The Year In Food » Fine Seasonal Eating

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Every Green Thing: Herbed Frittata with Pea + Fava Shoots // the year in food

I have always loved that the Persian New Year, Norooz, coincides with the beginning of spring. It feels right, to begin the year anew now, when everything is crawling out from the heavy cloak of winter, the year’s new growth tentatively unfurling. It is the easiest time to slough off the old and look forward. Every year I am dumbfounded by the proliferation of the green and the fresh: the fluorescent tips of spruce and pine and the baby nettle plants poking out everywhere in the hills of Marin, the flower blossoms and flowering bulbs and tiny tree buds in San Francisco, the doves who announce their arrival on my deck daily and circle each other awkwardly before surprising into flight at the sight of a crow. That, coupled with the miracle that is that extra hour of golden light following daylight savings, makes this time of year a little intoxicating. I feel like I’m floating through the days, and those days are full of possibility.

Herbed Frittata with Pea + Fava Shoots // the year in food

There is nothing more perfect with which to celebrate this greenest season than the Persian kuku sabzi, an herbed frittata of sorts that is, as my pal Samin describes it, “mostly greens and herbs …. just barely bound together with egg, so it’s like eating a mouthful of greens.” It’s a traditional dish served at Norooz, the green herbs and eggs a perfect iteration of renewal.

Herbed Frittata with Pea + Fava Shoots // the year in food

I would like a mouthful of greens with a lacy web of golden eggs barely holding it together. It’s a flexible and forgiving dish – frequently it’s made with parsley, cilantro, dill and chives, but nearly anything leafy and green is welcome. I folded some pea and fava shoots into it – they are my own signifiers of spring. I love their subtle legume flavor and they worked beautifully in this context. Add whatever bright, delicate herbs or greens you like. Here’s to every green thing, and to long evenings, and to the possibility of the new.

Herbed Frittata with Pea + Fava Shoots // the year in food

Yield: 8 slices
Adapted from Louisa Shafia’s The New Persian Kitchen, with inspiration from Samin Nosrat

Herbed Frittata with Pea + Fava Shoots // the year in food

1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 bunch green onions or small spring onions, diced
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, stems removed
1.5 cups chopped greens, such as pea shoots and fava greens, or cilantro, dill, mint, or spinach
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
7 eggs, whisked
Feta, to serve
Sliced radishes, to serve

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat an 8 to 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium low heat. Add the garlic and green onions and sauté until soft, stirring, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the parsley and the chopped greens, and cook until just wilted, stirring often, about 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat.

Gently fold in the whisked eggs until incorporated. Place the skillet in the oven and cook until the center is firm, about 15 minutes longer. Set aside to cool for five minutes.

Serve with crumbled Feta and radishes, as Louisa suggests, or try mayonnaise and hot sauce, as Samin suggests. I ate it both ways: both were awesome.

  • Jeanine Brandi - March 19, 2014 - 2:30 pm

    Looks fantastic! I will try a version tonight with fresh spinach, parsley & ricotta cheese. Will post a pic on my blog at Here’s to spring…ReplyCancel

  • Lucid Food - March 19, 2014 - 6:03 pm

    Kimberley this is gorgeous – like everything you make! This is just how I like my kuku, super packed with herbs. I like the addition of the favas and pea shoots. Happy Norooz/spring equinox tomorrow! -LouisaReplyCancel

  • Laura - March 19, 2014 - 7:03 pm

    I’m a huge fan of the vivid/saturated nature of spring greens too. They barely seem possible after the muted mud tones of March ’round here. Their arrival and spring in general does feel like a suitable starting point, or at least an opportunity to see and take things in differently. Love the idea of this “mouthful of greens” frittata too, all herbed out with spring-y shoots.ReplyCancel

  • Julia - March 20, 2014 - 12:17 am

    I would say: Spring on a plate!ReplyCancel

  • Carly June - March 20, 2014 - 12:27 am

    This is exactly what I want to eat right now. Stunning photographs.ReplyCancel

  • Mimi - March 20, 2014 - 4:15 am

    That is one beautiful frittata!ReplyCancel

  • Eileen - March 20, 2014 - 11:15 am

    This sounds like the idea spring lunch! I’ve never even see fava shoots before–super interesting. :)ReplyCancel

  • cheri - March 20, 2014 - 1:20 pm

    Love everything about this, we make something similar, but you have made the greens the star of the show.ReplyCancel

