if there were ever a kind of food i could just eat, and eat, and eat, i would say that california fare would be my everyday go-to. it almost seems like you can taste the difference in the food that restaurants prepare, as if their ingredients haven't been flown in from thousands of miles away, but grown only a few miles from where their destination would end up being. i feel like there's a natural ease to the way dishes are made - a simplicity that's complex, but uncomplicated.
during my last trip there a couple of months ago i scored reservations at gjelina. after purchasing their cookbook months prior, all i wanted to do was go there and eat from their menu! and since my sister-in-law and i were both pregnant, it was the perfect time to indulge in some perfectly made veg-centric appetizers and some bites of their insanely delicious pizza. we started off with a few salad apps: summer squash with za'atar and tomatoes, roasted yams with yogurt and scallions, and my fave - a horseradish potato salad with pickled red onions that was off the chain!
you may have noticed that i have a thing for potato salad (seen here and here), but there's a very specific potato salad that really makes my tastebuds grin, and that's a mildly creamy, kinda tangy, and crunchy potato salad. this time around i riffed gjelina's version and made an everyday, vegan version made with cultured coconut yogurt flavored with a pungent kick of horseradish, some good dijon and dill. and paired with pickled shallots for some mega crunch and sharp flavor. it comes close to one my mom used to prepare in the summer months which had a similarly acidic undertone using mayo, dijon, vinegar, and red onion, but i would say this version here is even better - that horseradish and those crunchy shallots are just too good!
this is the kind of food (pregnant or not) that i crave on the regular - especially during the warm summer months when we're bbq'n, packing up for a beach day, or bringing dishes to friends or family get togethers. these simple, uncomplicated summer dishes are what i look so forward to! i hope you do as well :)
*oh! and don't forget to stop by every friday for my new summer blog series: summer fridays! this week i'm going to be sharing my go-to fancy (but not really fancy) mocktail that i've been surviving on in lieu of popping bottles of rosé. but for those of you who are not growing a tiny human, the recipe is totally adaptable for making it good and boozy ;)
adapted from gjelina: cooking from venice california
the pickled shallots can be replaced by thinly shaved shallots or red onion, but if you have the ingredients and time, i think the pickling is well worth it.
| serves 4 |
* 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, cut in half * fine sea salt
* 2 cups filtered water * 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar * 1 tablespoon cane sugar * 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt * 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns * 1 bay leaf * 4-5 shallots, sliced thin * 3 thyme sprigs
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cultured coconut yogurt * 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill * 1 tablespoon dijon mustard * 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish * fine sea salt & fresh pepper
method 1. place potatoes and a few pinches of salt in a pot and cover with about 1-inch of water. bring to a boil, cover and turn heat to low, simmer for 12-15 minutes, until potatoes are firm but tender. drain potatoes and rinse under cold water to stop them from cooking. spread them out on a dish towel and allow them to cool and dry. 2. make the pickled shallots. combine the water,vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a small pot. bring to a boil, then lower heat and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes. 3. while the vinegar mixture is simmering, place the shallots and thyme in a large heat-proof glass jar (like a Ball jar), then pour the brine over top and let it sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before using, or up to 1 month in the fridge. 4. make the sauce. whisk together the yogurt, dill, mustard, horseradish, and salt and pepper to taste. 5. in a large bowl, combine the potatoes, sauce, and about 1/4 cup of pickled shallots. toss to coat evenly. garnish with extra dill and/or nasturtium leaves.
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