All the News That's Fit to Eat: Week of December 11

At first, I thought there was no real distinct theme to this week's news round-up. It spans from the childhood malnutrition crisis in Syria to the unraveling crisis of sexual harassment in professional kitchens across the country. But, I spent a lot of my week buried in the latest Global Nutrition Report. This report underscores the importance of identifying the links between our global food system, good nutrition, human rights and more. Through that lens then, an argument could be made for exploring the relationship between global hunger, and the rights and treatment of women within and beyond our food system. Addressing both issues requires thinking about broader systems of justice and equity. A world free of hunger is very much linked to a world where there is gender equality. 

On a lighter note, there's also a great episode included here on "the mysteries of olive oil," which inspired me to have my own olive oil taste test. I now regret doing this, as the more expensive olive oil was infinitely more delicious...


Women In The Kitchen Are Not Always A Sexist ClichéForbes
"The image of a woman cooking up a delicious meal in the kitchen is a cliché, often a sexist one. But, Pineapple Collaborative wants to transform that image, by creating a network of women who are combining their love of making delicious food with an entrepreneurial spirit."

A Harvey Weinstein Moment for the Restaurant Industry, New Yorker
"The long-term goal should be to get more women into positions of leadership, whether judging restaurants or running them. Those are the kinds of changes that will force a true evolution in kitchen culture, just as they will in other fields where women are underrepresented at the top. But, in the meantime, we have to keep rooting out the existing problems, one at a time, so that more women actually want to be a part of the restaurant industry in the first place."

Green Gold: Our Love Affair with Olive OilGastropod
"In this episode, Gastropod visits two groves—one in the Old World, one in the New—to get to the bottom of olive oil's many mysteries. Listen in this episode as they find out why the ancient Romans rubbed it all over their bodies, and whether the olive oil on our kitchen counters really is what it says on the label."

Child malnutrition in Syria is at an all time highFood Navigator
Childhood malnutrition in Syria is at its peak since the start of the civil war, with the most dire cases being seen in the youngest of children. This is heartbreaking and preventable.

adas polo o morgh || planting my roots

All the News That's Fit to Eat: Week of December 4

There are two pieces I am really excited to share with you today. I know it's fewer than I'd ordinarily hope to post, but I absolutely treasure both because they are bonded by being departures from the ordinary.

The first - an Instagram post from Stephen Satterfield, founder of Whetstone Magazine. He's written a recipe unlike anything I've ever seen. I keep revisiting it because of the calm that washes over me each time I read it. That line about "chill, baby chill"...it's all perfection. Stephen, if you are reading this, I will be making cornbread and reporting back. 

The second - an interview with Alice Waters. She is possibly one of the most well-chronicled advocates for eating well, and I mean that in all senses of the word - deliciously, healthfully, simply, seasonally. It was easy for me to slide into listening this thinking that I had heard Waters' story before. I was so wrong. Howie Kahn leads one of the most insightful, unexpected interviews I've ever heard. The beauty of this interview is that it doesn't feel like one at all. 


@isawstephen, Instagram
#cornbread chronicles | oven at 400 with the #castiron in it. cupa #polenta and cupa sifted flour. one teaspoon #salt, and two baking powder, for levitation power. get a second bowl for the wet. for that — melted cultured #butter, a half stick mixed with a blend of yogurt and cream, about 1.5cups. three eggs. that’s more than most cornbread recipes but I need that #richness. 2 tablespoons of #maple syrup. whisk all the wet. keep the wrist moving as you include the dry. be gentle. too much stirring is why your cornbread tastes like rocks. Chill, Baby, chill. It’s lumpy, but don’t be afraid. Things are always changing. Pull the skillet and add butter. That sizzle make you giggle. Pour in the batter. Set your phone for 25 min. Do the dishes and drink wine. Make honey butter. Just like it sounds. Your alarm went off. It’s ready. Please enjoy and report back. 

