Cook from the Book: Alimentari

I am obsessed with Linda and Paul Jones’ book Alimentari. They share their tried and true family recipes, most of which have been on the menu at their deli since the day it opened. Their recipes are healthy, fresh and packed with flavor. Below I’m walking you through one of my favorites; Pan Fried Salmon with Tahini Dressing and Walnut Tarator.

Pan-Fried Salmon with Tahini Dressing & Walnut Tarator

This recipe is adapted from Alimentari by Linda and Paul Jones.

Get the book here: https://amzn.to/2KGH09i

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 4 6-8oz salmon filets skin on
  • 2 tbs avocado oil
  • 2 tbs butter

Tahini Dressing

  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c tahini
  • 1 c greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c lemon juice
  • 1/2 c warm water

Walnut Tarator

  • 1 c walnuts toasted and chopped
  • 1 fresno chili, seeds removed thinly sliced
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves
  • 1 handful parsley leaves
  • 1 handful mint leaves
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 c good quality olive oil

Instructions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 320F. Take your salmon out of the refrigerator at least 10 mins before you're ready to cook it.  This will result in a more evenly cooked piece of fish. 

Tahini Dressing

  1. Whisk together the crushed garlic and salt, next add the yogurt and tahini. Once combined add the lemon juice. Depending on the quality of tahini you use the mixture may seize and become very thick. Add the warm water a tablespoon at a time until the dressing is loose and pourable. Give it a taste, you may need to add a little more salt or lemon juice. 

Walnut Tarator

  1. In a small bowl combine the chopped walnuts, fresh herbs, and sliced chilis. Dress with the lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Set aside until ready to use. 

Salmon

  1. Pre heat a cast iron pan on med-high heat. Add avocado oil to the pan, season the salmon with salt and place skin side down, cook for three minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven for another 4 minutes. 

  2. Add the butter to the pan. Spoon the butter over the salmon until it is melted and golden brown. Transfer the salmon to a paper towel to drain. 

  3. Pour a little bit of the tahini dressing onto the plate. Top with a piece of salmon. Garnish with the walnut tarator. 

Miso-Tahini Soba Noodles

 

Miso-Tahini Soba Noodles

I love serving this chilled soba salad with roasted salmon, fresh cilantro, basil and sesame seeds. The dressing is super versatile and can be tossed with greens or used as a dip on your next crudite board! 

Course Dressing, Side Dish
Keyword Noodles, Vegan
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c tahini
  • 2 tbs miso paste
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic chopped or grated
  • 1/4 c warm water
  • 1/2 lb cooked and cooled soba noodles

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the miso, garlic and tahini, then add in the sesame oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar. 

  2. Add the water a little at a time to thin out the dressing to a pourable consistency. You may not need all of it, or you may need more. 

  3. Toss the chilled soba noodles with the dressing. They are delicious as is however feel free to add shredded carrots, sesame seeds, fresh herbs seared tuna or roasted salmon.   

Oven Roasted Shrimp

Oven Roasted Shrimp

I've been making shrimp a lot recently for a few reasons; first off it's pretty cheap as far as fish goes and second, it cooks in less than ten minutes making it the perfect option for dinner that needs to be on the table fast! I like to leave the shells on, it reminds me of eating peel + eat shrimp back in Maryland, you can remove them though for a less mess at the table. 

Course Main Course
Keyword Shrimp
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1b deveined shrimp, peeled or not- (up to you)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tsp chili paste like: gochujang, sambal or chipotle
  • 1 tbs lemon zest
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Pre heat oven to 400

  2. Toss the shrimp with the garlic, olive oil, chili paste zest and salt, then lay them out on a large baking tray.

  3. Bake 6-8mins until they turn bright pink and are firm to the touch. Squeeze the juice from one lemon over the shrimp and serve immediately. 

    I like to serve them with lemon wedges, chimichurri sauce and a good crusty baguette! 

