where the wild things are. pickled rose petals

Below; Greecologies thick tangy yogurt, Dan Finn's maple syrup, wild fennel pollen foraged from the Sonoma Coast, pickled rose petals and a squeeze of lime.

I have been using a lot of rose in my kitchen lately. The smell of wild roses takes me straight back to the summers of my childhood where we spent a few precious days each year in Watch Hill Rhode Island where the shores were thick with rugosa and the air smelled of salt and rose. One of the very old houses I lived in on the Massachusetts Vermont border was surrounded by a thicket of rose. Many different varieties grew together in a tangled mass. I am sure some of them were planted purposefully over the years but by the time we moved in, both the house and the grounds had gone a bit wild. I like to imagine, that over the centuries, some of the women who had lived there were as obsessed with rose as I am and perhaps they used them for tea or cooking or for scents. The house had a long and rich history as the first post office in the town and it was said that the house harbored a spy during The French and Indian wars. Some of its former inhabitants still walked the halls when I lived there, shimmering lightly as they moved furniture and knocked things akimbo in the night. It is no coincidence that when we bought property upstate one of the first things we planted was roses, not perfect long stem roses, but the kind that grow without much care into wild blustering bushes, thick with single petal flowers and thorns. We also rescued roses from a nearby farm that was being leveled and torn down, we call these Edgar’s Roses. Over the years our rose bushes have been good to us and this year is no exception. We never spray them. When using rose for food you always want to make sure they have never been sprayed and are pesticide free.

My most recent rose obsession is a sweetened rose vinegar and pickled rose petals.The recipe is simple and while it seems a bit twee, I promise the pickled petals are the perfect accompaniment to a rich bowl of late summer yogurt or to an early fall pork roast. Make this now while the roses are abundant and summer still hangs at our door. Your fall larder will thank you later. xx

PICKLED ROSE PETALS

2 cups loosely packed rose petals ( use only organic pesticide free roses)

throw in some whole buds, they are very beautiful when pickled.

3 cups white rice wine vinegar (the white rice wine vinegar is sweeter and  less acidic than white wine vinegar, but if you only have white wine vinegar, don't worry just use it)

12 tablespoons of maple syrup ( if you use organic sugar instead of maple your liquid will stay a vibrant pink. Maple has great flavor but turns the liquid a little rose/brown)

6 teaspoons of kosher salt

 

METHOD

Submerge the petals in a bowl of water then drain lightly and lay out to dry  on dish towel. you want to bruise the petals as little as possible.

In a non reactive sauce pan, heat the vinegar, the salt and maple to just a simmer. Turn off and stir until the salt and maple are dissolved. Let cool about 10-15 minutes.

Place the rose petals in a large glass bowl and pour the cooled liquid over the roses. Store in a ball jar in your refrigerator. infuse for a a few days or so before using.The pickle will last for several months.The color will slowly fade and transform over time from a vibrant pink to a dusty brown pink. The pickling liquid will either be a vibrant pink or a brown pink depending on if you use maple or sugar. You can use this sweetened rose vinegar as you would any vinegar and use the pickled petals to accompany roasts or morning yogurt. 

 

SEE MY ROSE PETAL FRENCH TOAST HERE AND MY ROSE PETAL ICE CREAM HERE.

 

 

 

 

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. WILD FENNEL POLLEN. PART ONE.

 

 

HARVESTING WILD FENNEL POLLEN

Northern California smells good. Yes, I know I am making a broad sweeping statement–but it's true. Everytime I am out here, no matter the time of year, the thing that resonates is the smell. Sometimes, briny, smoky and woodsy, heavy with eucalyptus, pine and sage brush other times sweet with wild fennel and  dark summer fruits. Wild fennel grows everywhere in Northern  California; A beautiful weed feeding off fog and salt in the dry dusty soil and craggy rock along the  highways and oceans edge. Fennel pollen is used in many Mediterranean recipes.

 

Right now, it is in full bloom. Bright yellow clusters heavy with pollen. This year, the drought has given way to a particularly abundant crop. I fight the bees just a little for the flowers which I cut off in clusters. I cut only the ones fluffy with pollen, in the late afternoon after the sun has dried the residual morning dew. 

The pollen has buttery delicate fennel taste and slightly caramelized aroma.