Alice WatersPrince Street Radio podcast
Alice Waters has run her legendary Berkeley, California restaurant, Chez Panisse, for 46 years. But how did she become the crusader she is today? In an intimate interview with Prince Street's Howie Kahn, hear how Waters, an accomplished activist, turned timidity into tireless strength, how she's learned to follow her instincts, what frightens her and motivates her, what still intimidates her and who absolutely does not. All that, plus the secrets to a perfect salad and one of our sweetest Madeleine Moments yet.

chez panisse || planting my roots

November 2017 Deliveries

At times in November, it felt near impossible to eat healthfully when I was surrounded by stuffing and gravy and cookies and pie. I felt like this month I was perpetually swaying between a dessert table and a deep need for fresh fruits and veg. While it felt harder to stick to my CSA routine in between all of the holiday travels and festivities, I was also dying to try new recipes for all the guests my family entertained at Thanksgiving. Clearly, there was a lot of push and pull this month. 

I realized that the ying and yang of this month - if you will - also held true for the flavors I was craving and for the pace I wanted in cooking. When I tried to narrow down my favorite recipes from November, I instantly gravitated to a heaping, heartwarming bowl of sweet potato chili. Then I remembered how much I loved the zingy, bright flavor of the wild ginger green smoothie. I loved the super efficient make-ahead vegetarian bento box lunch as much as I took pleasure in the long, methodical process of creating a new recipe for mizuna with tarragon and capers. I took comfort in the familiar - coconut curry soup - as much as I did new flavors, like broccoli paired with buttermilk.

It strikes me that the beautiful thing about cooking is that it's endlessly adaptable to your moods and the seasons. I took full advantage of that freedom this month. 

November 2017 Deliveries
Roasted Carrots and Red Onions with Fennel and Mint || Planting My Roots

roasted carrots and red onions with fennel and mint, bon appetit

Seared Broccoli and Potato Soup Recipe || Planting My Roots

seared broccoli and potato soup with lemon, nyt cooking

Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Buttermilk Dressing || Planting My Roots

broccoli quinoa salad with buttermilk dressing, bon appetit

make ahead bento box || planting my roots

tabbouleh (vegetarian make-ahead bento box), cardamom and tea

november csa deliveries || planting my roots
salmon with mizuna || planting my roots

mizuna with tarragon and capers, planting my roots

sweet potato chili || planting my roots

sweet potato chili, 
planting my roots

wild ginger smoothie || planting my roots

wild ginger green smoothie, 
the first mess

red lentil soup with carrots and sweet potato || planting my roots

coconut curry red lentil soup, naturally ella

November 2017 || Planting My Roots
watermelon radish with tahini dijon dressing || planting my roots

kale salad with chicken and dijon tahini dressing, dishing up the dirt

kale salad with beduoin tea-roasted sweet potatoes || planting my roots

kale salad with bedouin tea-roasted sweet potatoes

red cabbage, dates and feta || planting my roots

date, feta and red cabbage salad, smitten kitchen

Crispy Jerusalem Artichokes with Aged Balsamic Recipe | Planting My Roots

crispy jerusalem artichokes with aged balsamic, bon appetit

All the News That's Fit to Eat: Week of November 27

Let's deem this week the Week of Women (actually, let's make that a month, a year, a lifetime!)! While "powerful" men have been falling from grace like dominos recently in light of sexual harassment and assault allegations, countless articles this week have profiled women - not as victims, but as talented, dynamic professionals who have long been sowing the seeds of their success. From a Gastropod podcast that unpacks flawed understandings of women's contributions to nourishing past generations to a New York Times article that delightfully delves into "feminist cheese," these articles offer a glimmer of hope for building food systems that have gender equity at their core. 

PS - I've been fortunate to find groups like Pineapple Collaborative and Cherry Bombe's BombeSquad that are relentlessly dedicated to empowering communities of women in food. Highly recommend you check 'em out and help them put in the work to make this vision for the future of women in food a reality. 


28 Pie Charts That Show Female Representation in FoodEater
"When women only hold 21 percent of head chef roles across the country, chauvinist (and dangerous) behavior can go unchecked. Its pervasiveness reinforces the importance of investing in the talents of women, whether that’s through monetary investment, industry recognition, or simply placing them front and center at events. While the following numbers focus on recognition for women, that is just one factor in making this industry more inclusive and fair. Women should get their due on magazine covers and on panels; they should also feel safe in their places of work."

