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.
This squash is cooked whole, with slits cut into it so all the flavor can permeate through. It’s served with a simple burned garlic rice. Sometimes all we want is something hearty with veg, and that is exactly what this is
I don’t have a restaurant, but if I did, this would be on my “specials” board because it’s delicious and I’d want you to try it. This is a rogue version of the Korean braised tofu called dubu jorim. The rogue ingredient is pear, which adds lovely body and a sweetness to the dish. This dish goes well with steamed broccoli and rice.
Butternut squash and lentils are a perfect combo for a cool fall day. This recipe is comfort food all the way - it’s full of flavor and has a satisfying crunch. Lentils, pumpkin seeds, and butternut squash are great for the gut. All the spices in this dish boost our immunity, too.