  • Ileana - March 20, 2014 - 2:28 pm

    I spent last week eating my way through Vegas and Austin. We hit up buffets, bbq, and tacos, which leaves little room for salads, as vacation tends to go. Now that I’m back home I am craving greens like crazy! It’s been a lot of kale salads and sauteed mustard greens, and now I can’t wait to try this!ReplyCancel

  • Fawn @ Cowen Park Kitchen - March 20, 2014 - 3:25 pm

    Wow, those onions are incredibly beautiful. Nice picture! Now I want spring to happen, ASAP.ReplyCancel

  • Alex - March 21, 2014 - 5:47 am

    Wow, that looks great. Seeing it on the plate in the third picture, makes me want to try it now :)ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - March 22, 2014 - 7:21 am

    Look at all that green– gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Victoria - April 1, 2014 - 4:20 am

    Una tortilla deliciosa…
    Un saludoReplyCancel

  • Daniel - May 6, 2014 - 3:25 pm

    The best greens come fresh out of the garden. You can’t beat making salads and dishes from greens you have just picked.ReplyCancel

  • Michael - August 11, 2014 - 9:27 am

    Wow, this looks absolutely delicious. Everything looks so green and fresh. Shall add this to my to-cook list!ReplyCancel

Caldo Tlalpeno // The Year in Food

All winter I have been dreaming of winter. I know: most of you are ready for it to be done. You’ve had snowmageddons and polar vortices and ice storms and all kinds of ridiculous, frigid, challenging weather. In California, there’s been hardly any winter to speak of, owing to a different kind of ridiculous: our crazy, record-breaking drought. It’s been weird: record strings of dry, warm days that make typically cool and foggy San Francisco feel almost like the perennially warm Los Angeles. Many fruit trees need a dormant period of cold to bear fruit the next summer. Perhaps I am the same. A sense of the seasons makes the passing of time feel right.

Montana Winter // The Year in Food

Montana Winter // The Year in Food

Montana Winter // The Year in Food

That’s part of why I went to Montana: I ached to feel a deep sense of winter in my bones. And I got it in spades. It snowed every day. It was cold, and windy, and snowy, and invigorating. I snowshoed, cross-country skied, explored the snow-packed roads with big winter boots on, took my camera everywhere, witnessed a lot of magnificent wildlife, experimented with gluten-free sourdough (more on that soon!!!), and was really, really happy to have brought this soup along with me, where its flavor increased exponentially with the plummeting temperature. The cold and the challenges of winter bring the little luxuries of our lives into such sharp focus. I like to be reminded of these things.

Montana Winter // The Year in Food

Montana Winter // The Year in Food

Montana Winter // The Year in Food

There’s something lovely in having a period of time dedicated to rest, even if our culture hardly allows for it. I think that’s where winter becomes frustrating: when we have to function at the same level against circumstances that ask us to stay put and to pause. Soups are, I think, a celebration of slowing down, resting, and hibernation. A few weeks back I had a version of this at one of my favorite restaurants, Nopalito, and I was smitten. What I’m most blown away by is the simplicity and richness of the broth: it’s just vegetable or chicken stock in which dried chipotle chiles are soaked, and a can of fire-roasted tomatoes is added for good measure. Caldo Tlalpeño typically has carrots, chickpeas, and green beans, along with chicken and avocado to finish. Nopalito smartly added winter crucifers: cauliflower and brussels sprouts. I followed their lead with an abundance of leafy winter vegetables: magenta-hued orach (a wild spinach cousin), baby rainbow chard leaves, and baby rainbow carrots. Way to bring the color in winter.

Caldo Tlalpeno // The Year in Food

Caldo Tlalpeno // The Year in Food

Yield: about 6 servings

This soup is a little bit of a mash-up between caldo tlalpeno and sopa de tortilla. (Caldo Tlalpeno doesn’t traditionally have tortilla strips.) It does typically have chicken, but I made this version vegetarian. The framework is so forgiving. This is definitely a kitchen sink kinda soup: throw in the last of whatever’s in the crisper drawer. It’ll likely all taste good in there.

