this season's first soup: spring garlic + radish top soup (v + gf)


the first soup i ever made was a butternut squash number with apples, onions, and heavy cream (!) (waaay before i stopped eating dairy).  when my co-worker made it and brought in for us to have, it was super creamy and velvety - i basically told her that i wanted her to come home with me and make this for dinner every night.  she politely declined and gave me the recipe instead.  i had decided to make this soup for frank when we were first dating, i thought i would impress the hell outta him with this super-duper restaurant-worthy soup.   back then, i lived by myself in a studio apartment, my kitchen although small, was quite functional with everything i thought i needed.  i prepared the ingredients according to the directions, followed step-by-step, and finally, the soup was ready to be pureed.  however, as i surveyed my kitchen it came to my attention that i didn't own a blender, nor did i own a food processor (and i didn't even know what an immersion blender was at that time).  a few rather loud screams and some toddler-esque feet-stomping occurred at that moment, but i sucked it up and continued on with what i did have, a mini food processor - one that held about 1 cup of liquid at a time. as i stood there in my almost counter-less kitchen running batch after batch of butternut squash mixture through the tiniest of machines, i began realizing that the consistency was a bit thick, as my mini processor didn't accomplish a polished puree.  i ended up serving the mushy, baby food soup to frank anyway.  i can still remember his face as he ate the "soup", it basically looked like, 'wtf am i eating' but with a smile.  while it was  tasty, it wasn't one of my finest culinary moments.

since that time, i'm sure you'll be happy to know that i've acquired appropriate kitchen instruments, ones that can handle things like soup!  and because of my awesome in-laws, i've graduated to a 12-cup food processor!  all joking aside, i really love soup.  especially during these weeks where it feels like we're between seasons -70-degree temps one day, in the 40's the next.  and these days, after emerging from the cave of winter, market greens are all i want to eat and cook with.  my mom had given me the cutest bundle of radishes back in march that she bought from the Stone Barns greenhouse.  with them, i made a 2-serving radish top soup and absolutely loved the bitter/peppery taste it had.  i've been waiting (totally impatiently!) these past few weeks for radishes to show up at the market, and this past weekend they did!  i also picked up a bunch of spring garlic thinking their subtle flavor would pair really nicely with the greens.  i toasted up some cumin seeds, crushed them, and added it to the mix to break up all the earthiness going on here as well.  so, stop throwing away the greens on top of your veggies and go make this soup!

i want to thank any of you who voted for me for Saveur's Best Food Blog Awards, being nominated was so beyond anything i could have ever dreamed of, especially when i was in the company of SO many women i look up to and am inspired by each day!  so, the biggest of congratulations to the lovely winners: Jeanine from Love & Lemons, Stephanie from i am a food blog, Sarah from The Vanilla Bean Blog, Izzy from Top With Cinnamon, Beth from Local Milk, Emma from My Darling Lemon Thyme, Ashlae from Oh, Ladycakes, Sarah from My New Roots, Laura from The First Mess and Valentina from Hortus Cuisine! you ladies rock! xo



this season's first soup: spring garlic + radish top soup (v + gf)

inspired by Deborah Madison, Vegetable Literacy

| serves 4 |

if you can't find/don't want to use radish greens, a good replacement could be dandelion greens, mustard greens or arugula - or a mixture of these that totals the amount i indicate below.  additionally, if you can't find spring garlic, regular garlic will totally work, just reduce the amount to 2 small cloves worth.  i added millet here just for more substance and weight - feel free to add quinoa, rice or any other grain you like.  

