hannukah

Tu B'shvat Celebration

It is the Jewish holiday of  Tu B'shvat  today, the New Year of the Trees! Those who celebrate it have a meal this evening with 15 different types of fruits and nuts, drink 4 cups of wine and plant a tree together. Lovely idea, isn’t it? In modern times, many Jews have connected Tu B’Shvat with ideas of environmental awareness and sustainability.  photo © Erin Gleeson

It is the Jewish holiday of Tu B'shvat today, the New Year of the Trees! Those who celebrate it have a meal this evening with 15 different types of fruits and nuts, drink 4 cups of wine and plant a tree together. Lovely idea, isn’t it? In modern times, many Jews have connected Tu B’Shvat with ideas of environmental awareness and sustainability.

photo © Erin Gleeson

Blood Orange Cabbage Salad

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This salad is so simple and colorful. Just slice or chop 2 carrots, 1 purple cabbage, 5 radishes and 2 blood oranges. Toss together with a handful of golden raisins. Make a simple dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the juice from one more blood orange. Use a couple of the outer cabbage leaves as bowls for a pretty look. A wintery citrusy delight!

Photos and Illustration © Erin Gleeson

Roasted Sunchokes

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Sunchokes (a.k.a. jerusalem artichokes) are a gnarly looking vegetable, but quite tasty! They are similar to potatoes, but less starchy. This roasted combo goes great with soup on a winter day.

Photos and illustrations © Erin Gleeson www.theforestfeast.com

Persimmon Pear Cake

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This Persimmon Pear Cake is a nice twist on the traditional pumpkin bread. It’s denser than cake, which is why you don’t need icing. Peel, cube and cook persimmons and pears in a small pot on the stove (add a bit of butter and water to get it simmering).  Mash it up until you get about 1 cup of puree (depending on the size of the fruits, you may need another persimmon or pear). Combine this fruit mixture with all the other ingredients and bake in a round spring form pan. A light drizzle of honey, plus nuts if you like… and serve it warm!

Photos and Illustrations © Erin Gleeson

Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

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Foragers, alert! Mushrooms are everywhere right now. I was in Santa Cruz recently and met a forager who showed me all the edible mushrooms he’d found on his walk and gave me tips on how to spot them. Often they are just little bumps under leaves…who knew!? Most of the ones he pointed our were types of Russula mushrooms. For this Mushroom Quinoa Risotto recipe I used Oyster mushrooms.

As always, forage with an expert and use an identification book. Be sure to check with an expert before eating anything. Happy hunting!