crispy spring garlic + yam salad

sometimes ideas of recipes come to me.  other times i need to search high and low for inspiration.  i really don’t like making something just to make it.  i prefer to be inspired by an ingredient, or an idea.  usually these ideas get stuck in my head until i figure them out. having gluten and dairy intolerances can get in the way of making an ordinary recipe, but that is part of the fun.  i love finding interesting recipes, making substitutions, and producing something that is within the confines of what my body can tolerate.  i really take joy in finding ways of making food tasty and yummy and the best i can possibly make it.   having this blog has let me be creative in so many ways that i wouldn’t have been in my non-blog life.  big thanks to supportive people out there.

i’ve been making a lot of recipes lately revolving around ingredients that i see at the farmer’s markets.  i never saw myself as someone who cooks only with what is in season.  however, i’m finding that one ingredient can inspire an entire dish if you you let it.  the ingredient of choice this time around was spring garlic.  i thought they were so beautiful, and i immediately had recipes running through my head.  the spring garlic has a similar taste and smell to garlic cloves, but the texture is more onion-like.  i’ve sautéed them, roasted them, and eaten them raw (i encourage only people who really love garlic to do this), all yielding awesome results.


crispy spring garlic + yam salad

inspired by Adina Niemerow – Food & Wine, March 2012

serves 2

1 large white yam or sweet potato, cut into 2-by-1/3- inch sticks

1 1/2 cups miner’s lettuce (you can substitute mung sprouts, or adzuki sprouts,or any other seasonal sprout)

2 cups packed lettuce greens

1 small cucumber, cut into 1/2 inch dice

6 stalks spring garlic, bulbs finely sliced, greens discarded (scallions will work too)

1 ripe avocado, sliced

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, toasted

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

3 tablespoons olive oil

large grain sea salt


// dressing

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons low sodium tamari

1/2 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons olive oil


// directions

pre heat oven to 375°

line a baking sheet with parchment paper

in a bowl, toss the potato sticks with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil (use more if needed), and a couple pinches of large grain salt.  turn out onto baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, until crisp and lightly browned – flip them over every 10-15 minutes. remove and let cool

while the potatoes are baking, heat a skillet on medium.  coat pan with olive oil.  add sliced garlic, and sauté until crispy – about 8 minutes. remove from heat and drain the garlic on a paper towel to remove excess oil

in a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, balsamic, tamari, and honey with the olive oil

in a large bowl, combine the lettuces, cucumbers, crispy garlic, baked yams, and sliced avocado with the dressing.  sprinkle with seed mixture, serve and enjoy


roasted market salad

spring is definitely being felt here in nyc.  the past week we have had temperatures coming close to 60°!  after the winter we’ve had those temps feel amazing.  this past weekend frank and i were able to relax for a little while at our neighborhood park that overlooks new york harbor and the lovely lady liberty (statue of liberty).  we enjoyed the sun’s warmth; frank reading the newspaper, and me trying to soak up as much vitamin d as i possibly could.  it was a couple hours much needed.   just enough to forget the cold days that are behind us, and to remind us of the warmer ones that lie ahead.


most of the farmer’s markets here (at least in brooklyn) are year round.  but you notice that as soon as spring hits the vendors are carrying things are actually green! i think i went a little overboard on shoots and sprouts this time.  a vendor had buckets upon buckets of the most beautiful looking little sprouts, i would have bought them all if i could! one of our favorite vendors that we usually see in brooklyn was there (we call him the “potato man” because he’s the only person to carry our white yams that we’re obsessed with), and he brought with him these awesome spring shallots (pictured above).  alone and raw the shallots are quite tasty, but roasted with some olive oil and salt, and these onions are really good!

the ingredients in the salad were inspired by what i saw at the market; what was fresh, and in season.  i understand that not everyone has a farmer’s market in their neighborhood. so if you’re wanting to make a roasted vegetable salad, use what looks good to you, or what veggies you like, and go from there.


• for the salad •

1 bunch baby carrots, cut lengthwise

4.5 oz asparagus, rinsed and bottoms trimmed

2 oz spring onions, rinsed and bottoms trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil (for roasting)

2 teaspoons thyme (i used dried, but if you have fresh thyme 3-5 sprigs)

2 teaspoons parsley

large grain sea salt to taste

fresh ground pepper

3.5 oz pea shoots, sprouts, and baby spring greens (likewise, you can use mesclun or any other greens)


• poppy seed vinaigrette  •

2 tablespoons shallot (about 1 shallot), chopped

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons good dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds


• directions •

pre heat oven to 400°

line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper

in a mixing bowl, combine the carrots with some of the olive oil, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. (i don’t give a precise amount of each, because it really depends on your preference.) turn out onto the prepared baking sheet and place in oven.  time the carrots for 15 minutes

while the carrots are baking, toss the asparagus in the same mixing bowl with olive oil, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper.  after the 15 minutes, place the asparagus onto the baking sheet with the carrots, toss gently – turn timer to 5 minutes

in the mixing bowl, combine the onions with the last of the olive oil, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper.  add onions to the baking sheet, toss the vegetables again – return the pan to the oven, lower the temperature to 375° and time for 15 minutes

the vegetables should be lightly browned when ready (you may need to adjust the cook time depending on your oven).  remove from the oven and let cool

while the veggies are cooling, make your dressing (i made the dressing a couple days in advance, so you can totally do this whenever). combine all the dressing ingredients, except the poppy  seeds,  in a small (or large) food processor and blend until the ingredients are combined and smooth.  pour into a container and add the poppy seeds, mix to combine

in a large bowl, combine your greens with some dressing to coat.  add the roasted veggies and drizzle with more dressing.  serve and enjoy


::citrus salad::


this time of year is the longest part for me – january, february and march.  however, the bright spot in these cold bitter months is citrus fruits! blood oranges, meyer lemons, tangelos, satsumas, the list goes on.  i also feel inspired to cook things or eat things that are colorful and beautiful and these fruits are just that.  today i used a cara cara orange, which has a rosy red flesh and is a little tangy but mostly sweet.  i thought the flavors of the red onion and the taste of citrus would play off nicely together.

::for the salad::

2 handfuls mixed greens

1 tablespoon chopped red onion

1/2 avocado

1/2 cara cara orange peeled and cut

(additionally you could toast a couple dozen pepitas for some nuttiness and crunch)


1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon juice from a cara cara orange

pinch of salt


i find the best results when i whisk the salt and pepper into the vinegar, then whisk in the juice, last whisk in the oil – whisk for a couple minutes until all of the ingredients are combined.