ingredients

  • 2 bunches radish top greens (approx. 2.5 ounces), washed and stems trimmed
  • 1 bunch spring garlic, white parts chopped in half-inch pieces (alternatively, 2 small cloves garlic, roughly chopped), reserve green parts for garnish
  • 1 medium waxy potato, scrubbed and cut into quarters, about 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and crushed 
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups filtered water or vegetable stock

garnish

  • cooked millet
  • fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • radish sprouts
  • sliced garlic greens
  • radishes, sliced thin


instructions

  • heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.  add the onion slices and lay them flat; sprinkle garlic evenly over onion, then lay potato slices over them.  cook for about 3 minutes without disturbing while the pan heats up.  add the crushed cumin and give it all a good stir. cover, and cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring the vegetables every so often (the bottom of the pan should start acquiring a brown glaze - this is good!). in the last few minutes, add the wine and let about half of it cook off.  next, add water (or stock) and 1 1/2-2 teaspoons salt, bring to a boil - scraping the bottom to loosen the glaze.  lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until potatoes are tender and falling apart - 15-20 minutes
  • add radish tops to the pot  and cook for about 5 minutes - until wilted and dark green.  let soup cool.  then transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender and puree
  • divide the soup evenly, and garnish with cooked millet, radish sprouts, garlic greens, sliced radishes and a squeeze of lemon juice

enjoy!


cacao nib, coconut macaroons (gluten +dairy free)


something i've learned in the world of making coconut macaroons, it could possibly even be a rule: use coconut chips and not shredded coconut, especially if you're making egg-white based macaroons!  last year i made 3 variations of macaroons to take to my parents house for passover.  they were kind of meh, except for the chocolate-chocolate ones - those were bomb.  this year, i'm bringing over just these because they're super, and sweet and everything that i've ever wanted out of a macaroon - sweet, crunchy, toasty with a bit of chew in the center.  i found with this recipe the coconut chips provide a significant amount of structure and texture, where as last year's shredded coconut sadly didn't.  i thought about going the chocolate route - dunking, drizzling, chocolate chips - but i thought the cacao nibs would add a subtle chocolate-y-ness, without being too sweet (as these macaroons are a bit on the sweet side for me).  make them for passover, make them for easter, or make them just to eat and enjoy :)

*today is the last day to vote for your favorite food blog over at Saveur's Best Food Blog Awards, and if you haven't already, you can still vote for dolly and oatmeal, as well as many other blogs!  



cacao nib, coconut macaroons (gluten + dairy free)

| makes 24 macaroons |

macaroons are inherently versatile, feel free to add what you like, whether it's chocolate, jam, fruit or nuts. also, i halved the recipe here and also made the macaroons smaller than the original recipe - feel free to make them larger but just adjust the cook time if you do. 

recipe from Food 52: Alice Mendrich's New Classic Coconut Macaroons

ingredients

  • 2 large free-range egg whites
  • 1 3/4 cups coconut chips
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons natural cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • scant 1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs


instructions

  • in a large heat proof bowl, combine all ingredients except the cacao nibs.  set the bowl directly onto a skillet with barely simmering water - if the bowl is buoyant then pour some water out, you want the bowl to touch the skillet.  stir macaroon mix with a spatula every few seconds to prevent the bottom from getting burned - 5-7 minutes, until the egg whites look thick and frothy, and the mixture is hot to the touch.  set aside for roughly 30 minutes to let the coconut absorb the liquid
  • preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment.  once the mixture has cooled, add the cacao nibs and stir to combine.  using a spoon, scoop about 1/2 tablespoon - 1 tablespoon worth of mix.  using your fingers, turn the mix clockwise until you get the shape you like (you could also just plop mounds too, but i thought this gave them a more defined shape).  gently slide the macaroons off the spoon onto the parchment keeping about 2-inches between each cookie
  • transfer macaroons to the oven (my oven is a bit funky, so i baked each sheet of cookies separately, but feel free to bake them together - just make sure they cook and brown evenly), bake for 5 minutes. turn oven temp down to 325° and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the macaroons are golden brown, rotating halfway through for even baking.  if your macaroons are browning too quickly, lower temp to 300°
  • let cookies cool on a cooling rack.  these are best eaten the day they are baked, but can be stored in an airtight container, at room temp for up to 3 days

enjoy!


toasted fennel-seed, yam gnocchi w/ spinach + chive pesto (+ some rad news!)


