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.

 

 

 

 

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 citrus coffee cake.

Winter Citrus Coffee Cake

 I have been out West on vacation this week and finally have a moment to post this cake I made during the last (and hopefully final) snowstorm of the winter in New York.

I am calling it a winter cake but you could easily substitute any other fruit for the citrus and it would be just as tasty. I am thinking strawberries in the summer. I love winter citrus. It is always a bright spot long about February when the days seem as though they might never get longer. I was inspired to make this cake while working in San Francisco this past January. In the mornings before heading to the studio we always made a stop at Tartine. One morning we decided to cheat on Tartine and try a new place calledCraftsmen & Wolves just down the block from Tartine. It has a sleeker vibe than Tartineand at first I wasn't sure about all the pastries carefully and purposefully lined up behind the glass. We ordered a scotch egg and a small coffee cake with candied citrus and espresso topping.

Needless to say they were both stellar. So this is my attempt at recreating that cake. My heart is still with Tartine, their ham and cheese croissant is out of this world. I am a savory person in the morning more so than sweet. I think that is why this cake appealed to me in the first place with it’s salty espresso top and the bitter citrus inside. If you find yourself in San Francisco, you must try both places, neither will disappoint.

Candied Citrus

I used a recipe from Martha Stewart for the candied citrus peels, as I had never made them before.

This recipe seemed straightforward and simple.

You can use any citrus you want. 

I used a variety of pink grapefruit, blood orange, bergamot lemon etc.

Scrub the citrus well to remove any residue.

2 grapefruit

2 oranges

2 lemons

1-cup sugar

With a sharp paring knife, slice off ends of grapefruits, oranges, or lemons. Following curve of fruit cut away outermost peel, leaving most of the white pith on fruit. Slice peel lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips.

In a medium pot of boiling water,  (enough to generously cover the peels) cook the peels until tender, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer peel to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet; spread in a single layer to dry slightly, about 15 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, bring 1-cup sugar and 1 cup water to a boil over high, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add peel and boil until it turns translucent and syrup thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer peel to wire rack, separating the pieces as needed. (As always with boiling sugar, BE CAREFUL!)

While the candied citrus is cooling make the batter.

WINTER CITRUS COFFEE CAKE WITH ESPRESSO TOPPING

2 cups all purpose white flour

1/2-teaspoon kosher salt

1-teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl and set aside

In another bowl mix the wet ingredients.

1/2 stick of softened butter 

1/2-cup crème fraise

2 eggs

1-cup sugar

The juice of half a grapefruit ( if your batter seems at all dry add the juice of the other half)

Mix on low speed until combined

Add

The 2 cups of candied citrus peel and gently mix in by hand.

 Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined.

Use a 9 inch round cake pan or 9 inch a cast iron skillet

Grease the pan or skillet

Place 1/2 batter the batter in the pan or skillet

Spoon some of the topping over the batter

Add rest of batter

Spoon remaining topping over the batter

Topping

1/2 stick butter

1-cup flour

1/2-cup dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons of espresso fine grind

1/4-teaspoon fleur de sel

Combine all ingredients for the topping in a bowl and mix by hand with your fingers until the topping has the texture of cornmeal. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes; or until done.

The beautiful ceramics used in this story are from West Coast artist Jessica Niello. I picked them up in San Francisco at The Perish Trust.

rhubarb ginger coffee cake.

I have always loved a coffee cake. It reminds me of my grandmother who used to make a particular one for me which she sent via the mail! This one is inspired by my love of rhubarb. I made this cake three times trying to get the ratios right. I can confidently now say that it is pretty tasty. The first time I made it I used all whole wheat flour. It was a little too dense and almost a bit bitter. The next I added half whole wheat pastry flour and half white flour and a bit of dried ginger powder. The last and final time, I added more rhubarb and grated fresh ginger. 

 

Rhubarb Ginger Coffee Cake

 

1 cup all purpose white flour

1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

 

 Combine the first six ingredients

 

 Add 

1/2 stick of  softened butter 

1/2 cup  heavy cream

2 eggs

1/4 cup of grated fresh ginger 

3  cups chopped rhubarb 

Chop the rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces

 

Mix  by hand until all combined

 

Put the batter in a 9 inch round cake pan or 9 inch a cast iron skillet

Place 1/2 batter the batter in the pan

Spoon some of the topping over the batter

Add rest of batter

Spoon remining topping over the batter

 

Topping

1/2 stick butter

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.

 The gorgeous black porcelain plates and little blue bowl in this post were lent to me by the uber talented Marcie McGoldrick.

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sunday morning sleepover cake

This past Sunday morning I woke early thinking about what to make the gaggle of girls sleeping in Lula's room. The past few weekends we have been in a pancake rut. I thought about making an apple ginger cake but didn't have apples. After rummaging around I came up with a few pears and a whole lot of mint and basil left from last week's shoot. The combination of basil and pear sounded good to me, so I set out to make a cake. When the girls finally staggered out of Lula's room around noon the cake was waiting. I brewed them some  fresh mint tea and suddenly it was a perfect non-pancake breakfast for a perfectly gorgeous Sunday.

