The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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Green Rice Salad with Nectarines and Corn

PORTLAND, OREGON! I’m heading your way. I love summers in the Pacific Northwest and I’m so excited to be there. I’ll be demoing 2 vibrant summer recipes from my book: Green Rice Salad with Nectarines and Corn (pictured, above), and Sweet Corn Fritters with Avocado Crema (below.) All that, plus a taste of the Rhubarb Ginger Fizz, for the price of the book! It’s a total steal, and it’s gonna be tons of fun, and it’s my only event in Portland, so please do come out! Tickets for the event can be found here.

Sweet Corn and Squash Fritters from Vibrant Food

And! Speaking of good and great times, here are a few photos from the collaborative dinner that Erin and I hosted last week at 18 Reasons. Such a fun night!

My Summer Squash Pasta and Erin's Cauliflower Corn Tacos for 18 Reasons Dinner

18 Reasons Dinner

18 Reasons Dinner

18 Reasons Dinner

Erin and I in the kitchen for our 18 Reasons dinner!

(Check out our unintentionally coordinated footwear! Worishofers ftw.)

  • Ileana - July 23, 2014 - 5:09 am

    I wish I could go to this. Have fun!ReplyCancel

  • Francois de Melogue - July 23, 2014 - 2:41 pm

    Wow! Congrats on the book! We’ll be in PDX Saturday for the farmer’s market… unfortunately (or fortunately) I am cooking dinner at home…


    • Natalie - August 11, 2014 - 2:24 am

      Hi Francois! Is there a book with their recipes?ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - July 24, 2014 - 3:24 pm

    I SO wish I could go! Have fun!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Leighty - July 25, 2014 - 7:09 am

    I absolutely love your blog and can’t wait to get my hands on your book! I’m just beginning my cookbook, and your work has been so inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche - July 26, 2014 - 9:56 pm

    beautifully captured post, wish i could have gone. love the book!ReplyCancel

  • Montse {Rhu & Sam} - July 29, 2014 - 12:56 am

    OMG Where did she get that Mallorca apron? It’s so kitch and I love it ;-) Congrats for the book btw!ReplyCancel

  • Diane - July 31, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    I just received a copy of your book to review and it is BEAUTIFUL!!! I so enjoyed reading it and look forward to following your blog! Blessings!ReplyCancel

  • di from the culinary library - August 1, 2014 - 4:37 pm

    You might be interested in the definitive and most comprehensive sauce cookbook available on the market, MASTERY OF THE SAUCES. Following their highly successful Alchemy of the Mortar & Pestle and Edible Flowers & leaves, volume 3 has just been published by The Culinary Library and is available world wide on Amazon with a LOOK INSIDE function.ReplyCancel

  • Jess @ A Pinch of Thyme - August 8, 2014 - 9:02 am

    Wow! Both dishes look delish! Wish I was in Portland so I could come to the demo!ReplyCancel

  • Ursula - August 11, 2014 - 2:22 am

    I definitly have to visit you when I comet o Portland, your dishes look so deliscious! :)ReplyCancel

  • Des - August 18, 2014 - 3:09 pm

    The event looks like it was a huge success. Well; good food and good company just goes well together.ReplyCancel

  • Tamara - August 20, 2014 - 10:15 am

    Wow. The food looks amazing. I am definitely adding this to my bucket list!ReplyCancel

Summer Berry and Peach Crisp

First off: LOS ANGELES! I’ll be in Pasadena tomorrow evening (Wednesday) at Vroman’s Bookstore, 7 PM. Please come and say hi and ask me weird, unexpected questions about vegetables and color and blogging and photography and other things! It’ll make me so happy to see you.

Vibrant Food Launch Party

Vibrant Food Launch Party

Vibrant Food Launch Party

Also. I had a launch party for Vibrant Food. It was all friends and family, and it kinda blew my mind to have all of these folks coming together from so many different arenas of my life. My family flew up from San Diego. My dad became BFFs with everyone. It was a splendid shitshow pulling it all together. But nobody noticed that, which is amazing. With the tremendous help of my friends Emily and Jason, we served some dishes from my book: Summer Squash Pasta with Green Goddess Dressing, Red Beet Risotto, and Summer Berry Peach Crisp. I am so deeply indebted to my friends and family for all of their support. More on that when I have a moment to breathe. Meanwhile. Eat some crisp, enjoy summer. Happy 4th!


(Originally, I put lemon verbena in this crisp, which is what the green flecks are in the image above. If you’re feeling adventurous, try it! It’s lovely either way.)

Check out Megan’s version of this crisp. And Shanna’s!

And check out Adrianna’s version of the Summer Squash Pasta with Green Goddess Dressing!

This is all perfect 4th of July eating.