let's get to the BIG news first, shall we?  dolly and oatmeal has been nominated in the "Best Original Recipes" category for Saveur Magazine's Best Food Blog Awards!!! so many happy emotions i can't even get into it! voting ends april, 9th, so i would be totally honored if you threw a vote my way!  you can click the image below to vote :)


on to all things green!

the past couple of weeks have been kind of awesome to shop at the market and grocery store.  there's a whole new fleet of veggies to choose from; soooo many beautiful baby greens, sprouts, spring onions, herbs and spinach!  i've been kind of torn on what to make for meals as it's spring, but there's still a significant amount of chill in the air.  i've been preparing a lot of items that are warm and soothing to eat when chilly, but also using a little spring in there; call it, my, winter meets spring campaign.  last week were warm mujadra tacos with spring greens + herbs, today, it's yam gnocchi, with some toasted and crushed fennel seeds, coupled with a spinach-chive pesto that is, what i'm calling, muddled spring (is there a cocktail with that name? there totally should be!).  the gnocchi is light enough to be a side dish, but sturdy enough for a meal, while the pesto just brightens the flavor and brings out the anise essence of the fennel seeds.  if there ever was a cozy spring dinner meal, this is it!

as i mentioned above spring is making it's presence known at markets and stores everywhere, but it's official when my favorite vendor, lani's farm, is back at all the nyc greenmarkets.  i made a special trip to the union square market this past saturday and almost squealed when i saw their tent! i think i bought up half their tray of spinach, then i purchased 2 large squares of kale and radish sprouts, plus every herb bundle that was available!  i was even happier when i got home and to wash my green loot in my beautiful new colander!  the kind people at Savora sent me one and it's really quite super, not to mention beautiful! while i usually go for a more rustic aesthetic, i'm loving how clean, polished and bright it is!  it comes in various colors but i'm really feeling the white as it gives off a spring/summer-y vibe.  i'm also really stoked to check out some of their other products, especially the hand-held grater (for all the veggies) and ice cream scoop (hello, summer!).  plus they're based in my native homeland, long island!  if you're interested you can totally get your hands on one of their beautiful pieces at bloomingdale's.



toasted fennel-seed, yam gnocchi w/ spinach + chive pesto (gluten free + dairy free)

serves 4 

ingredients

  • 3-4 hannah yams (approx. 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2-2 cups brown rice flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted + crushed
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, roasted
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup spinach + chive pesto

spinach + chive pesto

  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup raw pistachios, toasted
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt


instructions

  • preheat oven to 400°.  place yams on a baking tray and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a fork can pierce the flesh easily.  remove yams from oven and allow to cool
  • in a large bowl, scoop yam flesh from the skin, add the roasted garlic and mash together until combined.  add the egg, toasted fennel seeds, parsley and salt + pepper; mix until combined.  a little bit at a time, add the flour until the dough comes together
  • on a floured work surface, cut the dough into 4 even pieces.  roll one piece at a time into a log, roughly 2 feet long, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (this is totally optional but you can use a fork to roll them into the shape in the images), transfer to a floured tray or plate
  • bring a large pot of water to a boil, gently transfer approx. 20 pieces of gnocchi  (more or less depending on the size of your pot, you don't want to crowd them or have them stick to one another, so refrain from adding too many), cook gnocchi for about 3 minutes - until they float to the surface.  with a slotted spoon, gently scoop them out and transfer to an oiled dish. repeat with remaining gnocchi. reserve a couple tablespoons of cooking water
  • place gnocchi in a large serving bowl and top with pesto, if needed, thin out consistency of pesto with reserved cooking water, taste and season accordingly
  • garnish with chopped chives, crushed pistachios and/or parsley

enjoy!


mujadra tacos w/ leeks, spring herbs + pea tendrils


the spring season is here, the sun is shining brighter and longer, my house plants are dancing to the sun's revived rhythm, and there are small pieces of what look like daffodils pushing through the earth.  it all sounds nice, but the temperature hasn't risen above 30-something and this chick is getting impatient!  all i want to do is sit outside with warm sunshine hitting my face, make green salads filled with every vegetable imaginable, i would love to make a rhubarb something, but the fact remains, even though the season is spring, spring hasn't truly sprung yet - at least not here!  

