dinner

Broccoli Fritters

ForestFeast_Broccoli-Fritters_01.jpg

I feel like I am always looking for new ideas to get our 2 toddlers to eat vegetables. It's so hard! Max (who is 1)  simply throws everything and Ezra (who is 3) often removes anything green from his plate immediately upon arrival. This past Monday at 5pm I had just gotten home with both kids and had no idea what to make for dinner. I needed an idea quick and I remembered seeing this Broccoli Fritter recipe in my Smitten Kitchen newsletter. In the post, Deb talked about how fritters were the answer to this toddler problem so I decided to try it out on my 2 little veggie skeptics. 

The recipe is quite simple. You chop a head of broccoli into very small pieces, steam it in a skillet, then stir it in a bowl with flour, an egg and some grated cheese. Fry and eat!

ForestFeast_Broccoli-Fritters_04.jpg
ForestFeast_Broccoli-Fritters_02.jpg

To my surprise, THE KIDS ACTUALLY ATE THEM!!! And I thought they were delicious, too, topped with yogurt, lemon and Maldon salt. I enjoyed a few of them with a glass of rosé. 

ForestFeast_Broccoli-Fritters_05.jpg
ForestFeast_Broccoli-Fritters_06.jpg

This one will be making a recurring appearance. Recommended! Thanks, Deb. Now I am brainstorming what else I can turn into a fritter...

Broccoli Fritters

Adapted from this recipe by Smitten Kitchen. Makes about 8 fritters.

1 small head of broccoli

1/2 c flour

1 egg

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 c grated cheese (I used a mix of parmesan and cheddar)

salt and pepper to taste, oil for frying

Chop the broccoli into very small pieces (florets and the upper parts of the stems). Throw them in a big skillet with a splash of water and cover to steam (about 5 min). Drain the broccoli and move it to a mixing bowl. Add the other ingredients and stir to combine. Use a potato masher or the bottom of a glass to mash the broccoli mixture just a bit. It's ok if there are still some chunks. Fry heaping spoonfuls (to make patties) in olive oil until both sides are browned. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and serve alongside yogurt and a lemon wedge. My kids also liked dipping them in ketchup (whatever gets the greens down!). Enjoy!

 

tumblr_n9t17d5WnB1r4p2epo1_1280.jpg
tumblr_n9t17d5WnB1r4p2epo10_1280.jpg
tumblr_n9t17d5WnB1r4p2epo6_1280.jpg
tumblr_n9t17d5WnB1r4p2epo3_1280.jpg
tumblr_n9t17d5WnB1r4p2epo2_1280.jpg
tumblr_n9t17d5WnB1r4p2epo8_1280.jpg
tumblr_n9t17d5WnB1r4p2epo9_1280.jpg
tumblr_n9t17d5WnB1r4p2epo7_1280.jpg
tumblr_n9t17d5WnB1r4p2epo4_1280.jpg
tumblr_n9t17d5WnB1r4p2epo5_1280.jpg

A couple weeks ago I hosted a dinner party that turned out to be one of my favorites, ever. The catch: I’d never met any of the guests before! Cooking a sit down dinner for 18 people at 8 months pregnant felt like quite a feat, but with lots of help, it turned out so well and I had so much fun! 

I hosted the dinner in collaboration with EatWith, a very cool website that helps people host or attend dinner parties in homes all over the world, and has a similar mission to The Forest Feast: to create community through food. EatWith asked me to invite people who I follow and admire online, but who I had never actually met in person. I curated what I think turned out to be an amazing group of creative people. We had a design blogger/stylist, a party/lifestyle blogger, a florist, an architect, a calligraphy artist, a painter, a chef, a maternity fashion maven, a cabin enthusiast, a food writer, a foodie marketing guru, a magazine editor/coworking space founder, and several more. Such an eclectic an inspiring bunch!

I decorated one long table on the deck with greens I picked near the cabin plus lime halves, mini eggplants, kumquats, hot pink carnations and candles. I used a mish-mosh of plates and chairs that I’ve gathered over the years at flea markets. During the cocktail hour we had a spread of nuts, cheeses, fruit, crackers, olives, etc, plus my Guacamole Deviled Eggs, lots of chilled rose´ and a pitcher of Aperol Spritz. For dinner we prepared a buffet table full of summery vegetarian Forest Feast dishes from my cookbook that could be made ahead and served at room temperature: Watermelon Salad, Nectarine Tomato Salad, Kale Caesar with Polenta Croutons, Yellow Squash Galette with pesto, Polenta Stuffed Portabellos, Roasted Potato Salad with green beans. Dessert was a mix of chocolates, fruit, cheese, macaroons and Dipped Strawberries from my book.

