i'm pretty sure that when there's a recipe labeled "heidi's..." that we as cookbook readers, food blog consumers, and general fans all know who we're referring to. heidi swanson needs no introduction, she has in many ways built the food blog "house", among other endeavors. her blog, 101 cookbooks was the first food blog i ever read; her images, her words, her recipes, and the ease at which she allows us all to follow along, as if she were a trusted friend.
i turned to her blog and cookbooks when i was seeking new ways to change my diet; her approach to cooking and food helped me to formulate more clearly what it meant to eat real food, to be nourished, and to treat yourself well. how an everyday, or any day, story of food, friendship, family, inspiration, or plain old life, find their way into your home, can get compiled into a meal and served on the kitchen table. heidi transcended that barrier that is the computer screen, and invited us in, to a space beyond recipes and pretty pictures.
her new cookbook, near and far: recipes inspired by home and travel is simply a jewel. when it showed up on my doorstep this summer i found myself (like a teenager to a pop star) constantly looking through the beautiful pages of her book, placing it on my kitchen table, and then picking it back up to read every word written on each page. the book is organized by regions of the world, starting with san francisco, breaking for an en route section dedicated to packing a nourishing plane ride meal. the book then moves through morocco, japan, italy, and france; and then ending in india. the chapters are rounded brilliantly offering ideas and different ways of coming to a dish. it's a journey through different parts of the world, and even if you've been there yourself, you can't help but to admire and cherish the lens through which heidi views the world, and in that, her approach to preparing beautiful meals.
wishing you all a wonderful start to the fall season, xo!
heidi's cauliflower pasta (gluten free + dairy free alternative)
this recipes comes from heidi's san francisco section which highlights an inspiring array of inviting bites and meals. i made this recipe with a few alternatives to make it more friendly to my diet, which i provide below heidi's recipe. this dish is nothing short of flavorful, simple and comforting, especially for a cool fall day.
| serves 4-6 |
- 8 ounces yuba skins or dried pasta
- 1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- fine grain sea salt
- 12 ounces cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 15 green olives, rinsed, smashed, pitted, and chopped
- 3 tablespoons creme fraiche, plus more for serving (*dairy-free alternative ingredients below)
- 2 teaspoons za'atar
- if you're using yuba skins, cut them into 1/2-inch strips and separate the "noodles" into single layers, creating a light, airy tangle of yuba. heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and pan-fry the yuba with a generous pinch of salt for about 7 minutes, until the edges of the yuba take on a nice amount of color and crisp up some. remove from the pan and set aside. (Alternatively, if you're using pasta, cook according to the package instructions in well-salted water. Drain and set aside.)
- to cook the cauliflower, heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. add the cauliflower and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring occasionally, until the edges brown. about 30 seconds before you think the the cauliflower will be cooked, stir in the olives. remove from the heat, wait about 10 seconds, then stir in the creme fraiche. serve over the bed of yuba skins or pasta, either on individual plates or family-style, sprinkled generously with za'atar and drizzled with creme fraiche.
*for a gluten-and-dairy-free alternative:
- for a gluten-free alternative use yuba skins (some are seasoned with miso that contain gluten, so be careful of which ones you purchase), or use a gluten-free pasta/noodle of choice.
- i made a dairy-free alternative using a coconut yogurt and tahini based sauce. i doubled the amounts here, which provided me with some leftovers for drizzling as heidi's instructs to use just before serving.