in an effort to celebrate spring, but to also be mindful that it still totally feels like winter, today i bring you one of my favorite dishes on the face of the earth, MUJADRA!  it's a humble and cozy rice + lentil dish full of caramelized onions and warm flavorful spices.  while most days i usually buy huge containers of it from sahadi's (the most bomb middle eastern grocery/deli in all the land) i've been trying to hone my mujadra-making skills.  traditionally, mujadra (also known as mujaddara) is made by cooking the lentils and rice together, but here i use brown basmati rice, which has a longer cook time than white rice, and therefore has to be cooked separately (we don't want no mushy lentils!).  i also chose to use leeks in place of sweet onions mostly because i bought 3 leeks the size of baseball bats and needed to use them in something, but also because they're a perfect segue to spring!   also in the spirit of our new season, i left behind some of winter's warming spices like turmeric, cinnamon and allspice and replaced them with bright, bitter parsley and pea tendrils.  and what dish is complete without an edible vessel?  the truth is, food is more fun when you wrap a tortilla around it!  i was thinking sandwich, wrap, naan...but in the end i wanted less bread and more mujadra, hence the tortilla.  i'm no stranger to putting odd things in tortillas and calling them tacos, so i hope i'm not offending anyone!  i can't wait to get into the swing of spring things, should be a good one! xo



mujadra tacos w/ leeks, spring herbs + pea tendrils (gluten free)

| serves 4-6 (makes about 12 tacos) |

the mujadra recipe provided makes roughly 3 cups.  if you're planning on making this for a smaller crowd, i suggest either halving the recipe or freezing half for another time (i actually love making a big pot of this just so i can have leftovers to thaw whenever i want).  also, the yogurt in the tahini sauce can be substituted with plain soy or coconut yogurt, just be mindful these yogurts do not have as much punchiness as greek yogurt so you may want to add more lemon juice.  lastly, this can TOTALLY be eaten without the tortilla, just dollop on the yogurt sauce and chow-down!

ingredients

  • 1 cup lentils (i used de puy)
  • 3/4 cup brown basmati rice
  • 3 large leeks, sliced lengthwise and into thin half moons (roughly 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt + freshly ground pepper
  • pea tendrils, to garnish (you could also use micro greens or sprouts)
  • small tortillas

yogurt + tahini sauce (slightly adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook)

  • 4 1/2 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced fine
  • 2-4 tablespoons water
  • a big pinch of salt


instructions

make the tahini + yogurt sauce

  • in a medium-sized bowl, combine the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and 2 tablespoons of water - whisk to combine.  if you like, add more water for a thinner constancy.  place in a lidded jar and refrigerate until needed

make the lentils and rice

  • pick over and remove any cracked or shriveled lentils; rinse under water. place lentils in a medium-sized saucepan with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil.  once boiling, turn heat down and bring to a simmer.  cook, uncovered for 20-30 minutes.  add water as needed to make sure lentils are just covered.  once cooked, remove from heat and set aside
  • wipe out pot, place over medium heat and combine the rice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cumin, cayenne 1/4 teaspoon salt and some big cracks of pepper, stir to combine.  toast the rice and spices for a couple minutes stirring frequently.  add 1 1/2 cups of water; turn heat up and bring to a boil.  cover, turn heat to low and allow the rice to cook 40-50 minutes, until water is absorbed.  remove from heat and remove lid; place a tea towel over the pot and then place the lid back on.  set rice aside
  • while the rice is cooking, make the caramelized leeks.  heat a 10-inch skillet on medium, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  when hot, place leeks in.  stir every few minutes or so for even cooking, the leeks with take on a caramel color and be quite fragrant when finished - about 20-25 minutes.  set aside

assemble tacos

  • in a large bowl, combine the lentils, rice, leeks and parsley.  taste and adjust seasoning if needed
  • place warm tacos on a clean work surface, add the mujadra to each tortilla, top with pea tendrils and yogurt-tahini sauce

serve warm and enjoy! 