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Basil Pear Cake

 

2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup of light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

12-15 large basil leaves roughly torn

1/2 stick of  softened butter 

2  pears 

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 eggs

 

Sift the first 6 ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

Add butter, grated pears, torn basil leaves, heavy cream and eggs. ( I grated one pear and used a mandolin on the other to change up the texture. Set aside 1/4 of the second pear to mandolin some slices for the top of the cake )

Mix for a minute by hand.

Turn the batter into a well greased and floured baking pan. I used a 7 inch round. Shave the remaining quarter of pear on the top of the cake.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350.

 

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A GREEN BREAKFAST. LOVING LOVAGE.

I was reintroduced to lovage, a perrenial herb, on a recent trip to Sweden and was suddenly reminded of how much I have always loved it's pungent celery-like smell. In Northern Sweden I had a wild herb tea with breakfast at Faviken and it happened to have in it, among other things, lovage.This past Saturday at The Greenmarket, I passed a vendor selling some fresh lovage. I couldn't resist crushing the leaves a bit before I bought them because it smells that good! As I wandered around, I bought some eggs and some watermelon cucumbers from Windfall Farms. By the time I got home I was inspired. I had decided to make a breakfast of hard boiled eggs, melon cucumbers sprinkled with lovage salt and a fresh mint and lovage tea. A little wierd, I know, but it was all about the lovage.

Lovage Salt

1/2 cup of coarse sea salt ( I used a french one )

5 sprigs of lovage

mortar and pestle

 

Tear the leaves off the stems of the lovage.

Add the leaves of 5 sprigs of lovage to the 1/2 cup of sea salt

Start crush with the  mortar and pestle

The salt will start to turn a brilliant green as the leaves get crushed and combine with the salt.

Keep crushing until ALL THE LEAVES ARE COMPLETELY DISINTEGRATED AND THE SALT CRUSHED TO A FINE PASTE.

The salt will be a little wet this point.

Line a beaking sheet with parchment paper

Preheat the oven at 250 degrees. As soon as it reaches temperature turn it off so it starts to cool.

Scrape the salt out of the bowl and  onto the parchment.

Flatten the salt out with the backside of the spoon.

Place the baking sheet with the salt on it in the oven for just a minute or two. You just want to evaporate some of the moisture from the salt. ( if you leave it in too long or on too high of a temperature the salt will lose it's vibrant color)

 Once you remove it from the oven, flatten it out once again with the back side of a spoon to separate all the salt crystals.

Cool and place in an air tight jar. I like to use Weck or Le Parfait Super but a Ball jar with a lid will do just fine.

 

Lovage salt is very strong and has a lot of flavor, so use it sparingly.

It was delicious on the cucumbers and the eggs. 

You can make a flavored salt with any herb it is the same process, just be sure to alays use organic pesticide free plants. I plan on doing a more in depth salt post when I can upstate and see what is in the garden!

 

 

Fresh Mint and Lovage Infusion

Tear a good hand full of fresh mint and lovage leaves place in your teapot and pour boiling water over the fresh leaves. Your tea will be ready in jut a few moments after it has turned the palest of greens. Lovage tea is a great natural blood cleanser and really great for cleansing the kidneys, it also aids in digeston. It has when prepared this way the faintest taste of celery and is really quite nice when mixed with the fresh mint.

I was surprised to find fresh lovage at the farmer's market. I was sort of resigned to the idea that I would have to grow it. We grew lovage in our garden when I was growing up, however we didn't use it too often in cooking We just liked the way it was so fragrant and easy to grow. Lovage plants are perrenial and can grow to be quite large. I am definitely adding it to my garden next year!  Use Lovage anywhere you would use celery.

By the weekends end we were using the lovage salt in our favorite summer drink Salty Dogs....

Hendricks gin

pink grapefruit juice

lime and a healthy dash of lovage salt!

rainy day scones

 

Saturday morning, I woke early and waited for the storm. Not really knowing what to do with all that waiting, I decided to bake. I was going to make cream biscuits but Lula who was awake as well wanted scones. I used to have a great recipe for simple scones that friend had given me but I think it lives upstate on a very well used piece of paper tucked into some book somewhere. There was a time that I made them so often I didn't need the recipie anymore but now I seem to have forgotten the ratios. So... I turned once again to The Art Of Simple Food by Alice Waters. Page 275, right after the cream biscuits are scones, and they couldn't be simpler or easier! It only takes a few minutes to put the dough together and to pop them in the oven. I love to make jam but these days am so tempted by all the artisan jam makers. The jam I used with these scones is from the lovely girls at Anarchy in A Jar, it is  Rhubarb Hibiscus. 

In fact they are so easy and quick, I decided to bring some to my shoot this morning... along with some lovage tea.

 

 

Scones ( From The Art of Smple Food by Alice Waters )

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2 cups of unbleached whole wheat pastry

flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 cup sugar

 

Stir in 1 1/3 cups of cream

Mix dough until it just starts to come together, it will be sticky. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly, just enough to bring the dough together. Pat into an 8 inch circle. Brush with 2 tablepoons of melted butter and sprinkle with a bit of sugar.

Cut the circle into 8 wedges and place the wedges 1 inch apart on a parchement lined baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes or so or until golden brown.

 

Variations...

Add dried fruit to the mixture. ( apricots, cranberries,cherries, etc.)

Add grated citrus.

Substitute unbleached all purpose flour for the whole wheat.

Use butter milk in place of the cream.