(Pictured throughout are outtakes of the Summer Berry Peach Crisp for Vibrant Food.)

  • Nader Khouri - July 1, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    I don’t know how you do it all so well!! Great party, that was fun!ReplyCancel

  • Jacki - July 1, 2014 - 1:33 pm

    I tried the links to look at the recipe(s) and the link for “Shanna’s!” says error, page not foundReplyCancel

  • grace - July 1, 2014 - 4:42 pm

    Love this recipe! (I’m posting a version of it tomorrow!) The party was so beautiful and so much fun.ReplyCancel

  • PassTheKnife - July 1, 2014 - 4:51 pm

    Wow, these recipes look great!! Such a great idea to do a lighter pasta in the summer time. Also the crisp looks to die for.. I think I will make it over the fourth!ReplyCancel

  • Alyssa - July 1, 2014 - 5:57 pm

    I really love the way your blog flows with the big pictures and less writing. And I just might try some of your recipes! They look delicious :)ReplyCancel

  • Millie l add a little - July 1, 2014 - 10:08 pm

    Looks so gorgeous and love the sound of your dad – he seems super friendly!

  • CINDY OWINGS - July 2, 2014 - 6:08 am

    Love berry cobblers. I try to put a surprise herb in cobblers, too! Basil works nicely with peach/blueberry, for instance. Also, try lavender! Have a great party! Maybe you will make it to Montana for a book opening?ReplyCancel

  • Gaby - July 2, 2014 - 4:35 pm

    Looks perfect for the fourth of July!! Would love a bowl right now :)ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - July 3, 2014 - 1:46 am

    This is definitely the next recipe I’m planning to try from your book – maybe even tonight! I had such fun seeing all the pics from the launch party on instagram; it sounds like it was a brilliant night : )ReplyCancel

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats - July 3, 2014 - 6:39 pm

    Assumed the green in the fruits was mint. Lemon verbena is infinitely more interesting. Will have to get my hands on some.ReplyCancel

  • Angela Brown - July 4, 2014 - 5:46 am

    Congrats on your book launch party! It looks like a blast! This is definitely my kind of summer dessert recipe! I still have a few baggies of frozen lemon verbena left over from last season (how I still haven’t used it all up is beyond me…), so a few rounds of this Crisp will be a good way to finish it! Enjoy the thrill of your book events!ReplyCancel

  • Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - July 4, 2014 - 7:06 am

    Everything looks perfect – stunning dishes! Also I wanted to say I received your book the other day and it is just lovely – it met all of my sky high expectations! //SonjaReplyCancel

  • Joyti - July 4, 2014 - 2:53 pm

    It was awesome. And your decor was gorgeous. Congrats!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchen - July 5, 2014 - 9:53 am

    Congrats on your book launch party! Looks like everyone had a lovely time and left the party with bellies filled with delicious food. This crisp looks like the perfect summer dessert. Bilberry season is just starting here in Scandinavia, and soon I can be found in the forests picking those blue jewels… I would love to make a bilberry version of this and share it with my loved ones!

    Wishing you an exciting July (which I’m sure you’ll have)

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche - July 6, 2014 - 9:52 pm

    wow beautiful post & photography, gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Paloma - July 14, 2014 - 2:19 am

    What a stunning recipe!!! And I love the pictures too.

    Thanks for sharing it.


  • Thefolia - July 15, 2014 - 3:10 am

    I love lemon verbena…I just bought one and placed it in my new kitchen. So far I have enjoyed the perfume it gives after brushing by it, I have photographed it for my blog post and used it for tea. Thanks for sharing this recipe can’t wait to use these scented leaves for this dish. Happy Nesting.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - July 16, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    This all looks fabulous — I just bought your cookbook, can’t wait to try everything!ReplyCancel

  • Irene @ {a swoonful of sugar} - July 16, 2014 - 10:58 pm

    Your book looks amazinggg! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! Congratulations :)ReplyCancel

  • Ami@NaiveCookCooks - July 18, 2014 - 4:49 pm

    I have been wanting to get my hands on your book!!I have been hearing so much good stuff!ReplyCancel

  • bryan farley - July 20, 2014 - 12:10 pm

    Your book is fantastic, though you have created more than an excellent book.
    It was a thrill meeting you today.

