavor agent — hollandaise and pesto are just the beginning — so why not lighten things up and use just the herbs?  It’s less crazy than it seems once you’ve tried it.  Plus, a little pile of lightly dressed greenery is a lovely addition to a plate. Continue reading

(Recipe) Fast, Delicious Beet and Yogurt Starter

This divine starter “borrowed” from the Lark menu is incredibly easy to make and tastes wonderful. 

A recent jaunt to the Pacific Northwest reiterated what I already knew: Besides its beauty, that region has some killer ingredients and restaurants.  A case in point is this starter served at Lark, a casual but accomplished small-plates spot up in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, which is awash in eateries these days. What could be easier than roasted baby beets, Greek yogurt, za’atar (a Middle Eastern blend of herbs, sesame seeds and sumac), salted pistachios and mint?  But wow, is it tasty! Continue reading