Edamame Hummus


This past month I joined a group called The Secret Recipe Club. Each month you secretly get somebody’s blog to try a recipe from…

…and someone secretly gets yours. I have been so anxious about who gets mine. What if they think taking pictures with a phone half the time is not charming but in fact lazy? What if they don’t think instructions like “a pinch,” “a handful,” and “an obscene amount” are valid measurements? What if they don’t like my cooking, or my recipe just doesn’t come out well? This is so much pressure!

(But enough about me, haha). MY experience this month was lovely. I was matched with Chris from The Café Sucré Farine – a collection of elegant and delicious-looking recipes. After scrolling through the mouthwatering list, I finally settled on the Edamame Hummus, something I’d been wanting to try. I made it for my sister’s baby shower, and I’m happy to say it did not disappoint!

It’s delightfully lemony, and the fresh green veggies and herbs make it perfect for spring. It was a hit at the party, getting snapped up with veggies and pita chips. Quote from my sister’s boyfriend’s mom: “I just love this hummus!”

Thank you so much Chris for your yummy recipe!

Edamame Hummus

From The Café Sucré Farine

1 pound frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)
1 pound frozen tiny peas
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup fresh lemon juice
lemon zest , from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed or ground corriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¾ cup tahini (can be found in many larger markets and in any Middle Eastern grocery)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus more for garnish
sea salt and reshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook edamame in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 3–5 minutes. Add peas and drain well. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water then drain well again.

Pulse edamame and peas in a food processor until a coarse purée forms, about 30 seconds. Add lemon juice and zest, garlic, cumin, coriander. tahini and olive oil. Add the cilantro and process for 2-3 minutes or until very smooth adding a bit more lemon juice if too thick. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with fresh cilantro before serving

TO DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Transfer to a serving bowl; drizzle with oil and garnish with more herbs.

Lentil and Kale Fritters with Tamarind Sauce


I Lentils.

I make a pot almost every week, and I make it different every time (one of my recent experiments was lentils with pumpkin and coconut flakes – delicious!). And they get reinvented every meal until they’re gone: lentils over rice. Lentils over greens. A spoon of lentils in my miso soup.

The last of this week’s pot – I made my East Indian Lentils, only I used little white urad dal instead of split red lentils – got reborn as lentil fritters. Zoeya was a fan. Kids love when you take something nice and healthy and fry it! Not that I’m recommending that for every day, but this was a nice treat, and I think she accidentally ate some kale which she normally complains about if it’s not in chip form.

What takes this up a few thousand notches is the tamarind sauce. I just adore the fresh tartness, which turns my mouth inside out and contrasts perfectly with starchy bites, like aloo tikki (potato fritters), chickpea or potato samosas, or pakoras. Yep, I’m the chick at the Indian buffet sneaking two or three little bowlfuls.

Lentil and Kale Fritters with Tamarind Sauce

For the fritters:
leftover lentils – any kind you want, I have several easy recipes
handful cilantro, chopped
handful kale, stems removed and chopped
You can also add: diced onion, chopped garlic, lemon juice, or whatever else you are in the mood for
enough bread crumbs to hold them together
vegetable oil (or some less evil oil) for frying

If you’re using stewy lentils, you don’t need to bother with draining them, but if you’re using lentil soup you will probably want to drain some of the liquid before you get started.

Heat a quarter inch of oil and combine the rest of the ingredients. Roll into small balls and flatten. Fry a few minutes on each side until golden brown, remove to a paper towel lined plate.

For the tamarind sauce:
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp water
generous sprinkle salt & pepper

Whisk together all ingredients. Put in a pretty little bowl for dipping!

While I’m cooking, Zoeya is often hanging out in the kitchen with me playing with her magnetic letters. She knows how to spell her name, forwards and apparently also backwards. Shan and I didn’t notice this until the next morning, it cracked us up. Cutest thing ever.

Romesco Sauce


I am in love with all things Spanish – gypsies, flamenco dancing, Moorish architecture, El Cid, tapas, Almodovar movies, Ojos de Brujo, depressing novels, Castellano as opposed to regular old Spanish. Spain is number one on my long list of places I’m dying to visit, and Shan has promised to take me one day.