2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, rinsed and thinly sliced crosswise (or use diced onions)
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4-6 whole dried chipotle chiles
1 (15 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried epazote
2 large carrots (or 1 small bunch of petite rainbow carrots), rinsed and sliced 1/2-inch thick on the diagonal
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon sea salt
4-6 cups winter leafy greens, such as: orach, baby chard, baby kale, spinach, collards, etc
6 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips, optional
1 or 2 limes, sliced into wedges
Cotija or Feta cheese

In a large stock pot, melt a little butter or olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for another minute or so. Add the vegetable broth, chipotle chiles, tomatoes, and epazote. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add the carrots and chickpeas, and cook at a simmer until the carrots are cooked through. Add the leafy greens in the last couple minutes of cooking and turn off heat when the greens are soft. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the tortilla strips in a toaster oven at 300 degrees, or in a large pan over medium heat with a little oil, until crisp.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls, garnish with the cheese, cilantro, and tortilla strips. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

  • Ileana - February 26, 2014 - 9:11 am

    You make winter look good.

    Those magenta leaves of orach (great word) look positively surreal. Please send to Florida.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah Morgan - February 26, 2014 - 9:42 am

    Wow. I’ve been browsing the internet for a fortifying vegetarian soup and voila, this gorgeous post landed in my inbox. What a gift! I’ll make this for a weekend trip to a winter beach. What’s the spice level of the recipe, as you’ve written it here? I may need to tone it down for my peeps…ReplyCancel

  • Lynda - February 26, 2014 - 9:57 am

    I am with you in the winter department. At least I can enjoy your lovely photos and imagine…ReplyCancel

  • caroline - February 26, 2014 - 10:03 am

    i’ve been feeling the exact same way! i live in northern california and it’s so hot and dry all summer that if we don’t get the winter it really makes me crazy! if i wanted this weather i would have moved to los angeles… your snow pictures look perfect. THAT’s what winter is supposed to look like!ReplyCancel

  • sandra - February 26, 2014 - 10:15 am

    I love your shots of the winter wonderland. Almost makes me want winter to go on and on… almost but not quite. :)ReplyCancel

  • Alison - February 26, 2014 - 10:38 am

    I love reading the perspective of winter from those that live in warmer climates. By this time, in our Midwestern winter, I am aching for sunshine and warmth. While I love living in a place with such distinct seasons, winter always feels the longest. Your images are a reminder to me that there is beauty in all seasons. Just lovely.ReplyCancel

  • Asha - February 26, 2014 - 11:05 am

    I really do not like the cold and definitely not going out in it! But your photos make me want to change my mind. Love! :)ReplyCancel

  • Kimberley - February 26, 2014 - 12:23 pm

    @Hannah, good question regarding the heat. It really depends on how spicy your dried chipotles are, and that’s wildly variable. Mine were very mild, so I kept adding more and more, and it’s really what made the broth so special. I would start cautiously and hope for a mild batch of chiles.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ WVS - February 26, 2014 - 1:02 pm

    I love the way you love winter, and your photos make me so happy! Also, this soup looks perfect :)ReplyCancel

  • tara - February 26, 2014 - 1:38 pm

    I would love to see that buffalo picture printed super large. If ever you open a print shop, I will be first in line.

    Also, coming from the land of polar vortices, on a day so cold they wouldn’t let my kids play outside at recess, I am in first in line for this soup, too. Well done, pal.ReplyCancel

  • Elisabetta - February 26, 2014 - 3:00 pm

    Your photos are so simple and beautiful!! I’m waiting for the snow to come again here in italy.. even if flowers are already blooming!!ReplyCancel

  • cheri - February 26, 2014 - 7:36 pm

    This soup should help warm anyone up, it’s beautiful. Love your pics, so true about having time to rest, so important.ReplyCancel

  • EL - February 26, 2014 - 9:47 pm

    I live in Montana and we were actually having a nasty mild winter up until about a week ago when we finally hit the jackpot. Winter in spades. I live here for a reason!! Thanks for bringing winter with you.

