Cauliflower Picante– AKA Ode to Stonehouse Hot Chili Olive Oil

An uncontested gem in San Francisco is the iconic Ferry
building, a waterfront foodie paradise that houses some of SF’s most inspiring food-trepreneurs.  The Ferry Building is always alive with a special energy – a unique mix that stems from its prized location, its history and the sensuous smells wafting through– and it comes to life in a particularly special way on Saturday mornings at its massive farmers market that wraps around the entire building.  I am lucky to live relatively close by, and frequent this gem almost every Saturday morning.  On these
weekly jaunts, one of my favorite long time staples has always been Stonehouse Olive Oil where you can sample 10+ olive oils in flavors ranging from bold to buttery to grassy to spicy.  Today I was craving spicy, so
I bought their Hot Chili olive oil that inspired this super simple, four
ingredient, 30 minute double spicy cauliflower recipe.

Ingredients:
1.One head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
2.3 tablespoons of Stonehouse Hot Chili Olive Oil
3.Sea salt sprinkles
4.Red Pepper flake sprinklesDirections:
1.Preheat oven to 375.
2.Put the cauliflower in a large plastic bag
3.Add sea salt and red pepper flakes to your taste liking inside the bag and shake it so the cauliflower is well coated.
4.Place cauliflower in a greased or foiled baking dish and bake for approximately 30 minutes (toss at the halfway point) until it gets nice and charred.

Rosemary Sweet Potatoes with Maple Tahini dipping sauce

This has been one of my classics that I’ve been making since college. It’s super simple with sweet potatoes, garlic, onion and rosemary, paired with a sweet and salty, creamy, tahini-based dipping sauce for a healthy snack or a mini meal.  Enjoy!

Ingredients (for about 5 servings:
Sweet Potatoes:
1. 5 sweet potatoes
2. 1-2 rosemary sprigs (If anyone lives in SF and needs some, we have an abundant bush and happy to give some away!)
3. 1 garlic clove
4. 1 small red onion
5. Olive oil
6. Salt


Tahini Sauce:
1.5 tbspn tahini
2. 1 tbspn maple syrup
3. Sea salt to taste

Directions:
1. In a large pot boil water and once boiling, submerge the sweet potatoes for about 10 minutes.  This will cook them through only partially and will make them easier to slice into wedges and you won’t need to bake as long.
2. Once cooked, slice the sweet potatoes into wedges and put these in a baking pan. 
3. Toss all other ingredients — onion, garlic, rosemary — in the baking pan and generously drizzle some olive oil on top, and add some salt sprinkles on top as well.
4. Bake at 375 for ~50 min.  At the midpoint toss around to prevent some pieces from burning.

Sauce:
To make the sauce, in a small mixing bowl combine the tahini and maple syrup.  Add just a touch of salt . Optional: If this is too sweet for you and you want to balance out the sweetness, 1 tbspn of garlic olive oil will mellow out the sweet profile. 

Vegan chimicurri with oven baked pita chips

When I was 25, I was privileged to spend 2+ years living and working in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  I was already a vegetarian by then so all the infamous “parilladas” or steakhouses didn’t excite me, but I certainly went to many throughout my stay, often as part of the requisite hosting tourist friends stopping through and eager to try the famed Argentine steak.  What did excite me, however, were the succulent veggie side dishes, and one that always stood out above the rest was the chimichurri dip, an herby, garlicy, olive oil rich drip that is bright and fresh and a treat for the the senses.  Many years later, I was craving some chimichurri with warm baked pita chips and recreated a vegan version with parsley, cilantro, garlic, walnuts, olive oil and some spices.  It was the perfect fragrant, warming treat on this grey rainy day in SF.  It is delicious simply spread on warm bread, but could also be a great accompaniment to veggies (cooked or raw), pasta and more.  Enjoy!

Chimichurri Ingredients:
1. 1/2 bunch of cilantro
2. 1/2 bunch of parsley
3. 2 garlic cloves
4. 1/2 cup or 1 ramekin of walnuts
5. 1/2 cup of olive oil
6. squeeze of lemon
7. salt and pepper to your taste preferences
8. Optional: add 1 tbspn nutritional yeast if you want to add a slight cheesy flavor (I did and really liked it). 

Directions- Chimichurri:  Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it’s well blended but still has a slight chunky consistency.  Top with extra olive oil and salt if needed.

For warm pita chips, I like to use whole wheat pita, cut into triangle wedges,  brush with olive oil and salt and bake on 400 for a couple minutes per side until they get nice and toasty.  They are so moist and delicious straight out of the oven!

Vegan pesto stuffed baby bellas

My boyfriend and I decided to host a last minute pre-holiday potluck and these made a really tasty appetizer.  I made the raw vegan pesto the day before. Even though it doesn’t have cheese, the pine nuts and olive oil have a very flavorful richness so you won’t be missing the dairy!

Ingredients:
1. 1 bunch of fresh basil
2. 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic
3. 2 cups of pine nuts
4. 1/4 cup olive oil
5. Sea salt – I don’t measure so start low and add as you like!
6. 12 small portobello (or other) mushrooms with stems removed

Directions:
1. Combine ingredients 1-5 in food processor and pulse until you get desired consistency.  Mine came out somewhat thick so more like a dip than a sauce, which worked well in the warm mushrooms
2. Brush the mushrooms with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in 350 for about 15-20 minutes.  Add pesto and bake another 5 minutes

Serve hot and enjoy!!!