Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Master organic gardener, Eliot Coleman made these parsnips for me one cold spring Vermont morning with monster-sized roots dug from under the snow-covered ground. They were the best parsnips I’ve ever tasted. He was remarkably carefree with that sweet Vermont butter, but they certainly were memorable!
This is an indulgently rich balm to soothe body and soul in the bitter cold. The pear and walnut are by no means essential, in fact a plate of tagliatelle drenched in just the creamy, peppery cheese sauce is pure joy. However, the chunks of fruit add a delicate sweetness that cuts through the intense richness of the sauce and it’s little extra effort to throw them in.
PREP TIME: 45 MINUTES • TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 45 MINUTES • SERVES 6
This recipe is adapted from Angela Liddon’s Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup from her popular plant-based food blog, Oh She Glows. Red lentils are a fantastic source of fiber making this hearty stew a heart-healthy go-to. With 90 percent of the Daily Value (DV) of folate and 37 percent of the DV of iron for every 1 cup of cooked lentils consumed, this recipe is a perfect choice for women looking to optimize their essential nutrient intake and promote reproductive health.
In college, when I tried to make lentils for the first time, I undercooked them so severely that I immediately wrote them off. When I finally got the courage to try again, I realized that, honestly, I just didn’t really like lentils that much, even when they were properly cooked. Then one day I saw a recipe that called for black lentils and I was so taken by their striking, caviar-like appearance I was willing to give lentils another go. I am so glad I did because black lentils are truly the lentils for people who, like me, found all others to be a yawn. They cook quickly, hold their shape, and have an earthy, full-bodied flavor, almost like black beans.
The dressing for this salad was another Chez Panisse lesson on one of my first days. Whole Meyer lemons, zest and pith, get diced up and mixed with shallots, their juices and olive oil to make the most heavenly winter salad dressing. I had never used lemons in this way before and it was, again, one of those lightbulb moments that just changed how I saw every ingredient. This dressing is great on a raw fish crudo or winter chicory salad as well. Look for different kinds of citrus at the farmers’ market and use everything from kumquats to grapefruits to oranges. Although we use Meyer lemons in the dressing, stay away from lemons and limes for slicing into the salad as they can be too tart.
I love mixing textures of cooked and raw vegetables in salads. In this case, soft wilted spinach with shaved fennel and apple that add sweetness and crunch, while the pistachio butter adds nutty creaminess. I also throw a few crushed, deeply toasted fennel seeds in to add a bit more interest.