For whatever reason, salads are something I don’t share that often on the site. Yet in all honestly, they usually go down at least a couple of times a week in our home along with typical Buddha bowls, burrito feasts and dahl nights. With the weather starting to brighten up (a little, but not much in Vancouver), we are definitely craving more of the fresh crunch and crispy veggie vibe and less of those warm cozy winter feels. Last weekend we got the patio all cleaned off, set out fresh pots of pansies, and made good headway on our new herb garden. One of the driving forces behind my desire for a fully stocked herb garden this year was knowing that my friend Lily’s herb and floral themed book, Kale + Caramel Recipes for Body Heart and Table, was coming out on May 2nd.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with Lily’s site, Kale and Caramel. You’d be hard pressed to browse Pinterest and not come across one of her gorgeous photos of mouthwatering dishes. And while she is a culinary wizard, her incredible way with food is matched only by her storytelling. The first time I read her blog, I was swept away in a sea of magical tales of love, the utter heartbreak of everyday life, and the beauty and humour that accompanies it. Her words flow and dance on the page, and in so doing reveal her journey and humanity. In some magical way she lets you into her world like a big sister who is revealing to you the secrets of life she’s learning along the way. This is authenticity in an inauthentic age. An age where I feel so many of us stick to safe and usual blog tales of Spin Class and and gluten intolerance, Lily is there breaking the fourth wall of the blogosphere talking about important life issues of love, sex, heartache, and joy. Of politics, human rights, society’s’ wrongs, and woman hood. Of real life in it’s truest form.
Kale + Caramel Recipes for Body Heart and Table is no exception. It is a love letter to life, to nature, and most importantly, to love itself. In the book Lily delves into the healing and culinary powers of eight common herbs and four edible flowers, weaving each and every one of them together with beautiful and personal tales grounded in her Maui childhood. Her naturalistic spin on living is fresh, exciting, and teaming with new and enlightened ways to use our most familiar herbs. The recipes are fun and creative from sweets like Sage Salted Caramel Ice Cream, to body products like Jasmine Facial Oil, and mains like Tomato Soup with Thyme Crusted Grilled Cheeses. It seriously has it all. Like no other cookbook I’ve read lately, this is a book to nourish your body, mind, and soul.
Choosing a recipe from the book to share was a challenge, but after much deliberation, I settled on this Chopped Greek Salad because 1) I was feeling spring/summer vibes, 2) I have plenty of mint in the garden! and 3) I seriously love Greek Salad. And this Greek Salad is like THE Greek Salad. It is warm, crunchy, salty, and creamy. The addition of the chopped toasted pita gives it a panzanella feel, the mint gave it brightness, while the crispy and salty cumin fried chickpeas make this salad substantial enough as a lunch main for 2-3 people. The original recipe call for feta, but I simply subbed some homemade almond feta (recipe below). If making your own feta isn’t your thing but you’re still searching for a vegan option, marinated tofu in oil, vinegar, and Mediterranean herbs would also do the trick.
Next on our agenda is the Balsamic Lentils with Roasted Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Oregano Cream; Lemony Fennel, Radish, and Kale Salad; Coconut and Rosemary Scalp Rub; and the Pink Grapefruit Cucumber and Rose Skin Quencher (for the third time this week). Here are some other recipes from Kale + Caramel Recipes for you to check out!
- ZUCCHINI BASIL SOUP – KALE + CARAMEL
- CARROT, FETA & PISTACHIO SALAD WITH ORANGE BLOSSOM TOSS – Ful-Filled
- GRAPEFRUIT, CUCUMBER AND ROSE SKIN QUENCHER – TENDING THE TABLE
- BLACKBERRY BASIL HEALING MASK – FLOATING KITCHEN
- FRESH FENNLE APPLE LIMEADE – FEED ME PHEOBE
- ROASTED LEMON MINT PESTO + RICOTTA TARINES – SNIXY KITCHEN
GREEK CHOPPED SALAD WITH CUMIN-FRIED CHICKPEAS, TAHINI MINT DRESSING, + VEGAN FETA
Copyright © 2017 by Lily Diamond from KALE & CARAMEL: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Photos copyright © 2017, Lily Diamond
Serves 4. Print Recipe Here
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 (15-ounce) Can Chickpeas, Drained
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
GREEK CHOPPED SALAD
4 1/2 Cups Chopped Romaine Lettuce
1 Cup Chopped Cucumber
1 Medium Tomato, Sliced, Seeded, and Chopped
1/2 Cup Pitted Kalamata (or other Greek style olive) Pitted, and Chopped
1 Cup Loosely Packed Fresh Mint Leaves, Chopped
1 Cup Chopped or Crumbled Feta (I made a vegan one, recipe below)
2 Pita Rounds (4-6 Inches)
Olive Oil for Toasting
TAHINI MINT DRESSING
1/4 Cup Tahini
1/2 Cup Water
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 Clove Garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
1 to 2 Tbsp. Mint
- Make the Chickpeas. In a frying pan heat the oil to medium and add the garlic, cumin and salt. Once it becomes fragrant add the chickpeas and salt. Toss the chickpeas in the pan to coat them oil then let them cook in an even layer for 5-7 minutes or until the skins brown and they begin to get crisp. Set the chickpeas aside and reserve the pan for the pita.
- Make the salad. Place the lettuce, cucumber, tomato, olives, mint, and feta in a bowl. Drizzle the pita with a little oil and toast them on both sides in the seasoned pita pan oven medium heat until they crisp up. Chop the pita into little triangles.
- To make the dressing, combine the tahini, water, oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add the mint leaves and pulse until they’re just little flecks.
- Add the cooled pita triangles to the salad along with the chickpeas,and toss along with the dressing. Serve immediately.
1 Cup Blanched Almonds, soaked overnight
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 1/4- 1 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
2 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
1/2 Cup Water
- Drain the almonds and add them to a high speed blender with the lemon juice, oil, salt, garlic, and nutritional yeast. Begin to puree while slowly adding the water. Continue to blitz until the mixture is smooth.
- Scoop the nut mixture into a nut milk bag, or a cheesecloth line sieve, and let the cheese drain in the fridge for 6-8 hours.
- After the cheese has drained, spread it on a parchment lined pan to a 6 inch round and bake for 30 minutes at 135 c (275 F).
- Once the cheese is cool, keep it in the refrigerator for about a week.