it's seems as though i left one spring behind in new york, and am experiencing a completely different one here in LA. when we left brooklyn the buds of trees were just beginning to bloom, and my raspberry and elderflower bushes were getting all bushy too. los angeles couldn't be more different. as many times as i've visited here, i think i haven't paid as much attention to the utterly diverse worlds that exist on each coast. when amesy and i take quint on his walks during the day i'm blown away by plants that i've never seen before, flowers that grow a foot high in NY but are gigantic bushes here, and the passion fruit that grows effortlessly on a neighbors fence. it's fascinating, while being entirely overwhelming - i want to get properly acquainted with each and every leafy thing here! in due time, i suppose.
we spent the weekend getting situated in our new apartment. our space is a 2-bedroom, which is huge for us - both literally and figuratively. we have a washer and dryer (!!!!), something that is inconceivable in nyc, a ton of natural light, and the babe has all the room to spread out and explore :) everything here feels airy and light, there's a feeling of ease in each day. it's kinda crazy how a new space can do that for you. but the clutter of our last place was something that was bothering both frank and i in a lot of ways. half of the year was great because we had our backyard to use, but the other half of the year felt cramped and tight. we only had 2 exposures and for people who vibe off natural light it felt like a big deal. in some ways i think that crept into our daily outlook on things which sometimes felt very limited. so for many reasons we are super grateful to be in sunny LA.
and another reason i'm thrilled to live in this new city is that i'm practically neighbors with the author of the recipe here today. if you're not already acquainted with lily diamond, she's the beautiful soul behind the blog, Kale & Caramel. her blog is an easy-breezy space filled with beautiful photography, and recipes that are textured, and playful, and filled with joy. her affinity for food and her wanting to share it with us beams through every recipe that occupies the pages on her site. her writing is a thing of beauty, they have a way of evoking feelings perhaps you didn't know were there, or thoughts you had never thought yourself. she is, if anything, an immensely inspiring woman.
her book, Kale & Caramel: Recipes For Body, Heart, and Table is a deeper look into her glorious mind and i'm so happy she's let us in - if only a little bit. the book is organized around herbs and flowers, think: basil, fennel, oregano, lavender, and rose petals. there are recipes for face masks, and salads, and beach-y spray for your hair. there are tarts, and chocolate mousse, and things that will care for your soul and make you smile in the process. it seems as though lily is there on each page encouraging you to nourish and care for yourself.
lemony fennel, radish, and kale salad
recipe from Kale & Caramel: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table by Lily Diamond
to make this recipe dairy-free i subbed the feta cheese with little dabs of this kite hill almond milk ricotta cheese, which was delicious.
| serves 4-6 |
- 8 large leaves dinosaur (lacinato) kale
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups sugar snap peas, washed and eds trimmed
- 3 cups very thinly sliced or shaved fennel bulb (about 1 medium-large), fronds reserved
- 5 to 6 radishes, very thinly sliced or shaved, about 1 cup
- 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 1 3/4 ounces)
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- remove the stems from the kale and chop the leaves into thin strips. place the strips of kale in a large bowl and massage with the oil, about 30 seconds, until the leaves grow deep green, reduce in volume, and take on a mellow sheen.
slice each sugar snap pea in half diagonally across its midsection to reveal some of the peas (or do the same for green beans). add the sliced peas, fennel, and radishes to the bowl with the massaged kale.
on a cutting board, give the parsley, mint leaves, and the reserved fennel fronds a coarse chop. add to the bowl of kale and veggies. add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and the salt, and toss vigorously to combine. Add the feta and toss gently to integrate. taste and adjust the salt and lemon juice as desired.
serve immediately. the salad will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.