    And the soup looks good as well.ReplyCancel

  • Eileen - February 27, 2014 - 1:05 pm

    I am definitely on the same page re winter here in Silicon Valley! I’ve always missed winter–the lack of a sense of time passing messes with my head, and I love the cold besides–but this year has been particularly weird. I think a hearty soup like this is a great way to get into a winter frame of mind!ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - February 27, 2014 - 1:15 pm

    I’m so glad you got that wintry experience you were hoping for! I certainly crave the reset of the seasons as well. Even thought I didn’t always relish the cold in Michigan, I appreciated how the seasons made me feel – I miss that. Also – this soup! Looks so warming and delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Kasey - February 27, 2014 - 8:47 pm

    You and me and Nopalito. We just can’t quit it. These pictures are magnificent, lady. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Irina @ wandercrush - February 28, 2014 - 3:51 pm

    Oh these beautiful photos have me missing the snow, too. I was surprised to find that London’s winter has been absolutely mild since I returned from a blizzarding New York… either way, I want this soup! Snow or no snow, smoky is the way to go before Spring officially arrives.ReplyCancel

  • CINDY OWINGS - March 2, 2014 - 9:36 am

    Love the idea of this soup! And, wondering if you were here in Montana for the BIG STORM, yesterday? Wish I had had the ingredients for your soup while we have been snowbound! Alas, no.We live in the Madison Valley, on the Madison River as it flows north out of Yellowstone Park! Frigid yesterday!ReplyCancel

  • Aubrey - March 2, 2014 - 3:21 pm

    That is one gorgeous bowl of soup. I love the Montana pictures, there’s something magical about that much snow. Then again we’ve had the snowiest winter in years around these parts and I can’t wait until its over. Slogging and clearing the snow for weeks just to get to work does take away some of that magic…ReplyCancel

  • Fawn @ Cowen Park Kitchen - March 4, 2014 - 3:57 pm

    This soup looks gorgeous.
    I wish my Seattle winter looked as glamorous and not-gloomy as your photos. Not that I’m hoping for snow…definitely not that.
    But I know what you mean about too much of the same season. Some contrast is always desirable.ReplyCancel

  • renee anjanette - March 6, 2014 - 12:18 pm

    I applaud you for making this project happen. It is so hard to do this most important work, yet the result is so worth it.
    Not sure who said: “The goal is to create work that is beautiful or meaningful, hopefully both.” You have with your work and I am an admirer:)
    Renee AnjanetteReplyCancel

  • Blake Holman - March 7, 2014 - 8:01 am

    Que rico! I’m going to try that recipe out this weekend! Soooo good!ReplyCancel

  • Jacqueline Russo - March 10, 2014 - 3:30 pm

    I was so anxious to try this beautiful soup that I decided to leave out the epazote because I was having trouble finding it. I loved it regardless, but I will definitely be trying it again!
    Your photos are exceptional and make me feel like I could make it through a second winter on this soup alone :-)ReplyCancel

  • Aisle24 - March 13, 2014 - 6:50 am

    This looks really delicious and the addition of the tortilla chips had the perfect salt combination.ReplyCancel

Pear + Cacao Nib Buckwheat Muffins // The Year in Food

I’m making my way to Montana, my power state, my spirit animal, my place. I have always wanted to go there in the winter, to experience it outside of its easy summer glory. This year Montana is my valentine. I will bundle up, go snowshoeing, and bear witness to its winter splendor.

Pear + Cacao Nib Buckwheat Muffins // The Year in Food

I made some muffins for the road. I wanted something with fresh fruit involved so it didn’t feel too cake-y, something befitting winter, something with a note of chocolate, and a nod towards the wholesome. I love what the right balance of buckwheat does in a baked good. Here it feels like winter incarnate: they’re dark, and just sweet enough, with a hint of bitterness and crunch from the cacao nibs, and they’re earthy and rich and fragrant with spices. Share them with everyone you love.

Pear + Cacao Nib Buckwheat Muffins // The Year in Food

Yield: 12 muffins

Dry Ingredients
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup demerara cane sugar, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup sliced almonds, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup cacao nibs, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Wet Ingredients
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup almond, soy, or regular milk
1 1/2 ripe red pears, cut into small dice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, yogurt, and almond milk. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry. Fold in the diced pear.

Evenly divide the batter among 12 paper-lined muffin tins. Top each muffin with a sprinkle of demerara sugar, sliced almonds, and cacao nibs. Bake at 350 degrees until the center is firm, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. The muffins will hold for a number of days, but the almonds and cacao nibs will lose their crunch over time.

Pear + Cacao Nib Buckwheat Muffins // The Year in Food

  • Katrina @ WVS - February 13, 2014 - 10:55 am

    Your photography always brightens my day. These muffins look perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Ileana - February 13, 2014 - 12:44 pm

    Still looking for my Montana. Have a great trip!