 

 

 

PROCESS

 

- Cut the flower clusters in the late afternoon.

- Make sure they are dry, if not leave in the sun for an hour or so.

 - Process the pollen by rolling the flowers gently between my fingers over a large plate or sheet tray. Don't worry if some of the flowers fall  into the bowl. You will later sift out any big peices.

- Once you have processed all the flowers smooth the pollen out in a thin layer and leave somewhere out of the wind to completely dry.This can be an hour in the sun or overnight in indirect light. The fennel  flowers can become a bit sticky or a little wet during the rolling processes they release amy moisture or sap. 

- When dry sift through a  fine sieve into a bowl. Only the pollen will remain. During the drying process it will go from a bright turmeric yellow  to a more burnt turmeric.

 

I sifted mine twice through two different size sieves, I used a medium sieve for the first round and a fine sieve for the second round. Your sieve should sift out all the debris and from the pollen. If this is not the case, use a larger mesh sieve.

Store in a ball jar or a well sealed spice tin. This will last up to one year if completely dry.

 

If you are not fortunate enough to live on the West Coast where this grows abundantly wild, you may be able to find it at your local farmers market. It looks a lot like dill flower so ask the farmers. I spotted some at the Union Square green market yesterday. Or perhaps you have planted some in your garden and have let it go to flower?

Fennel pollen is also available at most spice markets and many food specialty shops.

 

Recipes to follow in part two.

My mind is dancing with ideas.

 

Thanks for the initial inspiration Samin!

xx

MAISON BERGOGNE + FISH AND BiCYCLE.

On a recent trip  to Delaware Country we took a little detour off Route 17 and skirted around to the tiny town of Narrowsburg in Sullivan Country to visit with Laura Silverman and her business partner Juliette Hermant. We have known Laura  for some time and are long time fans of her blog, Glutton For Life. It was our first time meeting Juliette and what ensued was a charming and organic few hours of cocktails, foraging talk, and portrait making! The two are partners on the up and coming Fish and Bicycle bar and restaurant, which will be housed within Maison Bergogne, Juliette's incredible antique, found objét and salvage shop, an old bus depot. It is a little Vide-Grenier, a little French Flea and a whole lot of Catskill's. Juliette's perfect curations and curios perfectly match Laura's insanely delicious cocktails.

I can't wait to visit with these ladies again soon and wait... did i mention their personal style? 

style goals. see below.

xx

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FRENCH TOAST. ROSE PETAL. FENNEL SEED. PINK PERUVIAN SALT.

FRENCH TOAST IS ONE OF THOSE COMFORT FOODS I SIMPLY CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT. MAYBE ITS THE CRISPY EDGES OR THE SALTY BUTTER  OR THE SWEET MAPLE OR MAYBE ITS A COMBINATION OF ALL THESE THINGS TOGETHER. EITHER WAY, IT HAS BEEN A SOLID FAVORITE SINCE CHILDHOOD. GONE IS THE WHITE BREAD OF THAT YOUTH, IT HAS BEEN REPLACED WITH A CHEWIER SOURDOUGH, A LITTLE FENNEL, A LITTLE ROSE AND A HIT OF PINK PERUVIAN SALT. IT IS A PRETTY GROWN UP VERSION OF MY CHILDHOOD CLASSIC.

XX

FRENCH TOAST. ROSE PETAL. FENNEL SEED. PINK PERUVIAN SALT.

MAKES 6 PIECES 

2 EGGS

1/ 2 CUP WHOLE MILK ( ANY MILK WILL WORK. I USE WHOLE MILK OR COCONUT MILK)

1 TEASPOON  LUCKNOW FENNEL SEED ( A SWEETER GREEN INDIAN FENNEL SEED)

1 TABLESPOON CRUSHED  DRIED ROSE PETALS ( RESERVE HALF FOR GARNISH ON FINISHED FRENCH TOAST)

1/4 TEASPOON PINK PERUVIAN SEA SALT

6 SLICES OF MIICHE SOUR DOUGH BREAD ( I USED SHE WOLF BAKERY BREAD BUT YOU CAN USE ANY DENSE SOUR DOUGH)

4 TABLESPOONS BUTTER ( RESEVER TWO FOR FINISHED FRENCH TOAST)

1 TABLESPOON OF COCONUT OIL

1/2 CUP MAPLE SYRUP WARMED

 