  • Jose Gomez - July 21, 2014 - 3:33 am

    Excellent! Everything amazingReplyCancel

  • Chiamatemizia - July 21, 2014 - 5:36 am

    Oh, i love your photos (also your recipes!).
    I bring them as inspiration for my food blog “Chiamatemi Zia”

  • Matt - July 30, 2014 - 12:54 pm

    Wow this looks great. Glad I stumbled onto thisReplyCancel

  • Maria Lopez - August 14, 2014 - 1:10 am

    The food and presentation looks amazing and delish! do you wear protection gloves whenever you prepare these dishes or just your bare hands?ReplyCancel

Cherry Ginger Cacao Granola Bites

With a summer of road trips ahead on my book tour, I’m gathering ideas for recipes and snacks that are ideal for travel. The Eating Well on the Road series is one of my favorites – perhaps because the anticipation and joy of travel is built into planning snacks and meals for the road. Thinking about food on the road means thinking about all the places I’ll be visiting.

Backpacking in Glacier national Park

Some quick news:

Speaking of that book tour, I’ve added a bunch of dates! A dinner at 18 Reasons, some solid Portland events, and more bay area events. Go check that out.

I’m having a small book launch party on Friday, June 20th in San Francisco! There are a few tickets still available! Use the code VIBRANT to gain access to the RSVP page.

The price of Vibrant Food will go up when it’s released – 6 days from now! – so now’s the time to jump on that pre-order if you’d like to secure the lowest price.

Cherry Ginger Cacao Granola Bites

Things are crazy around here, and I’ve got my nose solidly to the grind for the next two weeks. I hope to have a big blowout post next week celebrating the book process and sharing some outtakes. The countdown is on, and despite being really tired, I’m more excited than I’ve ever been in my life. It’s totally unreal.

Cherry Ginger Cacao Granola Bites

Yield: 18-20 bites
inspired by Bike Camp Cook

A couple months ago, I received an email about a cookbook that piqued my interest. It was a self-published book about a couple’s round-the-world journey by bike and the food that author Tara Alan prepared while they traveled. It’s filled with great ideas for using what you find locally, and making the most of what you have, and which ingredients to keep on hand when space and weight are precious. Being on the other side of a book now, I have a ton of respect for the amount of work that went into this project. The book is great for all kinds of travel eating and cooking inspiration. And this recipe is a great starting point for improvising – use your favorite dried fruit, nuts, and other crunchy tidbits, keeping the ratio roughly the same, and you’ll be a happy camper this summer. These are perfect for any kind of summer travel: a plane ride, long trips in the car, an epic backpack, or a stroll in the woods.

1 1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes
2 generous tablespoons cacao nibs
2 generous tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, cherries, almonds, coconut, caao nibs, and crystallized ginger and set aside. In a medium pot, combine the honey, almond butter, coconut oil, sea salt and cinnamon. Warm over a medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is hot. Pour in the dry ingredients, turn off the heat, and stir to thoroughly combine everything. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Use a tablespoon to make round balls. Press them together very firmly to help them hold their shape. Store in the fridge. They may become a little soft if taken along on a very hot day. But they’ll still taste good!

Cherry Ginger Cacao Granola Bites

  • Allyn - June 11, 2014 - 6:24 am

    I tend to make our granola ( and I was intending to make a big batch for an upcoming 11 hour flight (yikes!), but these seem like such a less messy alternative. They look so good!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - June 11, 2014 - 6:36 am

    Delicious! These look like the perfect thing to have on hand when you’re not sure what quality coffee the road will present…ReplyCancel

  • Yummy - June 11, 2014 - 7:31 am

    I really love it :) ReplyCancel

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats - June 11, 2014 - 8:43 am

    Using cherries instead of raisins, flaked coconut instead of shredded and adding crystallized ginger to boot…I think I’m in love ;)ReplyCancel

  • Megan Gordon - June 11, 2014 - 9:16 am

    Yeah, girl! That book tour line up is looking good (insert “pound it” emoji here). So happy for you and so in love with the book (there is a fruit crisp in my future this evening). Also: these are right up my alley. Love their versatility and adaptability — and they’ll be a lifesaver on book tour. I was a trail mix machine…I have a feeling, these would’ve been a smarter choice :) xoxReplyCancel

  • millie l add a little - June 11, 2014 - 9:33 am

    These look delicious – especially with the addition of almond butter!ReplyCancel

  • Alanna - June 11, 2014 - 9:46 am

    These sound so delicious what with the cherries and nibs. So excited for the book!ReplyCancel

  • kickpleat - June 11, 2014 - 10:21 am

    What a very cool sounding book – I love your travel bite ideas! Also, how exciting….good luck with your book tour!ReplyCancel

  • Our Food Stories - June 11, 2014 - 11:20 am

    looks SO good!! love it!