    Chimichurri recipe here: https://leighhyattanderson.com/2018/03/09/chimichurri/

Chicken Koftas with Yogurt and Herb Salad

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Koftas are a middle eastern spiced meatball. I love the combination of fresh and dried herbs in these chicken koftas. They’re super rich and flavorful so I like to serve them with tangy greek yogurt and fresh herb salad to cut the spice and smokiness of the meatballs.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1lb ground dark meat chicken

1/2 a red onion finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated

1tbs cumin

1/2tbs coriander

1/2tbs smoked paprika

1/4c chopped herbs; parsley, mint and dill

2tsb salt

1egg

1 cup whole milk greek yogurt, to serve

1/4c olive oil for sautéing

Salad:

1c parsley

1/2c dill

1/2c mint

1 english cucumber thinly sliced

juice from 1/2 a lemon

1/4c olive oil

In a bowl mix together the ground chicken, herbs, spices, garlic, onion, salt and egg. Use a spoon or a small ice cream scoop to portion individual meat balls. I prefer not to roll them or perfectly shape them. I leave them a bit free form. This leaves you with lots of crispy edges when you fry them (my favorite part)

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetHeat a cast iron pan to medium heat and pour in 2-3tbs olive oil. In batches, not overcrowding the pan start to brown the koftas. After about two minutes flip them over and brown the otherside. They should be a deep golden brown color. Once they are fully cooked pull them from the pan, and let the excess oil drain from them on a paper towel lined plate. Continue this process until all the koftas are cooked.

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Next, season the greek yogurt with a pinch of salt. Place a spoon full of  yogurt on a plate. Place 4-5 koftas on top of the yogurt.

Finally, prepare the salad. Toss the fresh herbs, sliced cucumber, lemon and olive oil until evenly coated. Season with salt and place the salad on top of the koftas.

Let me know in the comments below how your chicken koftas turned out!

xx

Parchment Baked Cod with Chorizo + Tomatoes

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I love this method of cooking fish for a quick and easy dinner. Steaming fish “en papillote” results in tender juicy fish. It’s pretty fool proof.  Don’t feel constrained to the ingredients I used. This recipe is easily adaptable. Try it with fennel and orange segments, or lemon slices and fresh herbs. I serve mine with a fresh chimichurri sauce on the side, this is totally optional of course. Here is the recipe if you’d like to try it:

https://leighhyattanderson.com/2018/03/09/chimichurri/

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 6oz filets of cod,

1/2c sliced spanish chorizo

1/2c cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 a red onion sliced thinly

2-3tbs olive oil

juice of one lemon

salt + pepper

2 sheets of parchment paper

Pre heat the oven to 400. In a bowl toss the cherry tomatoes, chorizo, red onion, olive oil and lemon juice. Place one piece of fish in the center of the parchment paper. Season with salt and pepper and top with half of the tomato, chorizo mixture. Repeat this process with the second piece of fish.

To seal the parchment:

Lift the parchment paper on the 2 opposite sides to meet in the middle above fish. Tightly fold down paper until it reaches the fish, crimping to seal. Roll up and crimp the ends to seal. Transfer the parchment packets to a baking tray and bake for 15-18 minutes.

I like to serve the fish in its parchment, for an impressive presentation. Let me know in the comments how yours turns out and what flavor combinations you used!

xx

 

 

 

 

Zuni Cafe’s Roast Chicken

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I make this roast chicken inspired by San Francisco’s Zuni Cafe at least twice a month, I found this recipe a few years ago and haven’t stopped making it. It’s a staple and so easy to make. The chicken is roasted on a sheet tray with lemons, herbs and garlic, then, just before it’s done you toss torn baguette pieces with all the pan drippings and roast everything together until golden brown and crispy, and then top it all with a lemony arugula salad. It’s incredible!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Chicken:

1, 4lb free range + organic chicken, cut into 8 pieces

4 lemons

1/4c olive oil

2 heads of garlic

1 bunch of fresh thyme

salt + pepper

1 baguette

Salad + Viniagrette

3 cups of arugula

2 filets of anchovy, finely chopped

1tbs dijon mustard

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2c olive oil

salt + pepper

Pre heat your oven to 475 degrees.

Vinaigrette: Whisk together the chopped anchovy with the dijon mustard and lemon juice. While whisking, slowly stream in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve until you’re ready to serve.