 

DIRECTIONS

IN A SMALL BOWL COMBINE EGGS, MILK, FENNEL SEED AND ROSE PETALS

WHISK UNTIL COMBINED

TRANSFER THE MIXTURE TO A SHALLOW BOWL

SOAK THE BREAD SLICES INDIVIDUALLY UNTIL COATED AND SOFT

DRAIN THE EXCESS EGG FROM THE BREAD AND SET ASIDE ON A PLATE

 

IN A 10 INCH CAST IRON SKILLET OVER MEDIUM HEAT TWO TABLESPOON OF UNSALTED BUTTER AND 1 TABLESPOON OF COCONUT OIL

 

FRY THE BREAD TWO PIECES AT A TIME UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN. FLIP TO BROWN EACH SIDE.

SERVE WITH SOFTENED BUTTER AND THE REMAINING CRUSHED ROSEHIPS

SPRINKLE WITH PINK PERUVIAN SEA SALT

 

 TOP WITH WARMED MAPLE SYRUP.

 

 

XX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yogurt with Seeds. Passion Fruit. Pistachios. Manuka Honey and Black Salt

Yogurt with Seeds. Passion Fruit. Pistachios. Chilies. Manuka Honey and Black Salt

Passion fruit is my go to winter fruit to make me feel as though I am someplace tropical.

2 1/2 cups Greek Yogurt

1 whole passion fruit, halved. Scoop out the fruit>

1/2 cup mixed seeds—Sunflower and Pepitos 1 tbsp. 

1/2 cup chopped Pistachios

4 tbsp. Manuka Honey 

1 tablespoon coconut oil

In a cast iron pan over low heat, toss the seeds in 1 tablespoon of coconut oill and a pinch each of crushed chili flakes and kosher salt. 

Divide the yogurt between 2 bowls
Scoop 1/2 of the passion fruit into each bowl. 

Top with the warmed seeds, pistachios, and drizzle with Manuka honey. Finish with the lightest hint of Black Crete Sea salt. 

Serves 2

winter's bone. bone both with horseradish. fermented black garlic and persian lime.WINTER LENTILS FOR COLD NIGHTS TWO WAYS.

Here on the East Coast, we are the midst of our first winter storm of 2016. Nothing feels better on a snowy day than a good bowl of hot broth or anytime for that matter. I make mine in big batches and freeze it so it can be ready for the next storm! Below is a recipe I developed for Toast UK. It is a rich dark beef bone broth with hits of horseradish and smokey fermented garlic and just a touch of Persian lime. Earlier this December, I was asked by Toast the beautiful UK homeland fashion brand to submit my favorite healing winter foods, below are three recipes. Winter in our house is a heavy rotation of healing broth and giant pots of simmering lentils.  Enjoy wherever you are! Stay Warm. xx

 

WINTER'S BONE. BONE BOTH WITH HORSERADISH. FERMENTED BLACK GARLIC AND PERSIAN LIME.

 

3 lbs. of Beef shin bones

3 lbs. meaty bones such as beef shank or short ribs

2 tablespoons Sicilian oregano

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400

 

Place bones on a large roasting tray

Sprinkle with Sicilian oregano

Generously salt the bones

Drizzle with olive oil

Roast bones for 1 hour turning midway through.

Remove bones from oven and cool.

 

When the bones are cooled, place in a large stock pot. I used a 7 quart Staub pot.

Add remaining ingredients

2 medium yellow onions, halved with skins on

4 whole heads black fermented garlic

2 whole heads garlic

2 whole Persian limes

2 cups chopped horseradish

1 celery root quartered

1 parsley root quartered

1 bundle of aromatics like thyme and parsley

1/4 cup juniper vinegar or apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. kosher salt

20 cups filtered water

Add the water and allow the stock to come to a rapid boil, then lower heat to a bare simmer for 12-24 hours.

(don’t be afraid to add more water along the way if need be.)

Discard bones and other large debris and pour through a fine mesh strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth.

makes 10-12 cups

Add salt to taste.

 

Wintery Slow Cooked Puy Vert Lentils with Turmeric and Sumac Yogurt

I use a slow cooker for these lentils but you could easily adapt this to a stove top. I like these lentils because they hold their shape and are still a bit firm when done. This is a smokey earthy warming dish, perfect for chilly winter afternoons.

