pecans

Entrée, Side, Gluten Free, Fall, Winter

HOLIDAY SLAW WITH ROASTED SHALLOT DRESSING

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen
Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

I had the best of intentions to share this simple salad, one that goes with everything, before Thanksgiving but one thing led to another and maybe this will fall into your weeknight plans. I made the mistake of purchasing a Costco bag of peppermint pretzel thins so the only way to make that right are giant salads. This past weekend we hung lights, wreaths and put out a few poinsettias. I don't own a bunch of holiday decor, but I am eager to make our home feeling cozy and festive this time of year. I have memories of the stuff my mom put out - an old nativity scene with shredded paper hay, stockings with a disney character and our name embroidered on them and the alternating red and white lights that go around the roof. Even though Curran has no idea what's going on yet, I want to build traditions he'll look back on. It's amazing how a mini person can inspire so much intentionality. And I mean that in more ways than just Christmas lights.

I'm on this bender of vegetables being chopped small or sliced paper thin. I've mentioned that I finally found a mandoline I'm keen on and it makes the whole situation easier. For Thanksgiving round two with Hugh's family, I shaved multi-color carrots super thin and tossed them with some red quinoa, lentils, micro greens, toasted walnuts and an apple cider vinaigrette. It didn't appear as popular as the mashed potatoes but I will for sure be making that again.

I know the crazy starts now - may there be rest and thankfulness in between it. 

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen
Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

HOLIDAY SLAW // Serves 6

  • 3 cups diced butternut squash (1/2")
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • pinch of salt, smoked paprika and cinnamon
  • -
  • 2 bunches Lacinato/Tuscan kale
  • 1/2 head red cabbage
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup shaved parmesan
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • // roasted shallot dressing //
  • 2 small or 1 large roasted shallot*
  • handful fresh chopped chives
  • 1/4-1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. each sea salt and ground pepper

* roast a shallot much like a head of garlic. Trim the end, toss it (skin on) in a little olive oil and pinch of salt, wrap it in foil and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes until softened and caramelized. Time will vary by size of the shallot or how many you do. Simply peek in to check it's texture. Remove to cool to the touch before squishing it out of it's skin. 

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen
Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400'. On a large rimmed baking tray, toss the butternut cubes with the olive oil, salt, smoked paprika and cinnamon to coat. Spread in an even layer and bake for 20 minutes until just tender but not mooshy. Set aside to cool completely. 

In a blender or food processor, whiz all the dressing ingredients together until smooth.

Stem the kale and chop it ultra thin. Using a mandoline or excellent knife skills, shave the red cabbage and onion. Collect these items in a large salad bowl. Add the cherries (I chopped mine in half if you feel so inclined), parmesan and pecans, drizzle desired amount of dressing and toss to coat. The kale and cabbage can handle, if not improve, by sitting in the dressing for 5-10 minutes before serving. 

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen
Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen
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Dessert, Gluten Free, Summer

SUMMER PEACH TART

date pecan peach tart . sprouted kitchen

date pecan peach tart . sprouted kitchen

I catered a small dinner party last weekend. Some things I knew would turn out - a couple dressings and sauces were a shot in the dark, but I was certain they'd pass as edible. Summer produce makes this such an easy season to cook in because the produce needs little done to it. I know where to get the tomatoes I'm faithful to, even mediocre corn is passably sweet and crunchy, and a basic fruit dessert requires little fuss, as the juicy berries and stone fruits can hold their own.

I served a maple-slathered, grilled peach half with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and crumbled gingersnaps, an even easier adaptation of a treat recipe in our cookbook. It was the most basic dish I served and it was the one dish every single person cleared their bowl of (yes, I watch, who do you think is doing the dishes?). Granted, it was a small dessert, but it made me think, how often am I overcomplicating things?

Fast forward a few evenings, we had guests over here for a BBQ. A friend was talking about how a couple invited their family over for dinner and the hostess just ordered a pizza and made an easy green salad. She mentioned how much she respected that - how getting together, eating together, sharing good company and conversation is enough. I stood at the sink cleaning dishes after they left. I had made everything from scratch - dressings, marinades, a crumble, etc. I don't make complicated food, I don't know how to cook complicated things, but what I do does take me a lot of time and I spend even more time just thinking about the meal. Where is my tipping point between making food for people that is special, but still allows me to just enjoy the company? How to channel this effortless effort... I feel like I am narrating to and for myself here, bear with me, think Carrie Bradshaw Sex in the City monologues except we're talking about dinner. Our own heads, my own head, is a rabbit hole. I get down there by over thinking and over complicating when the answer is really up top at the proverbial pizza.

The peaches for this tart were leftover from that easy dessert I mentioned a minute ago. I didn't have a recipe in mind, I just didn't want to waste the peaches sitting on the counter on their peak day. I remembered a crust I wanted to try and layered from there. It's simple, a fantastic peach is what makes the whole tart, but it is a new favorite. You could merely change the fruit on top or try different nuts in the crust. Summer in all its glory. I can hear Hugh sneaking into the fridge, his fork clattering against the plate as we speak.