  • Lindsey - June 11, 2014 - 12:59 pm

    So super happy for you, Kimberley! I’m sure this is such an exhilarating time! Congrats, and can’t wait to get my copy next week!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - June 11, 2014 - 4:32 pm

    I have a ton of road trips ahead of me too, These are perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Five O'clock Shallots - June 11, 2014 - 8:18 pm

    Congrats! Sounds like it’s a wonderful experience! Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - June 12, 2014 - 1:47 am

    I love your Eating Well on the Road series so much – it’s always so inspiring, especially when I have a few weeks of travel ahead of me. These sound perfect and I’m always super keen to add ginger to my travel snacks for all the benefits that it has. I hope you manage to enjoy the craziness of the next couple of weeks! xoReplyCancel

  • shanna mallon - June 12, 2014 - 11:59 am

    So happy for and proud of you! High fives and big hugs from Nashville! xx -sReplyCancel

  • Jill Chapman - June 12, 2014 - 6:45 pm

    Hi Kimberley!
    I’m a BIG fan of your blog and recipes. I recently started my own blog (last week!) and I tested this recipe and posted my results! I’d love to hear what you think and any advice you may have.

    Can’t wait for your cookbook!


  • Ami@NaiveCookCooks - June 13, 2014 - 3:54 pm

    Kimberley, it’s all praises for your cookbook! Way to go girl! I am waiting to buy mine SOON!ReplyCancel

  • kristie @ - June 14, 2014 - 7:16 pm

    These looks so delicious! I must add them to my back country snack recipe list. And congratulations on the book! I can’t wait for my copy.ReplyCancel

  • Pearl - June 19, 2014 - 9:20 pm

    These look fantastic. I just managed to get a camp ground reservation in Northern Ca and will have to give these a whirl. Hope to make it to Omnivore’s Books to buy your BOOK!ReplyCancel

  • Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - June 21, 2014 - 10:37 am

    Oh, so excited to try this! Perhaps my kids will like these better than the usual fruit/cacao balls I make… Looks and sounds terrific!ReplyCancel

  • PassTheKnife - June 23, 2014 - 9:52 am

    These look delicious and energizing. Excited the give them a try!ReplyCancel

  • Gaby - June 25, 2014 - 3:51 pm

    What a good to go snack…send some this way!!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - June 29, 2014 - 9:55 am

    So many of my favorite ingredients in one recipe! YumReplyCancel

  • Lauren - June 30, 2014 - 8:17 am

    We go camping almost every weekend (spoiled, I know) and these would be great! A healthy treat with lots of flavor and some protein to boot. Perfect for around a campfire after a long hike. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • adrian @ the food gays - June 30, 2014 - 11:11 am

    these look fantastic! and full of such wholesome, good for you things. i’m going to raid my pantry and make these this week.ReplyCancel

  • Eliza - July 1, 2014 - 2:04 am

    Kimberly, fantastic idea, bites on the road. Creative photos mmm. ElizaReplyCancel

  • Chloe - July 2, 2014 - 7:52 pm

    This recipe looks delicious, but when I baked them it turned out extremely crumbly. Do you have any suggestions?ReplyCancel

    • Kimberley - July 3, 2014 - 9:07 am

      Hi Chloe,

      I’m sorry that you had trouble with these. I think the problem is that you baked them. They’re not meant to be baked; just cooled to room temp, pressed tightly into balls, and chilled. They can tend to be a little crumbly in hotter climates, which I noted in the recipe. If it’s really hot where you live, perhaps that affected them as well.ReplyCancel

  • jennifer - July 5, 2014 - 4:34 pm

    very healthy and amazing. i have to try this soon :)ReplyCancel

  • MJ - July 7, 2014 - 4:31 pm

    totally love the flavor of these but trying to make them into balls was sad sight…could be because it’s pretty hot here in LA today. but i pressed them into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper and hoping that will make them more managable to consume though i’d be happy just to stick a spoon into the pan and go from there :) sad i missed you at vromans, 10 minutes from my place!ReplyCancel

  • Blake Holman - July 8, 2014 - 12:53 pm

    This is the best treat! I will be bringing this to the office and make my day a happier one! Thanks!ReplyCancel

Rhubarb Strawberry Chia Pudding

Summer’s on the horizon. A couple weeks ago we had a pretty terrific heat wave, and I made this, and it was perfect. Rhubarb’s wonderful, tart flavor is front and center here. I love how chia seeds add a little texture and substance to the winning combo of strawberries and rhubarb. This is a variation on a rhubarb compote from my cookbook, in fact. (!!!)

Rhubarb Strawberry Chia Pudding

It’s not quite enough to stand on its own as breakfast, but add some nuts, or banana, or oats, or muesli, or even a small handful of granola, and you’re set. It’s the stuff of dreams when it’s already 80 degrees in the morning and you live in a city where AC is a foreign concept.

Rhubarb Strawberry Chia Pudding

I’m also pretty stoked on all the possibilities for taking chia seeds on the road in the coming months. More to come!