 

1/2 lb. smoked bacon cut into 1/4 inch pieces and cooked until crispy 2 1/2 cups Puy Vert Lentils
2 cups chopped Parsley
2 shallots diced fine

1 cup chopped fresh turmeric
1 tablespoon sumac powder
1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon Bhutanese pepper. Aleppo if you can't find Bhutanese. Handful of chopped lovage leaves.
Handful chopped parsley leaves.

Add the cooked bacon and all other ingredients to the slow cooker and cover with 9 cups of water

Set the cooker on high for 8 hours.
Add more water if need be along the way. Add salt to taste in the end.

Serve with Sumac yogurt and copious handfuls of chopped. cilantro Sumac Yogurt

2 1/2 cups Greek yogurt.
2 1/2 tablespoons of sumac 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Combine and serve with lentils. Serves 6 

 

 

 

Lemony Lentil Dahl With Ginger and Turmeric

 

A big pot of Lentils are on rotation at my house year round but I admit to enjoying them most on cold winter nights or when I need a little immune boost. The thing I love most about this recipe is that it can be thrown together in minutes.

This version came about after traveling to India and Morocco several years ago. It is really more of a Dahl. I am never more inspired then when I travel. I always come back newly inspired, bags full of spices to test out in my own kitchen. I am in love with this bright lemony dish and while you might find incarnations of it elsewhere I am pretty partial to the flavors in this one. Go ahead and make your own version by substituting your favorite spices. Lentils are pretty forgiving.

 

In a large cast iron pot, add two teaspoons of fennel seeds and warm them over medium heat until they start to release their  scent, about two minutes. Turn the heat to low.

Add to that, two tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of ghee.

Smash 4 cloves of garlic and chop fine.

Dice two small shallots, a 1 1/2 inch knob of fresh ginger and a 1 inch knob of fresh turmeric

Add all of these to the oils and ghee.

Let them all warm slowly on low heat until the shallots, garlic, ginger and turmeric are soft.

Add 1 1/2 cup of Tiny Crimson or Toor Dahl.

Add 5 cups of water and a pinch of Aleppo pepper.

Add one whole dried small chili.  (I use whatever I have on hand)

Add a teaspoon of dried Sumac.

Tuck one preserved lemon cut in half and deseeded into the pot. There is no need to chop it into small pieces  as it will break up and mostly melt into the lentils during the cooking process. 

( I used to add a whole raw lemon to this recipe but one day I was out of lemons and decided to throw in a preserved lemon and it was decidedly better! )

Add a couple turns of fresh ground pepper. Do not add salt until the very end as the preserved lemons are quite salty.

Cover and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally to break up the lemon.

 

Cook about 40 minutes until soft and soupy adding more water if needed. I occasionally add another tablespoon of coconut oil during cooking.

When done serve over forbidden black rice and top with sunflower seeds, shaved baby radish, lentil sprouts and dollop of thick greek yogurt.

As with all my cooking, I kind of wing it in the kitchen, adding and subtracting ingredients depending on what I have on hand. Don't worry if you don't have sprouts, just add some chopped herbs like cilantro and parsley, it will taste just as good. I use fresh ginger and turmeric when I have it on hand but this recipe can easily be made with dried spices as well. In the summer, I like to add fresh green coriander seed.

Cooking is about being inspired, experimenting so have fun and let me know if you try either of these versions!

I am curious to hear what you think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

images ©Andrea Gentl/Gentl and Hyers 2015

 recipes ©Hungry Ghost 2015

winter chicken soup. turmeric. spruce. citrus. ginger.magic soup.

When the new year rolls around. I am ready to eat a little cleaner. The holidays are inevitably debaucherous and while I love it and fully partake, this year I felt more than ever the need to start the year off a little lighter. I cut out wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine and alcohol, you might ask what else is there? I asked myself that too but after ten days at this I am pleasantly surprised that I don't feel deprived at all, well, almost at all! I will admit to missing cheese. Pecorino is my Kryptonite.