    And I feel the same way about buckwheat. Made some buckwheat waffles this past weekend. Perfect on a chilly morning.ReplyCancel

  • Grace - February 13, 2014 - 1:54 pm

    I’m envious of your valentine! Montana is on my list of places to visit in the near future. I hope you share some of your favorite moments from the trip. As always, these muffins look so good!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - February 13, 2014 - 1:56 pm

    I love this combination of heartiness from the buckwheat and juicy pear especially with those crunchy little cocoa nibs. Can’t wait to give these muffins a try.ReplyCancel

  • leela - February 14, 2014 - 3:44 pm

    these look so tasty! will definitely give them a try.ReplyCancel

  • Jasmine - February 14, 2014 - 7:08 pm

    These look delightful, Love the combo of flavours and your photos.ReplyCancel

  • kristie - February 15, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    So beautiful! Your photos are inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • Eleanor - February 15, 2014 - 10:33 pm

    My riff on these is in the oven as I type. In Australia it is summertime, but I still love the combination of buckwheat and chocolate. My version is with banana and pecans (and coconut oil in place of the butter for a dairy-intolerant version). Always love your posts Kimberley – so evocative and beautifully shot. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Eleanor - February 15, 2014 - 11:05 pm

    PS. They came out deliciously even with all my tweaks, but just wanted to check, did you use any raising agent?ReplyCancel

  • cheri - February 16, 2014 - 1:43 pm

    These look so good!ReplyCancel

  • Ashlae - February 17, 2014 - 8:58 pm

    These muffins. That last picture. SWOON. I hope you enjoyed (err, are enjoying) your time in Montana. I’ve been dying to get there.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - February 17, 2014 - 9:10 pm

    I am all about muffins right now and these look excellent! Love the crunchy cacao nib addition.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie Rowe - February 18, 2014 - 2:58 pm

    I hope you’re having a lovely trip!! The weather’s been all over the place lately, so who knows what you’ll get. I’m sure you have plenty to do and see while you’re here, but if you need any suggestions let me know :-)ReplyCancel

  • erin @ yummy supper - February 21, 2014 - 9:11 am

    Kimberley, I love your valentine’s gift to yourself. Good for you for getting out of Dodge. Your Montana photos on Instagram are stunning! I hope you are breathing all of that beauty in.
    Let’s get together when you’re back.

  • Alex - February 24, 2014 - 10:09 am

    Great recipe “buckwheat muffins” I’d say they would go down nicely with a nice cup of tea. Thanks for sharing :)ReplyCancel

  • Jenny @ BAKE - March 7, 2014 - 11:56 pm

    These photos are beautiful and your description is mouth wateringReplyCancel

Steel Cut Oats with Apples, Pecans and Toasted Coconut // The Year in Food

There’s a hike that I try to get to once a week. Nestled in the dramatic, golden Marin headlands, it starts above the Pacific coast just south of Stinson Beach, and makes its way determinedly up the mountain into Mt. Tamalpais State Park. Most of the time, it is the same tangle of trails that I fall into, instinctively. For a while I felt like I ought to explore new trails, step outside my familiar routine, understand the nuances of the park a little more deeply. Then I started to really appreciate going to the same place weekly. There are so many little details that are different, especially if I miss a week or two: the angle of the sun through the dark canopy of trees that I pass under as I make my way into the woods; which flowers are blooming, or not; the colors and textures of the forest floor; the hues of the grassy hills; which animals I might see or hear. (At dusk, I hear owls, other times, frogs, and often, seasonal cycles of birdsong; I’ve seen a young deer leaping out of the canopy; and once, a small, surprised bobcat.) And something else happens: because I don’t have to worry about where I’m going, I just get to be there. The mind relaxes differently when it’s not thinking about the how. Some weeks I go up there with so much angst from my life that I am not very much there at all. Others, I’m so deeply immersed in the shady cocoon of woods that I am caught off guard as dusk falls. Always, I leave feeling so much more like the me that I want to be.

Steel Cut Oats with Apples, Pecans and Toasted Coconut // The Year in Food

Lately I’ve been fiercely grabbing on to these rituals, those familiar, everyday acts that fill the pockets of our days. Walking through my neighborhood in the evenings, often along the same few roads, or making that same, satisfying preparation of my favorite vegetables, week after week. I think some of it is because so much of my life – especially my work life – is about the new and the unfamiliar, so much of it is me in at the deep end, that I need the anchoring that comes with familiar habits.