It turned out to be a perfectly warm evening with a bright pink sunset and no mosquitos(!). Can’t wait to host another dinner party - perhaps after the baby arrives :)

Thanks to EatWith for sponsoring this dinner and thanks to all the lovely guests who trekked out to the woods!

tumblr_n85n2xEWt91r4p2epo1_r2_1280.jpg
tumblr_n85n2xEWt91r4p2epo2_r1_1280.jpg

I’m excited to let you know about a very special dinner event in San Francisco I am doing with my friend, photographer Kimberley Hasselbrink, who runs the food blog The Year in Food. Kimberley also just released her first cookbook, Vibrant Food, and we are cooking a meal together in a couple weeks, from our 2 cookbooks! Her book is sooo beautiful, you definitely need to look for it. She’s based in San Francisco and the recipes are all inspired by colorful produce. The photos are gorgeous and her recipes have all kinds of brilliant flavor combinations. I went to her book launch party last week and got to try some of the goodies- delish!

Since we are both so inspired by colorful food, we decided to team up and do a vegetarian meal where each course is based on a different color- I am so excited!! We are each making 2 dishes from our new cookbooks, and then we’re collaborating on a dessert. The Forest Feast + Vibrant Food = A VIBRANT FEAST!!

The dinner is in SF on Monday July 14th. Click HERE to see the menu and buy tickets. I’m making the Nectarine Tomato Salad above (among other goodies from my book!) Hope you can join us!!

Doesn’t the dish above look amazing? It’s Kimberley’s recipe from her book for Grilled Halloumi cheese topped with strawberries and herbs (YUM!).

Top Photo by Kimberley Hasselbrink, and her recipe is below.

Lower photo is by Erin Gleeson from The Forest Feast cookbook.

*     *     *

GRILLED HALLOUMI WITH STRAWBERRIES AND HERBS

from the cookbook Vibrant Food, by Kimberley Hasselbrink.  A note from Kimberley:

I was inspired to make this by some snacks brought to a picnicky party: my friend Dafna’s spicy jalapeño jam and my friend Andy’s halloumi cheese. We grilled the cheese and doused it with the jam and it was the undeniable hit of the party. I liked the idea of going for something spicy, sweet, and fresh on top of this intriguing cheese, so I made a mess of strawberries and herbs to pile atop it for this version. Halloumi is a firm, salty cheese that keeps its shape when grilled or fried in a pan. It’s an awesome way to enjoy the unique pleasure of hot, melty cheese as a vehicle for food. It’s best to eat the cheese as soon as possible after it’s come out of the pan—the magic of halloumi happens when it’s hot. 

DRESSING

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 teaspoons agave nectar 

1 serrano chile, seeds removed if desired, minced 

Freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 (8- to 9-ounce) package halloumi cheese, cut into 8 slices

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, agave nectar, serrano, and pepper to taste. Toss the strawberries with the dressing and set aside. 

Heat a very large skillet over medium-high heat and add the 1 tablespoon olive oil. When hot, add the halloumi slices. Cook the cheese for 2 to 3 minutes per side without disturbing, until a deep brown crust forms. 

Remove the cheese from the skillet and spoon the strawberry mixture over the slices of cheese. Serve immediately, while the cheese is still warm.

SERVES 4 TO 6

Curly Kale and Curly Pasta (Salad)

tumblr_n5laoilL6d1r4p2epo1_1280.jpg
tumblr_n5laoilL6d1r4p2epo2_1280.jpg
tumblr_n5laoilL6d1r4p2epo3_1280.jpg

Pasta, Beans & Greens! Also easily made with gluten-free pasta, and can be vegan if you use a dairy-free pesto. This is a good one for entertaining because it’s easy to make ahead and great warm or at room temperature.

This post was done in collaboration with on Better Homes and Gardens.

tumblr_n0yr46gGF81r4p2epo1_r1_1280.jpg
tumblr_n0yr46gGF81r4p2epo3_1280.jpg
tumblr_n0yr46gGF81r4p2epo7_1280.jpg
tumblr_n0yr46gGF81r4p2epo5_1280.jpg
tumblr_n0yr46gGF81r4p2epo6_1280.jpg
tumblr_n0yr46gGF81r4p2epo4_1280.jpg
tumblr_n0yr46gGF81r4p2epo8_1280.jpg

Happy Valentine’s Day! In case you’re planning to spend a cozy night in cooking with your sweety (or with friends!), here is a menu idea:

To start: a Pomegranate Cocktail aperitif and Bacon & Basil Wrapped Dates

First Course: Red Valentine Chopped Salad

2nd Course: Red Roasted Carrots

Main Course: Beet, Onion & Eggplant Stack with Pesto (which is great alongside any meat entree´ if you want something a little more filling!). It’s also good with big round slices of fresh bufala mozzarella mixed into the stack.

For Dessert: Spiced Apricots dipped in dark chocolate with chili powder

Cheers!