Until then, I can pretend that I’m there by eating like I’m there. Romesco is a combination of so many quintessential Spanish ingredients: olive oil, roasted red peppers, almonds, sherry vinegar – I even put a drop of honey in mine for balance. It is a versatile sauce that is rich and bright at the same time, and goes on anything from seafood to veggies to a plain slice of bread.

Romesco Sauce

2 red peppers
handful of almonds, blanched and peeled
3/4 c olive oil, divided
1 head of garlic
1 slice bread (I used 1 whole wheat naan)
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
salt & pepper
1/4 c sherry vinegar
1 tsp honey

Roast the red peppers the usual way: 350° right on the grate, turning, until blackened. Peel, clean out the seeds and slice.

In a food processor, blitz the almonds until finely ground.

Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil on medium, and gently cook the garlic (alternately you could roast the garlic, but I was in a hurry and this was quicker). Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic to the food processor.

Tear the bread and fry in the same olive oil – you can turn the heat up a little. When browned, transfer to food processor. In same pan, saute the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Transfer everything to food processor and blitz.

Add sherry vinegar and honey and combine. Slowly add the rest of the olive oil and combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

I served this on top of braised paprika chicken thighs with a spinach salad. It made a nice big batch – I froze half and we used the leftover from the first half as a dip for veggies and pita bread.

I chose this as my best recipe in September :)

Vidalia Onion Marmalade


I cook food from all over the place, but sometimes I just want to make something nice and homey and southern. Vidalia onions are naturally sweet, and sweeten the more you cook them. This could be a faulty memory, but they remind me of my grandmother because she always had some hanging in a basket in her laundry room. This is a slow-cooked, sweet and savory marmalade that would be delicious on grilled meat, a chicken or cheese sandwich, or just spread over a slice of bread.

Vidalia Onion Marmalade

3 vidalia onions, sliced medium (not too thin)
2 cloves garlic
salt & pepper
2 tbsp butter
4 allspice berries
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp molasses

Heat butter on medium heat and add allspice berries, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for, oh, forever. At least half an hour, probably closer to 45 min. Take care not to let the mixture burn. If you need to add a small splash of water somewhere along the way, that’s fine. Cook until the onions are golden. Mix sugar and molasses, and stir into the onions. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Tapenade, Take Two


A couple weeks ago, Shan took me to Restaurant Depot. He goes fairly often as he owns a Quiznos, but this was my first time. I was having lots of fun feeling like Jack in the Giant’s house, surrounded by bags of onions I could barely lift, gargantuan tins of tomatoes, mayonnaise tubs the size of Zoeya. Shan needed some stuff for the store but let me grab a couple things as well, so I chose a large bottle of sherry vinegar and enormous jars of olives and capers.

I went home to make tapenade to take to a barbecue at my sister’s house. It did not turn out well. I usually make tapenade from olives from the olive bar at Harris Teeter, but these olives were extremely briny so my tapenade turned out unbearably salty (how embarassing! This is why you never make something new for a party but I’m slow to follow advice). Only slightly daunted, I tried again, this time soaking my briny olives in water for a couple days in the fridge, and the result was much, much better. Delicious even.

The first time I used a food processor, and you can too if you don’t have my compulsion to pulse everything into oblivion. I needed to chop mine by hand if I wanted it to have any sort of texture, which I did the second time and it turned out very nicely.


3 c mixed olives
1 tbsp capers, chopped
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
small handful basil, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil

If you are using extremely briny olives, soak in water and keep in the fridge for a day or two (otherwise skip this step). Pit and chop the olives and combine with capers, sherry vinegar, basil, and olive oil.

This is just a basic, basic recipe; you can dress it up by adding shallots, sundried tomatoes, roasted red pepper, different herbs, etc. Perfect as a dip or spread for all your summer barbecues.

I ate leftovers for breakfast – a whole wheat bagel toasted and spread with cream cheese then heaped with tapenade. Heavenly!