Oatmeal falls very much into this camp for me: it’s comfortingly familiar and it is very much a ritual of the morning. It’s one of perhaps three breakfasts in rotation most mornings of the year. To all the naysayers out there, give this a try. It’s got the texture and the sweet/salty balance that is sometimes lacking in this most everyday of breakfasts, and the nuttiness and toothsome qualities of steel-cut oats really redeems it. I like to mix it up a little, depending on what fruit’s in season, and vacillating between the ease of quick-cooking oats and the deeper satisfaction of steel-cut. I love what Megan has done with the initial toasting of the oats in butter; it’s kinda genius and the simplest little step for the depth of flavor that it adds. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and keep it in the fridge. And add nuts, fruit, cinnamon and cardamom generously, and maple syrup and even some toasted coconut flakes. These details make it feel both like you’re taking care of yourself and treating yourself. It’s a perfect ritual.

Steel Cut Oats with Apples, Pecans and Toasted Coconut // The Year in Food

Yield: 4 servings
adapted from Whole Grain Mornings, by Megan Gordon

I’ve been so excited for this gem of a book to be released. Now that it’s here, I’m smitten. Breakfast is such a rich subject, and Megan’s aced it. Steel-cut oats, I learned long ago, benefit from a little salt to bolster the sweet – don’t be shy here. Do whatever you like with them to finish, but give this method a whirl to start. The toasting of the oats is an awesome first step.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups water
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (use whichever kind of milk you prefer, of course)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For each bowl:

1/2 firm apple, diced
Coconut Flakes
Maple Syrup

In a medium, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat, warm the butter until it is frothy. Add the oats and toast, stirring often, until they’re golden and fragrant, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the water and almond milk, along with a generous pinch of sea salt and as much cinnamon and cardamom as suits your fancy, and bring to a boil, partially covered. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, stirring often enough to prevent burning, until the liquid is absorbed, about 25 to 30 minutes more.

To serve, top with the diced apple, a generous sprinkle of coconut flakes, and a small handful of pecan pieces. Finish with maple syrup – this is truly among the greatest of vehicles for this fine sweetener. Or start with the method above and finish with your favorite fruits and nuts. Regardless, enjoy.

  • Sophie - January 28, 2014 - 3:24 am

    So simple and gorgeous! In love!ReplyCancel

  • Maryea {happy healthy mama} - January 28, 2014 - 4:20 am

    I like the comfort of a familiar breakfast, too. My ritual is oatmeal, as well, but I rarely take the time to make the steel cut version. I need to, because I love steel cut oats. Thanks for the boost. I will try your recipe–I’m particularly interested in the toasting the oats in butter. I can taste the difference before even trying it.ReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food - January 28, 2014 - 5:33 am

    Winter allows me to focus a bit more on such rituals. I’m less likely to rush out of the house and I usually take these days to sip (not chug) my coffee and work on a little breakfast. That bowl looks wonderful… healthy and yet totally satisfying.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey (dolly and oatmeal) - January 28, 2014 - 5:49 am

    This was the first thing I read this morning; it was such a lovely welcome to envision your hikes through one of the most beautiful forests I’ve ever been to. And as someone who eats oatmeal every morning for breakfast, I will most definitely be trying to spruce it up a bit with these flavors!ReplyCancel

  • Elaine@JoinMeForDinner - January 28, 2014 - 6:48 am

    Your post reminded me that simple is always best, whether it’s a way to get daily exercise or what to have for breakfast. Reading your words first thing in the morning was a great way to begin my day. I think I’ll substitute walnuts for the pecans, just to make it a true cholesterol-lowering meal. Thanks so much for sharing it.ReplyCancel

  • Irina @ wandercrush - January 28, 2014 - 6:58 am

    I’ll have to agree vehemently about the comfort of oatmeal. Strangely enough, I never had it growing up in a Chinese household, but nowadays it’s a staple for even my early lunches. I’m a fan of the solidly savoury route, but a sweet and nutty bowl is a treat once in a while :) Beautiful post, as usual, and an inspiring reminder to get out and explore a hiking trail like I used to.ReplyCancel

  • Grace - January 28, 2014 - 8:15 am

    Just lovely! I need to get myself to Marin more often. It’s such an incredible oasis only 30 minutes away. Oats for me too are a comfort meal. Nearly always my breakfast but makes a great meal any time I just need somehing warm with a swirl of maple syrup. I’ll have to add this version into rotation, looks great!ReplyCancel

  • shanna mallon - January 28, 2014 - 9:54 am

    OK. That is IT. I have to try this method.ReplyCancel

  • erin @ yummy supper - January 28, 2014 - 10:02 am

    I find solace in the exact same places as you… walking in nature and cooking my favorite simple ritualized meals. Both are so grounding when life feels tumultuous and new.
    I hear you lady, this year is going to be a crazy adventure. But I am SO excited for your book and I’m guessing I’ll find solace in your recipes.