Women, Food, Power and BooksGastropod
"The stereotype has long been that men hunt and provide, while women just stir the pot. Thankfully, today many women—and men—reject both that biological essentialism and the resulting division of labor. But what can science tell us about the role our earliest female ancestors played in providing food for themselves and their communities? Meanwhile, given the fact that women have been confined to the kitchen for much of recent Western history, how have they used food as a tool of power and protest, escape, and resistance?"

The Culture Is Changing, With Feminist CheeseNew York Times
"At a moment when assault and harassment revelations are creeping across male-dominated industries like so much unwanted mold, independent American cheese making stands as an obvious if undersung exemplar of the ultimate matriarchal workplace." PS - Can I get some of this Amelia Earhart cheese please?

Food Media Is Dominated by Women. So Why Aren’t We Writing About Female Chefs?Esquire
"When it comes to the impact of women in food, there’s a wealth of untapped stories to explore."

Brad Makes Kimchi - It's Alive, Bon Appétit
Can I be best friends with Brad from Bon Appétit? These videos absolutely crack me up. Every episode of "It's Alive" features some sort of fermented food or drink (hence the name) and each one is 200% delightful. 

kalamata olives || planting my roots

Mizuna with Tarragon and Capers

Mizuna is new to me. Fresh tarragon...oddly enough, pretty new to me too. Take the two of them together and you've got a new recipe for me and for you! I first came across mizuna when it arrived in my CSA box last week. I starred at it a bit quizzically because I've been on a bad "veggie identification" streak as of late. I've mistaken Jerusalem artichokes for ginger, watermelon radishes for rutabagas, rutabagas for turnips. Not great. At first I was thinking the mizuna was some sort of arugula. Turns out that wasn't too far off (albeit, still wrong), but arugula does have a slight peppery taste like arugula. Though in comparison, it has a much thicker stem and to steal a phrase from Serious Eats, the leaves are more "frond-like" in appearance.

mizuna with tarragon and capers || planting my roots

After some more digging, I learned that mizuna is native to Japan and considered a mustard green. It's typically pickled, but I've also found several recipes that call for it tossed in salads. The first time I dipped into my mizuna CSA stash, I simply sautéed it with salt and coconut oil, then tucked it underneath salmon . Inspiration struck as I piled my fork high with sautéed mizuna, plus the dijon and tarragon crusted salmon. In one bite, there were hints of bitter greens, some acidity from the dijon and sweet, anise-y tarragon. They balanced each other in such a wonderfully unexpected way, and thus, a new recipe was born. 

mizuna with tarragon and capers || planting my roots

Since mizuna struck me as a much lighter - almost feathery - green, I wanted to avoid weighing it down while sautéing with something like dijon. To replicate the brininess and acidity of the mustard, my brain went to capers. It may seem a bit strange to mix the sweet and salty flavors here, as both capers and tarragon have very distinct flavors, but they really do complement each other beautifully in this dish. Pairing with a side of salmon certainly doesn't hurt either!

I'm still learning my way around mizuna, but I like to think that hopefully this first attempt would make Samin Nosrat proud. I could almost hear her voice in my head repeating "Salt Fat Acid Heat" as I tried to pull through those elements. A pinch of kosher salt, a spoonful of coconut oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and hit of capers - sautéed over heat to perfection. Salt, fat, acid and heat. We've got the whole gang here!

mizuna with tarragon and capers || planting my roots
mizuna with tarragon and capers || planting my roots

Mizuna with Tarragon and Capers

serves 2

what you'll need:
1 bunch mizuna (about 8 oz), roughly chopped
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
kosher salt, to taste
juice from 1/4 - 1/2 of a fresh lemon

what you'll do:

  1. Heat coconut oil in medium frying pan for one minute over medium heat. Add in minced garlic, stirring frequently for about one minute. Be careful not to burn garlic. 
  2. Add mizuna to frying pan, stirring frequently to coat greens with garlic and oil. Reduce heat to low and sauté for about 4 minutes, or until greens begin to wilt. 
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in capers and chopped tarragon. Add pinch of salt and squeeze of lemon to taste. Serve immediately.