 

I was recently asked to develop some recipes for Toast, one of my favorite UK companies for their blog Toast Travels. I decided to go with a warming chicken soup. I make bone broths and stocks on a regular basis and always have, maybe it came out of a  moderately Hippy upbringing along with growing up in a New England waste not want not family or perhaps it's my Southern Italian Grandmother, who like the New Englander's, carried that same credo. At any rate, no chicken carcass goes unused in this house ever! What I love most about soups and broths is that they are so damn easy and adaptable. They are most forgiving as you can add a little more of this and a little less of that and put your own twist on it. Soup is magic, and I have been playing at making soup since I first heard the folk tale Stone Soupas a child . When you give a kid a pot and a wooden spoon to play with they generally tell you they are making soup.  They do so with big sweeping gestures of the wooden spoon turning 'round in the pot andthey do so as they collect everything but the kitchen sink and throw it all into their make believe soup. As adults, we do the the same. Soup is a food we more often than not associate with comfort and childhood and home and a little bit of magic.

This one is a twist on a classic chicken soup,with copious hits of ginger, sumac, winter citrus, spruce, turmeric and chili. It is a powerful soup and will warm you to you bones.

In our house we drink this morning noon and night from December to April and often fill thermos to bring to work. 

xx

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Chicken Soup with Citrus SpruceTurmeric and Ginger

 

 

This soup is a spicy bright healing broth with notes of citrus, ginger, turmeric and chilies. This is slow cooked and should be started in the morning. 

 

 

We make this every time we roast a chicken. We never let the carcass go to waste. We often have left over meat from the roast chicken, so we deserve that to add to the finished broth.

Clean a roasted chicken carcass, reserving any bits of meat.

 

In 7 quart pot, place all the following ingredients:

1 carcass of a large roasting chicken along with any skin or scrapings from the roasting pan.

2 whole heads of garlic skin on cut in half

1 large yellow onion cut in half

2 cups coarsely chopped ginger

1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

5 cups chopped celery (leaves and stems)

3 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh turmeric 

 2 fresh halved lemons or 2 whole preserved lemons

1 satsuma orange halved

2 bunches parsley

1 bunch fresh thyme

2 dried chiles de árbol chilies 

1 teaspoon dried sumac

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

A dash of olive oil

 

optional

1 cup loosely packed spruce or pine (optional) spruce and pine is high in vitamin c

 

20 cups filtered water

 

Set to simmer on medium heat. When the stock comes to a boil, lower the heat and leave on a bare simmer for 7 hours.

Add more water if need be.

 

Occasionally stir the pot, and hour or so before straining I give it a good mashing with the side of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to break up all the ingredients.

 

Discard the debris and strain through a fine mesh strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth.

 

Salt to taste.

 

Add pieces of roasted chicken, shaved celery.  Add grated pecorino if you wish.

 

 

Makes 10 cups broth.

 

images ©Andrea Gentl/Gentl and Hyers 2015

 recipes ©Hungry Ghostl 2015

lens and larder collaboration in the wilds of connemara ireland.

We just returned from Ireland where we put on a visual storytelling and classic european still life workshop at the beautiful Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara Ireland. We focused on the terroir of Connemara and shot everything from  foraged seaweed to locally caught game birds to the honey man. Our final day we set a banquet of roast lamb and oysters and local cheeses. Thank you to our gorgeous and organized hosts Imen McDonnell from Farmette and Cliodhna Prendergast from Breaking Eggs and to Susan Spungen our food stylist and partner in crime and to all our students who traveled near and far to attend. It was a whirlwind of information and activity. Special thanks to Claire Davey from America Village Galway for sharing with us her incredible tinctures and teas and her beautiful meditation in the woods and for plying our spirits with her wild cocktails. Thank you to Gerard Coyne of Connemara Bee Keepers and to John Malone of Malone's Butchers in Clifden and to Shane Bisgood , Chief instructor of the Connemara Shooting School, for letting the students "shoot" him! Trish Deseine I was blown away by by your new book Home on Irish Home cooking and Helen James it was  so great  to catch up after all this time!  Thank you to Aran Sweaters and 31Chapel Lane for the lovely gifts four our students! We left with more than we came with. Not the least the good friends we made along the way. We feel our adventures with out Irish friends have just begun. A huge thank you to Patrick O'Flaherty of Ballynahinch Castle. We know we trashed the place and you  and your amazing staff were ever so gracious about it! You kept us entertained and feeling at home. xx

 

 

We wanted to share a few photos from the two day workshop. 

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