  • SG - January 28, 2014 - 10:14 am

    This seems like a good ritual for me to get in to. Mornings might seem a bit more bearable with this gorgeous deliciousness.ReplyCancel

  • Alex - January 28, 2014 - 11:04 am

    I know exactly what hike you are talking about, and love every inch of those trails. All the transitions from windswept hills to the dense, rainforest paths. It is so close to home, but such a world away. Funny how your favorite places and routines match others.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - January 28, 2014 - 3:32 pm

    Yes to the familiar indeed!! This looks fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Cohen - January 28, 2014 - 7:07 pm

    Those trails sound wonderful and I know just what you mean about rituals feeling oh so comforting. It gives the mind breathing space… Time to release and unwind. And it’s pretty awesome when you can truly get to know a place… Including all of the wonderful evolutions throughout the seasons and various times of day. Finding wonder in the ordinary is most extraordinary. :DReplyCancel

  • Kasey - January 28, 2014 - 9:19 pm

    New is wonderful, but we all need our routines. I think Megan’s oatmeal is a lovely mix of comfort and a little sparkle of something extra. Beautiful, lady!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - January 28, 2014 - 9:41 pm

    Kimberley we are loving Megan’s oats around here, too. So good. And your hike is one of mine: Kyle and I lived in Marin for six years, were married at the Mountain Home Inn, and have spent hours days years on and around Tam’s slopes … I love this whole piece, and you are so right that going to the places that are familiar allows us to be there in a whole different way. Yes to that, and to oatmeal too.ReplyCancel

  • ileana - January 29, 2014 - 8:06 pm

    I love Megan’s trick to toast the oats in butter! Next I want to try this move with April Bloomfield’s porridge made using half rolled oats and half steel cut oats.ReplyCancel

  • Chicken Biryani - January 31, 2014 - 5:08 am

    Thank you for the excellent and healthy recipe. I tried and relished the great taste of it.ReplyCancel

  • Chicken Biryani - January 31, 2014 - 5:11 am

    Thanks for an excellent healthy recipe. I prepared and loved the taste.ReplyCancel

  • Megan Gordon - February 1, 2014 - 1:44 pm

    Thank you for the gorgeous tribute to these humble oats! Love the combination of apples and coconut … perfect for this time of year! xoxReplyCancel

  • la domestique - February 5, 2014 - 1:26 pm

    Love this post and your words about the familiar. Since my husband and I uprooted and moved to Ireland I’ve been bombarded by the new. This post is a nice reminder to take comfort in the familiar. I look forward to working this recipe into my regular rotation of oatmeal.ReplyCancel

  • Sheelah - February 13, 2014 - 5:51 pm

    Love that hike too! (Assuming you’re talking Matt Davis/Steep Ravine/Dipsea). And this looks delicious :)ReplyCancel

  • Peter Gillespie - March 31, 2014 - 8:20 am

    Inspiring prose.
    I love oatmeal. Always have.
    Your piece about walking the woods, mixing the familiar with unfamiliar transformed good food and good memories into a favorite food and childhood memories.
    Who knows, you might even give up your day job to write this kind of stuff… only you would still have to worry about who would pay for it.
    Thanks for sharing.
    (found you through the Saveur Magazine Best Food Blogs contest)ReplyCancel

  • Peter Gillespie - March 31, 2014 - 8:23 am

    Please delete my previous posting and replace with this edited version:

    Inspiring prose.
    I love oatmeal. Always have.
    Your piece about walking in the woods, mixing the familiar with the unfamiliar transformed good food and good memories into a favorite food and childhood memories.
    Who knows, you might even give up your day job to write this kind of stuff… only you would still have to worry about who would pay for it.
    Thanks for sharing.
    (found you through the Saveur Magazine Best Food Blogs contest)ReplyCancel

Happy New Year, all! I was stoked to be on board again this year to shoot Bon Appetit’s Food Lover’s Cleanse. As always, it’s an inspired collection of recipes and it’s approach to cleansing is very un-cleansy. It’s really about celebrating whole foods and taking a break from processed foods, most dairy, and most sugar. A great way to head into the new year.

