Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
If you enjoyed the Crispy Artichoke Chip recipe I posted earlier this week, then I am about to blow your mind. While that recipe can very well stand on its own, it was really meant as a garnish for this one. Seriously, this is the dish for the artichoke connoisseur. By braising the artichokes, Chef John Toulze really showcases the earthy and sweet flavors found in baby artichokes. And somewhat surprisingly, the artichoke chips are just as flavorful but also very light and airy.
I made this heavenly snack with Sondra Bernstein and her business partner Chef John Toulze when we hung out for the day back in May. I had been touring California, and both John and Sondra were generous enough to spend some time with me. Not only did I get to tour their biodynamic farm, but I also got to cook with John, partake in some of their signature cocktails like this Lavender Mojito all while charging my borrowed Chevy Volt!
Happy Spring! Yesterday the Berkeley Farmers’ Market was awash in tender greens, including that rock star of spring, asparagus…just in time for Passover dinners and Easter brunch. From now through mid-April, Berkeley’s Ecology Center is honoring the life of Cesar Chavez, whose work as an activist and organizer within the farmworker communities of California (and beyond) made a difference in so many lives.
My mother has always made giant stuffed artichokes for Easter dinner. Her large full chokes are truly gorgeous to behold — like enormous desert flowers filled with bread crumb pollen — and even more delightful to eat. But because I am lazy, I rarely make this dish. Filling each leaf of an artichoke seems a tedious task. And, although I love to spend long dinners leisurely making my way through a giant artichoke, my children and husband don’t have the patience to slowly nibble the meat from the edge of each leaf. I therefore came up with a compromise recipe: keep the stuffing, but ditch the tiresome preparation and elongated eating period. This makes everyone happy.
As a kid, the only green vegetable I willingly let into my mouth without making faces and disgusting noises was the artichoke. Knowing what I know now about the seasonality and regionality of food, I’m pretty impressed that my mother was able to get her hands on artichokes in Minnesota all those years ago. As […]