Rhubarb Strawberry Chia Pudding

Rhubarb Strawberry Chia Pudding
serves 4 to 6

3/4 pound rinsed and diced rhubarb
1/2 pound rinsed and quartered strawberries
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup chia seeds
handful of nuts for garnish, optional

In a medium pot, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, honey, and water. Slice the vanilla bean in half, scrape the seeds into the pot, and add the bean. Bring to a boil, covered, then reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally. Simmer until the rhubarb has broken down, about 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. You can expedite the process by chilling in the fridge.

When the compote is cooled to room temperature, add the chia seeds. Return to the fridge and allow to sit for at least two hours before eating.

  • Baby June - May 27, 2014 - 2:32 pm

    That looks absolutely divine! I love the vibrant colors, I shall try this sometime this season.ReplyCancel

  • Christina @ but i'm hungry - May 27, 2014 - 4:50 pm

    For some reason, this reminds me of my grandma’s rote grotze… Have you ever heard of it? It’s a German thing- currants or raspberries made into a pudding with tapioca. YUM. Same sweet/tart combo and similar texture. I’d love to try this!ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - May 27, 2014 - 6:22 pm

    This pudding sounds perfect!! Love that flavour!ReplyCancel

  • Elenore Bendel Zahn - May 28, 2014 - 1:18 am

    Whaaawawiwa! You won’t believe this but I made this exact chia pudding yesterday down to the very last ingredient (for this weeks post on Earthsprout)! Ok I admit it’s not like strawberries+rhubarb is a foreign concept but isn’t is amazing how the universe works?! ah well, so I already know this bowl tastes amazing! If you’re looking for more ways to get through the heat I made ice cream popsicles of the combo :)

    Best of luck on your Vibrant tour!


  • Kathryn - May 28, 2014 - 3:24 am

    Sometimes, I see a recipe that I just know I’m going to need to make and this is one of them. I can’t wait to have this for my breakfast one day very soon. (And that colour!!)ReplyCancel

  • Dice O'clock Shallots - May 28, 2014 - 6:27 am

    I haven’t ever cooked with chia seeds. This
    Looks like a great start. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen - May 28, 2014 - 6:58 am

    I can’t decide if I’m in chia pudding heaven or rhubarb heaven! Two of my favorite things in one perfect dessert…..I’m loving the heck out of this (and your beautiful photos)!!ReplyCancel

  • Grace - May 28, 2014 - 7:29 am

    Beautiful! I made a very similar chia pudding last week for breakfast. Paired it with a coconut cardamom spiced millet/buckwheat combo. These quick chia jams are perfect for abundant spring/summer fruit.ReplyCancel

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats - May 28, 2014 - 8:25 am

    Have seen lots of chia pudding recipes but never one that doesn’t have a milk/creamy base. This is would be like eating super fresh jam :)ReplyCancel

  • Lynn Duvall - May 28, 2014 - 10:34 am

    Do the chia seeds sprout in your tummy? That would make it even more interesting.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey - May 28, 2014 - 4:04 pm

    This is perfect. Absolutely perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Alanna - May 28, 2014 - 9:29 pm

    This looks delicious, Kimberly! Brilliant to thicken the compote with chia seed. Looking forward to more!ReplyCancel

  • Rok Jurca (ROKCO) - May 29, 2014 - 5:54 am

    This looks so nice. I love the idea with chia seeds. Thank you for shareing this lovely recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Dan - May 30, 2014 - 3:06 am

    Looks great and I bet it’s yammy :) will definitely try this weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Sequoia Vennari - May 31, 2014 - 8:07 am

    Stunning! And looks so delicious! Can’t wait for you book to arrive! <3ReplyCancel

  • More Than Red - June 4, 2014 - 2:48 am

    Looks perfect! Such a beautiful rich color! Perfectly red!ReplyCancel

  • More Than red - June 4, 2014 - 2:49 am

    Looks perfect!Such a beautiful rich color! Perfectly red!ReplyCancel

  • Vera - June 6, 2014 - 7:05 am

    I bought some chia seeds at the health food store but have not yet figured out what to do with them. We have rhubarb and strawberries from the garden right now, so this is a great idea – thank you!ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - June 8, 2014 - 4:47 am

    Just looking at this shockingly pink pudding makes me happy. Can’t wait to try it!ReplyCancel

  • Codrut Turcanu - June 9, 2014 - 1:24 pm

    I like chia, and I’d say it’s very delicious

    Not sure if I can find RHUBARB here where I live, maybe there’s an alternative you could recommend that goes with your recipe?ReplyCancel

  • Sonja {Dagmar's Kitchen} - June 10, 2014 - 1:24 am

    Hi Kimberley! I found your blog a couple weeks ago when your book suddenly popped up everywhere on my IG-feed. Love everything in here and this rhubarb pudding instantly caught my eye. A must try – very soon! I also just ordered your book and can’t wait to flip through it – it looks stunning. //SonjaReplyCancel