Follow along with author and recipe developer Sara Dickerman’s daily cleanse diary here!

A few of my faves:

Omelet with Red Pepper-Walnut Spread. This spread is so crazy good, on almost any protein:

The Greenest Tahini, perhaps my new favorite dressing:

The lunches are all composed of leftovers from the night before’s dinner. Great inspiration for incorporating vegetables and protein into big, hearty salads. Carrots, Watercress, and Chickpeas with The Greenest Tahini Sauce:

And this ridiculously good chocolate bark! Seriously amazing stuff, and so easy to make. Coconut, Pistachio, and Cacao Chocolate Bark:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

  • Grubarazzi - January 6, 2014 - 11:22 am

    This all looks SO good. Thanks for helping to inspire me with these gorgeous photos!ReplyCancel

  • Samantha - January 6, 2014 - 2:49 pm

    Excellent! I’ve been waiting for this.ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - January 6, 2014 - 4:27 pm

    I always look forward to the food lovers cleanse on BA, and your photos look fantastic as usual!ReplyCancel

  • Tabitha - January 6, 2014 - 8:37 pm

    Thank you! Thank you! Finally a cleanse that makes sense to me in a world of crazyfaddietfakefoodloseweightjanuaryshenanigans!ReplyCancel

  • - January 6, 2014 - 10:37 pm

    Kudos! Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer @ Delicious Everyday - January 7, 2014 - 1:53 am

    That red pepper walnut spread looks absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to try it. It almost looks like a meaty bolognese.ReplyCancel

  • erin @ yummy supper - January 7, 2014 - 9:08 am

    Kimberley, delicious photos once again! It may be cliche, but I’m enjoying eating cleaner with the new year. After all the holiday indulgence it’s nice to give my belly a little T.L.C.
    Can’t wait to see you next week! xoxo EReplyCancel

  • sara - January 7, 2014 - 4:09 pm

    Gorgeous photos! We’re not doing the whole cleanse but we tried a couple of recipes this week and loved them…that red pepper walnut sauce is insanely good!!ReplyCancel

  • Golden - January 9, 2014 - 2:07 pm

    Stunning.. Really nice photos.. was looking all day for something like this, I can’t wait to try it.ReplyCancel

  • Ruth Leslie - January 9, 2014 - 5:26 pm

    I discovered Tahini when I moved around the corner from a Greek restaurant. It’s really delicious and actually very simple to make.ReplyCancel

  • Shari - Simply Shari's Gluten Free - January 12, 2014 - 10:44 am

    Ahhhh! They all look amazing, but I’m off to get that green tahini dressing recipe right now. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • EL - January 16, 2014 - 9:16 pm

    I love a lebanese dip/spread called muhammara. It is made from roasted red pepper and walnuts.ReplyCancel

  • Adam - January 17, 2014 - 7:33 pm

    These all look wonderful! I so want to try that chocolate bark!ReplyCancel

  • Adam - January 20, 2014 - 10:54 am

    Really enjoyed reading your blog. Some really nice dishes and really impressed! Check out my blog as well, Hopefully we can share recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Chad - January 20, 2014 - 4:05 pm

    I just bought a new jar of tahini and will have to give The Greenest Tahini a try. Thanks for posting.ReplyCancel

  • Greg Urbano - January 21, 2014 - 7:25 am

    They all look delicious but the chocolate bark is my fave!ReplyCancel

  • Perry @ Restaurants ketchum ID - January 27, 2014 - 7:50 am

    I really appreciate how you pull out such a great dish that many people could learn to. You truly have inspired a lot of people who are into this thing too.ReplyCancel

  • Calvin - February 20, 2014 - 8:36 pm

    Very nicely done; the colors and lay out would probably be a good way to tempt kids into trying and finding more vegetables for their diet. Beautiful pictures.ReplyCancel

  • Canal Cook - March 21, 2014 - 1:34 am

    This all looks gorgeous. I’ve been looking for healthy inspiration after a few busy months of eating way too much comfort food, these recipes look perfect.ReplyCancel