(gluten + dairy free) chocolate olive oil bundt w/ salted maple almonds


the other day i was reading an article about the history of agriculture and food in america.  i had one of those "how come i never thought about this, it's so frickin' obvious" moments.  the author basically broke down the last 100 years of american eating in about 3 short paragraphs. early 1900s: hardly any grocery stores (only local "mom & pop" general stores) or restaurants and no fast-food.  mid-1900s: advertisers were increasingly abundant, encouraging people to buy store-bought items, ready-mix baked goods and dinners, instant coffee, and those boxed, microwavable TV dinners.  in the 80s and 90s there was a focus on workout videos (hello Jane Fonda, scrunchie socks and sweatbands!), Jenny Craig, protein bars and diet shakes.  as the author so vividly pointed out: more convenience = less wholesome food and the more we relied on convenience and giving other people responsibility to manage food for us, the less knowledge and concern we had over our own nutrition. i guess this struck me because as i've gotten older i have seen and felt the direct correlation between the food i put in my mouth and feeling good - making conscious decisions and taking responsibility for what will give my body energy, provide nutrients and put me in a good mood.

i know, chocolate cake after i went on a rant about nutrition?  hey, part of this whole nutrition thing is balance, and there's no balance in life if chocolate isn't involved, am i right?  me and chocolate cake have long history; on every single one of my birthdays my mom would make a chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting with chocolate m&m's!  but then there was the baker's cafe - a small restaurant known as somewhat of a hippie establishment because they had items on the menu that included: sprouts, whole wheat bread, pita bread, hummus, and hemp seeds - so hippie you guys ;) in any event, their takeout/bakery counter had all sorts of cakes and cookies, but me and my dad's favorite was the baker's chocolate cake.  it was a deep, dark, lusciously moist bundt cake with a super thick chocolate ganache and we would get a piece each time we went.  so you can imagine my great joy when i popped this lovely cake out of her pan and cut her open to find that she was just as dark and luscious as the baker's cake - only free of gluten and dairy!  so here's to chocolate cake and making conscious decisions about the food that we eat. 

and while we're on the topic of cake...

anya's Parsnip Cake with Candied Kumquats is a.) super clever. and b.) gorgeous! definitely putting it on the to-make list for next year

i will never be able to get enough of nuts on cake, especially when there are hazelnuts and chocolate involved - laura wins the cake game with this one!

julia's photography is super pretty but this gluten free coconut cake, totally takes the cake! (harhar)

and i think we can all agree, cynthia's miniaturization of cake and pie is pretty impressive! 

then there were cake truffles by the always inventive molly!

lastly, i never knew how intricate you could get with decorating mini cakes.  here, sarah comes through with some serious jedi cake decoration knowledge



chocolate olive oil bundt w/ salted maple almonds (gluten + dairy free)

ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder) + more for coating pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup hot water
  • coconut oil for greasing 

chocolate ganache

  • 2 ounces dairy free chocolate 
  • 1.5 ounces full-fat coconut milk
  • tiny pinch of salt

salted maple almonds - recipe here

  • 1/4 cup, roughly chopped


instructions

  • preheat oven to 350° and grease an 8 or 9-inch bundt pan with coconut oil, place a couple teaspoons of cacao powder in the pan.  gently shake the pan to disperse the powder evenly; tip and bump to clear excess powder, set aside
  • in a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients with a whisk; set aside - break up any clumps with your fingers
  • in another large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until thoroughly combined - about 1 minute.  add the vanilla and oil; add the hot water while whisking
  • add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until combined.  carefully pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan; transfer to oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through and until a baking tester comes out clean
  • transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.  invert onto a serving platter or large plate

make the ganache

  • in a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk until boiling, remove from heat and add the chocolate; let it rest for about 5 minutes, add the salt and stir to combine
  • drizzle chocolate evenly over the top of the cake, then top with salted maple almonds
  • best eaten the day of, but you can cover the cake with parchment and store at room temperature for about 3 days

enjoy!