  • Valerie - July 21, 2014 - 4:04 am

    This pudding looks absolutely delicious! I love rhubarb and strawberries but I never tried a combination of these two. I’ll definitely go to the grocery store this afternoon and try the recipe this evening:) Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

Grilled Caesar Salad | the year in food

Years ago, someone anonymously posted a funny, slightly inappropriate comment on my blog, jokingly asking what one might do with wilted lettuce, among other things. I deleted the comment (which I kinda regret), and while wilted lettuce and grilled lettuce aren’t really the same thing, I’ve always associated them, perhaps because grilling lettuce wilts it? Anyhow, anonymous commenter, here’s what you can do with wilted lettuce. You can put it on a grill and make it into the most amazing Caesar Salad ever. Seriously.

Grilled Caesar Salad | the year in food

Summer’s almost upon us. As in years past, I’m making a to-do list of very important summer activities: lots of stargazing, campfires, hikes, tents, rivers, swimming holes, watermelon, popsicles, road trips, warm evenings, cold drinks, etc. On top of those important activities, I’ll also be meandering up and down the west coast doing this book tour thing. (!!!) I’m feeling pretty darn enthused about all of this: about summer, about having a real, tangible cookbook out in the world, about celebrating all of this with friends in a bunch of my favorite cities, about long road trips and lots of good music and podcasts, about the bigness of it all. When life feels big and wacky and crazy like this, I tend to listen to a lot of really cheesy music. Katy Perry’s on heavy repeat right now. Don’t judge. She’s perfect in her larger-than-life musical proportions, uninhibited earnestness and righteous lady power.

Grilled Caesar Salad | the year in food

I’m not often one for giveaways, but I grew up with Sunset magazine. It used to be my mother’s magazine, and now it’s my magazine. How did that happen? They’ve just released The Great Outdoors Cookbook, and it captures everything I love about summer eating. I have one copy of that book for one of you fine folks! Since this is a giveaway, here’s what I’d love to hear from you: those of you anywhere along the great west coast corridor that is I-5, share your favorite swimming hole, hike, local farm, or any awesome outdoor place to get your summer on. OR, share your biggest, cheesiest, most wonderful summer anthem with me. Perhaps it’ll make its way onto a summer road trip playlist as I meander up and down I-5 this summer. I can’t wait!

Grilled Caesar Salad | the year in food

adapted from The Great Outdoors Cookbook
Serves 4

6 anchovy fillets, rinsed and drained
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 hearts of romaine
Manchego cheese, shaved

Heat a grill to medium-high.

Using the flat side of a knife, mash the anchovies into a paste. In a small bowl, combine the anchovies with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, and whisk thoroughly.

Slice the hearts of romain in half lengthwise, keeping the core intact. Brush each cut half generously with the dressing, reserving a little dressing for serving.

Grill the hearts of romaine, cut sides down, until soft and golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove from heat and plate immediately. Drizzle remaining dressing, and finish with the manchego. Best served immediately.

  • Nicole - May 7, 2014 - 1:54 pm

    I’ve always wanted to make grilled caesar salad at home! Can’t wait to make this. I think I sing along my loudest to Huey Lewis and the News. If This Is It, Power of Love, Do You Believe in Love? Classics :)ReplyCancel

  • Annaliese - May 7, 2014 - 2:02 pm

    Caesar salad has been my favorite food since I was five. Excited to try your recipe!! Have a great time on the book tour, I will try to catch you at some point!ReplyCancel

  • Steven McGuire - May 7, 2014 - 2:03 pm

    Wow, this salad looks really awesome. It is so fresh, healthy and delicious at the same time. I am sure it will as good as the original caesar salad. i can’t wait to try this one. ReplyCancel

  • Five o'clock shallots - May 7, 2014 - 2:05 pm

    (I will deny this if ever quoted) but anything Britney, and especially If You Seek Amy gets me going. Great post. Sounds like awesome summer.ReplyCancel

  • Kari - May 7, 2014 - 2:23 pm

    So hard to decide… does HWY 101 count? I have to say a stop in Bodega Bay for some green grass meets the seas hikes.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - May 7, 2014 - 3:26 pm

    I love love love grilled caesar salad. It almost tastes like meat, I swear it. Thanks for the recipe and inspiration! I want that cookbook. It caught my eye while I was perusing the latest issue of Sunset. AND I want to share a splendid destination for you while you’re in Seattle. An easy hike (a walk really), but beautiful: Denny Creek. A totally flat walk along a raging ice cold creek that ends at a huge waterfall. It’s about 1.5 hours outside of Seattle, but a not-bad stretch of I-5. The hike takes an hour or so each way. If it’s warm here when you visit in July (and I goddamn hope it is), wear a bathing suit and bring along a bottle of wine. Big congratulations on your book! I hope you have a great tour – I’m looking forward to the Book Larder event here in Seattle.ReplyCancel