There is an Oscar Wilde quote, "The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention." So applicable to cooking, to creating things, to feeding people... the act is often times less complicated than we make it. Here's to the simple things.

date pecan peach tart . sprouted kitchen

date pecan peach tart . sprouted kitchen

SUMMER PEACH TART // Makes one 12'' tart

crust recipe adapted from A House in the Hills

I know some of you will be looking for alternatives to powdered sugar here in the cream layer. It helps set the creme fraiche to not puddle everywhere, a liquid like maple or honey will not work. You could try coconut sugar if you are ok with a little grit, but I can't say I've tried it.

/crust/

  • 9 pitted dates

  • 1 cup toasted pecan pieces

  • 1 cup almond meal

  • 2 tsp. coconut oil

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • pinch of salt

/cream layer/

  • creme fraiche option:

  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche

  • 1/4 cup powder sugar

  • 1/4 cup muscavado sugar

  • 3 large/4 small ripe peaches

  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

  • toasted pecans, granola, turbinado etc. for garnish

date pecan peach tart . sprouted kitchen

date pecan peach tart . sprouted kitchen

For the crust, pulse all ingredients in the food processor until crumbly. When you pinch some between your fingers it should stick. Add a tiny splash of water if it needs help holding (this will depend on the freshness of your dates). Press the mixture into an even layer the bottom of a parchment lined, 9'' or 10'' springform pan.

Make your cream layer. Follow the directions for the the coconut whipped cream. Otherwise, whisk together the creme fraiche, powdered sugar, muscavado (or light brown sugar). It will be loose but should hold shape when spread over the crust, if it looks too loose, add another Tbsp. or two of powdered sugar. Spread the cream layer over the crust.

Halve and pit the peaches and slice them thin. Layer the peaches in concentric circles, starting against the outer edge and then starting again with another circle, inside that outer circle. Brush the top with lemon juice and garnish with chopped pecans, granola, turbinado or whatever you wish. Refrigerate for at least two hours to chill completely. Remove the ring of the springform pan and cut into slices.

Store covered in the fridge. Should be enjoyed within 3-4 days. The colder it is, the easier it will be to get clean slices, just fyi.

date pecan peach tart . sprouted kitchen

date pecan peach tart . sprouted kitchen

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Dessert, Snack, Breakfast, Bread

DATE + PECAN SCONES

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I have this almond strawberry shortcake recipe for the book that I have now made four times. I love this cake, but honestly I would be ok if I didn't have it again for awhile. Not to mention there are two of us in this lovely apartment, and I have a paranoia about food going to waste, so even while giving some away to friends, guess who has been eating a lot of cake? Yea. So I went to Zumba last night, trying to make up for cake... and scones. Have you been? It's so ridiculous that I keep going back. It's a workout of embarassing salsa-type moves that make me feel like I am in some terrible latin children's musical. The high school girls in their booty shorts and the older women who wear jingly belly dancing belts, it's entertaining, but still liberating in its own way. I think it's because there is no way you could take yourself seriously in that hour, and I like being forced into that state of mind.

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I have unsuccessfully made scones a few times, but this recipe is my sweet victory for the previous batches which either spread flat or came out tasteless. Their edges may be imperfect and they don't have the lighteness that a bakery scone using all white flour yields, but I wouldn't change it. The spelt and oat bran give a warmth and heartiness to the scone, while it still welcomes a thin shmear of creme fraiche or butter. The trick to a good scone is to use your hands, not tools, so you can be gentle as possible as to not overmix and work quickly so the batter stays cold. I may not be a master yet, but these are pretty delicious.

DATE + PECAN SCONES // Makes 8

Ratios adapted from Maria Speck's Ancient Grains for Modern Meals

1 Cup White Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 Cup Spelt Flour

1/2 Cup Oat Bran

1/4 Cup Natural Cane Sugar

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Nutmeg

2 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder

1/3 Cup Chopped Pecans

5 Medjool Dates, cut in small pieces

6 Tbsp. Butter, cold

1 Egg

3/4 Cup Heavy Cream

1 Tbsp. Orange Zest

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Turbinado Sugar for Garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400'. Mix both flours, oat bran, sugar, salt, nutmeg and baking powder together. Mix in the chopped pecans and dates.

2. Working quickly, cut the butter into chunks and work it in to the flour mix with your fingers until you get small pebbles.

3. Whisk the egg, cream and zest together and add about 3/4 of the cream to the flour and incorporate with as few stirs as possible. Add more of the cream as needed until you get a shaggy dough that just holds itself together. Pat it together and let it sit in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill.

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4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough in two and make two disks that are about 1.5'' thick. If you just want to cook four scones for now, wrap the other disk tightly in saran wrap and keep it in the fridge. Cut the disk in half, then in half the other way so you get four triangles. Place them on the parchment. Brush a bit of the remaining cream on top and sprinkle a few pinches of turbinado sugar on top. Bake on the middle rack for 16-18 minutes, rotating the baking tray half way through cooking. Remove to cool. Serve just above room temperature with a bit of creme fraiche.

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