On a large sheet tray toss the chicken pieces with lots of salt (about 4 tablespoons), pepper, thyme, and lemons (sliced). Break the garlic up into individual cloves, no need to peel them, toss with the seasoned chicken.

Roast the chicken for 30mins then carefully remove the breasts from the tray (to prevent over cooking) and then flip over the remaining pieces and cook for another 25mins. While you’re waiting, tear the baguette into 2-4 inch pieces.

Remove the chicken from the oven, add the breasts back onto the tray as well as the baguette pieces. Toss everything with the pan drippings. At this point, remove the lemon slices and reserve them for garnish, discard the thyme stems and peel the skins off the roasted garlic cloves, they should slide out easily. Put the chicken back in the oven and keep a close eye on it. You just want to toast the baguette, this will take between 5-10mins.

To serve, transfer the roasted chicken and toasted baguette to a platter and pour any remaining pan drippings, roasted garlic and lemons over the top. Toss the arugula with the vinaigrette and lay over the chicken. Pour yourself a generous glass of white wine and enjoy!

Once you get the hang of this recipe you’ll be making it all the time! !

xo

 

 

 

Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes + Burrata

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This is one of my all-time favorite comfort dinners. I usually do this as a main dish, but if you decrease the portion it could be a side or appetizer. Burrata can be a bit of a splurge but it’s worth it, I promise! I used a bit of the burrata brine to season the polenta at the last minute. It’s incredible. Adapted from It’s all Easy.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 cups of chicken stock or water

1 cup of polenta

16oz container or burrata

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup olive oil

salt + fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Heat a small pan or cast iron on med-high heat. In the dry pan, add the cherry tomatoes. Let them sit in the pan and char a bit, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add olive oil and a big pinch of salt and put the pan in the oven for 30 minutes. While the tomatoes are roasting, get started on the polenta.

Bring stock to a simmer and slowly whisk in the polenta. Whisk continuously until polenta is incorporated and there are no lumps. As polenta thickens, turn down the heat to low and let cook for another 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking/burning on the bottom of the pan.

If your burrata was packed in brine, use the brine to season the polenta.  If not, add salt. Taste and season until it’s just right.

To assemble your polenta, ladle a cup into a shallow bowl; add a piece of burrata, top with 8ish tomatoes and a drizzle of the olive oil the tomatoes were cooking in. Sprinkle with sea salt and a generous cracking of black pepper.

Let me know in the comments below how yours comes out!

xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minestrone with White Beans + Kale

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This soup is one of my absolute favorites. It’s incredibly adaptable for any season and personal taste. In the winter, I throw in chopped kale and swish chard. In the spring/summer I add fresh peas or squash. No matter what season, I always top it with a heaping spoonful of parmesan cheese and red chili flake.

Ingredients:

1 16oz can of tomatoes (I like cherry but they can be hard to find so really any tomatoes will do.)

4 cups of broth (vegetable or chicken)

1 carrot peeled and diced

1 onion diced

2 stalks of celery diced

2 cloves of garlic

1 can of cannelini beans

1/4c olive oil

1 bunch of kale, stalk removed and torn into small pieces

1 cup pasta or choice

salt

Garnish:

1/2c parmesan cheese

chili flake

Instructions:

Heat olive oil over medium heat in the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed pot. This is a great opportunity to haul out the le creuset.

Sauté the carrots, onions and celery (aka mirepoix) until the onions become slightly translucent and soft. You don’t want to brown or caramelize them, but if you do its not the end of the world, just keep on going.

Smash the garlic (skin and all), add it to the pot and sauté with the rest of the veggies. Don’t worry, we’re going to fish it out later. Add 1tsp of salt.

When the garlic is fragrant, it’s time to add the tomatoes and broth. Turn the heat to low until the soup is just simmering. Let this go on for about an hour. In the meantime, get a separate pot of salty water going, and cook and drain your pasta.

After an hour of simmering, your soup is ready to go. Toss in the cooked pasta, canellini beans and torn kale, ladle into a bowl and top with parmesan, chili flake and a drizzle of olive oil.