  • Emily - May 7, 2014 - 3:38 pm

    I’m excited to see what west coast hikes/swimming holes/etc people suggest! For me, a hike near Lake Berryessa followed by a trip to Berryessa Brewing is becoming a welcome tradition.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - May 7, 2014 - 3:55 pm

    I don’t know if this will be my anthem, but it was the first thing I thought of: Party in the USA.ReplyCancel

  • Emily - May 7, 2014 - 4:17 pm

    My favorite spot on I-5, between LA and the Bay is Tita’s Pupuseria Truck ( Delicious, giant pupusas hidden in a sea of fast food spots and gas station convenience stores.ReplyCancel

  • CINDY OWINGS - May 7, 2014 - 4:30 pm

    Love the idea of grilling lettuce! Going to put that on my summer list (if summer ever arrives here in Montana…snow this morning)! Great news on your book. Summer songs? I turn to my trusty little book “Campfire Songs’ chock full of old tunes that dyed-in-the-wool campers know. When I play “Where oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone’ on my melodica, all 3 of our wild dogs set to howling! Pretty hysterical!ReplyCancel

  • Allison - May 7, 2014 - 6:12 pm

    That sounds like a wonderful to-do list for summer- it is making me excited for the warmer weather and what I am looking forward to/ planning, as well. I like Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” (not sure if that is the correct title…). It is upbeat and reminds me of being young and carefree.ReplyCancel

  • Leah - May 7, 2014 - 7:19 pm

    Summer anthems change year to year, but Soak Up the Sun by Sheryl Crow will forever hold a special place in my summer music memoryReplyCancel

  • sahar - May 7, 2014 - 7:35 pm

    not gonna lie – our favorite place in the summer is the marymoor off leash dog park in redmond, our puppy can’t get enough of it!ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn!! - May 7, 2014 - 9:30 pm

    bon Jovi, always. Great for belting out while on a road trip! If you are the passenger, get some hair tossing in! I also love hiking in big sur and refueling at the big sur bakery with a baked good.ReplyCancel

  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health - May 8, 2014 - 7:33 am

    lovely salad, i dont eat grilled greens often but this is tempting me. that cookbook sounds lovely.ReplyCancel

  • Heather S - May 8, 2014 - 1:19 pm

    My favorite is Fort Worden beach in the summer!ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - May 8, 2014 - 4:03 pm

    I’m a fan of grilled lettuce and this Caesar salad looks soooo good. Today I was sitting in a coffee shop in Dublin and it was all music from the 1990′s– I felt like a kid again, it was great! Growing up in Arkansas, summer was all about driving the highway, windows rolled down, singing along with the radio.ReplyCancel

  • sue obryan - May 8, 2014 - 6:25 pm

    Grilled really is the best! Now I grill Radicchio, Endive, Frisee too because of the wonderful flavor it imparts, and besides it’s easier to eat then stabbing at the raw greens and the grilled greens sop up the dressings better!!!ReplyCancel

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats - May 9, 2014 - 8:05 am

    Had a super crispy char grilled romaine salad at Rose’s Luxury in DC and it was amazing. I would add avocados to this caeser recipe :)ReplyCancel

  • Madeline - May 9, 2014 - 9:08 am

    The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” has got to be one the ultimate summer anthem albums!ReplyCancel

  • jamie - May 9, 2014 - 12:30 pm

    Big & Cheesy :: Taste the summer? Duran Duran
    Appropriate on so many levels. The whole album in anthemic and big and super cheesy. I love it.

    Spot :: The big wide open of Summer Lake Hot Springs, SE Oregon. Avoid near burning man time unless you want to be with lots of burners.ReplyCancel

  • Deborah Knuckey - May 9, 2014 - 3:37 pm

    Would love your book…. and favorite CA summer place on a Friday evening after a long week at work is the Lagunitas brewery beer garden, with some live R&B, excellent beer, sunshine. A good way to unwind in Petaluma before heading South to San Fancisco or north to wine country.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - May 9, 2014 - 4:03 pm

    Summer Anthem- gotta be anything by the Beach Boys.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - May 10, 2014 - 2:44 am

    Gorgeous salad! Very excited for the release of your book! Also, your west coast summer road trip sounds absolutely divine. Since living in SF, my summer anthem has been ‘Follow the Sun’ by Xavier Rudd. Certainly, it’s the only way to survive the SF summers.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - May 10, 2014 - 4:27 am

    I wouldn’t call this cheesy, but I love waka waka in the summertime. Thanks for the give away!!ReplyCancel

  • Irina @ wandercrush - May 10, 2014 - 6:06 am

    Gotta love the tongue-and-cheek comments. Way to prove them wrong (right?), too! I remember being skeptical about grilled romaine, but tried it and realised that the grill is truly a magical thing. Will add anchovies in the equation next time :)ReplyCancel

  • Maschera - May 10, 2014 - 10:39 am

    This is the most testy Salad in the world. I taken many times. I think i will get more good recipe like that.

    Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Sara - May 11, 2014 - 10:00 am

    Gorgeous salad, can’t wait to get your book! Music always gets me going, and “bubble gum” pop music has a special place in my heart too:) “Not a Bad Thing” by Justin Timberlake is a favorite:)ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - May 12, 2014 - 10:13 am

    Calvin Harris ft Kelis: “Bounce”. I love that song and it reminds me of driving to Vegas which reminds me of summer. Really fun song!ReplyCancel

  • Carolsue - May 12, 2014 - 7:28 pm

    Whenever we are in the area, we go swimming at Pyramid Lake, which is located along Interstate I-5, about 20 miles north of Magic Mountain Amusement Park in Valencia California. Love it there!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} NetReplyCancel

  • Jessica - May 14, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    I am a Midwesterner so I can’t comment on a favorite West Coast spot, but I do live less than a ten minute walk from the lake, and I love to grill at the beach. I am definitely making a grilled caesar salad this summer while listening to Neko Case’s newest album (Just saw her live last night-amazing!).ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - May 14, 2014 - 5:25 pm

    This looks delicious, wow! Two of my most memorable road trip songs are “Graceland” by Paul Simon and “The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby and the Range…from my Dad’s mixed tapes in the 1980s :)ReplyCancel

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) - May 16, 2014 - 12:17 pm

    There is nothing better than grilled Caesar salad!!! It is the BEST.ReplyCancel

  • Sini | my blue&white kitchen - May 17, 2014 - 12:37 am

    Oh Kimberley, a summer with a BOOK TOUR sounds amazing! Hope you’ll share those moments with us as well (at least on Instagram!). This salad looks fabulous! Can’t wait to make this at our summer house. Summer anthem? There really is just one answer: the Beach Boys.ReplyCancel

  • Gaby - May 17, 2014 - 7:58 am

    Cougar/Terwilliger Hotsprings in Eugene, Oregon! Eugene also has beautiful community edible gardens and the ninkasi brewery. Much recommended.ReplyCancel

  • Heather | Heather Christo - May 17, 2014 - 6:27 pm

    Grilled caesar salads are the best! Great dressing recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Alex - May 20, 2014 - 6:15 am

    OK, I’m constantly saying that I’m not a salad person, but this looks absolutely incredible! I love the fact that you grilled the lettuce to give it some flavor instead of just tossing it into a bowl. I can’t wait to try out this recipe and try to make it vegan friendly!ReplyCancel

  • Alanna - May 20, 2014 - 10:14 am

    I was just ogling a recipe for this very thing in Sunset magazine last weekend – I’m enthralled! Love these beautiful photos, and all of these suggestions have me craving summer. I’m a huge fan of sipping a pint on the deck of the Tourist Club in Muir Woods on a sunny Sunday.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - May 20, 2014 - 10:00 pm

    Anyone catch the episode of Kitchen Nightmares a few years back when Chef Ramsey pretty much calls a restaurant every name in the book because they serve a Grilled Cesar?? … I LMAO every time seeing how trendy it has become (I mean, I laugh at Ramsey, NOT the salad)ReplyCancel

  • Piyaye - May 21, 2014 - 5:01 pm

    Nice pics… YummyReplyCancel

  • Monika - May 21, 2014 - 8:59 pm

    what a lovely twist! I’ll try that for sure in my backyard cement garden ;) And here goes a song from me Symmer Sun by Koop remixed by Marcus Enochson – I’m sure you’re going to love it (

  • Miachel | spiced curiosity - June 5, 2014 - 9:04 am

    Summer Anthem: Love Interruption

    Craving some “wilted” Caesar salad. :)ReplyCancel

  • isabelle - June 9, 2014 - 9:54 pm

    We love the tide pools near Cannon Beach, pretty standard. We love going up to Ebey’s Landing on Whidbey Island, perhaps too far off the I5 corridor? We don’t find the WA coast to be very swim-friendly, so for swimming we go to lakes and rivers.ReplyCancel

  • Alyssa - July 7, 2014 - 2:36 pm

    If you like blogs about food and foodie books then come check out my blog @! Keep in mind that I am a new blogger and it is for school :) Thanks!ReplyCancel