Pickled Lotus Root or Why I heart…

Sieu Thi Dong Thanh Supermarket!

I was let on to a little food gem this morning and I sense my relationship with Vietnam will never be the same.

Fresh Lychee Ice Cream

We had a delicious opportunity this week with unexpected access to an extra large bottle of fresh raw cream from a local community dairy just when lychees are in full swing in the markets. We can never get enough of these exotic fruits so we just couldn’t resist making them into this delectable trip to tastebud shambhala. This recipe is especially good for folks on the GAPS or SCD diets as it is full of living grass-fed dairy fat, raw and easily absorbed local free-range egg yolks, local raw honey and lychees. (Lychees are the source of a powerful beneficial yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii).

Grain-Free Cherry-Almond Crunch

Easy to make, easier to eat this cherry-almond crunch is delicious for breakfast with yogurt or tasty as an afternoon snack.

Nectarine and Rocket Salad

This is one of my all time favorite salads. Very simple. Slightly under-ripe nectarines make a great substitute for tomatoes–sweet and sour with just enough firmness not to turn to mush when you mix it. The sweet-sour flavor of the nectarines goes just divinely with the peppery rocket leaves. Avocado rounds it out, the pecorino adds that extra salty tang and the sunflower seeds give dimension to the texture. Add some fresh crab to this salad and you will just die of delight.

Middle Eastern Rhubarb Fool

The rhubarb theme continues in my mother’s garden.  My niece was visiting from LA and the family decided to celebrate her “Almost 1” birthday since she wouldn’t be in town when she actually turned one.  It was the perfect opportunity to use up some of my mom’s rhubarb and introduce my wee niece to a new taste!

But first I needed rhubarb inspiration.  Epicurious is so helpful for this.  They had a ton of rhubarb recipes – rhubarb upside down cake, rhubarb pie, rhubarb cheesecake, the list went on…  For once though I didn’t want to spend hours prepping and/or making my dessert.  I wanted simple and delicious.  Rhubarb fool was the obvious choice.

Ginger-Rhubarb Compote

Often the first vegetable to pop up in the spring, rhubarb is one of my favorites.

While I love it in pie my new favorite way of using rhubarb is making compote. Compote is french for “mixture” and is basically just a stewed fruit dish. Rhubarb makes a beautiful compote.

Compote is also a great way to prepare rhubarb for canning so it can be enjoyed in the winter. The version I am making is sweet but a savory variety is fabulous with roast pork.

Tarragon Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is easy to make and great for your digestion. The addition of tarragon (traditionally known as the ‘king of herbs’ in France) enhances the digestive assisting powers of kraut. Tarragon stimulates bile production among many other things (see below).

  • 1 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 T dried tarragon (or 2-3 T of fresh tarragon)
  • 2 T sea salt

Apricot Sun Leather

These are really easy to make, keep for a long time, are a great snack and are full of vitamin A and iron among other things. This recipe is featured in the Hella Delicious 2012 Recipe Calendar.

  • 2 pounds apricots
  • 3/4 -1 c honey
  • 1/3 c water
  • salt

Slice apricots thinly. Reduce honey and water to make syrup. Add apricots- simmer about 4 min. Let sit overnight. Strain out juice and reduce. Add apricots. Pour over baking sheet in thin layer. Place in sun for 2-3 days.

Almond Petit Fours

This is a delicious and simple, colorful treat for a mid-afternoon high-tea or a late night dessert. When I was preparing the petit fours for this photo shoot, a friend kept eating them almost as fast as I could put them on the tray. They’re irresistible, unless you have a nut allergy.

Dandelion Syrup

I recently came across this delicious and healing recipe for dandelion syrup. I have made dandelion wine before so I know how many dandelions you need to pick for such a recipe. It is best to have a lovely field with no dogs or pesticides anywhere near it. It is a lovely way to spend a spring day, picking lovely bright yellow dandelion blossoms, and preparing them to make syrup or jelly. I found this recipe on Ewa In the Garden’s website, she gives a good description of the wonderful properties of dandelion for detox, plus lots of lovely photos showing the various steps for preparing the syrup. I have changed her recipe slightly to use honey instead of sugar. Please follow this link to the original recipe.