Happy Sunday, y'all!
A few weeks ago I found this great blog called Cookie and Kate that had 12 awesome kale salad recipes plus step-by-step photos for how to trim, chop, massage & dress kale for any kind of salad. Basically, you remove that big green stem or rib as it's called. Then you chop the kale or shred it into thin strips. Then you toss it in a bowl and massage it with salt until it's soft & pliable, which is actually a very important step. Then you dress it & toss the heck out of it. You can make it ahead of time and it will not wilt because kale is very hearty & strong. So if you make a kale salad for dinner and have leftovers, don't toss them out - pack them up for lunch the next day. And if you are having a dinner party, make your kale salad early - go on and make it ahead of time - get it out of the way so that you have one less thing to do. I made both the chopped brussel sprout & kale salad with maple tahini dressing (yum!) and the coconut & quinoa kale salad, which was very good as well, but the brussel sprout one was definitely a fave. It takes a little extra effort to remove the rib, shred the kale & massage it with salt, but I think it's well worth it.
You know what's a fun thing to do? Have a lasagna party! On Friday I dropped off three lasagnas and a killer roasted broccoli side dish at Lisa Z's house because she was having a family celebration. I made a roasted butternut squash lasagna with rosemary & sage. Then I made a lasagna bolognese (who doesn't love bolognese?). And then a chicken sausage, spinach & artichoke lasagna (such a great combo). All three were made with a béchamel sauce instead of ricotta, which is so creamy. The side dish I made is a recipe from my guru, Ina Garten. It's called parmesan roasted broccoli and it has pine nuts, basil & lemon zest and it's the bomb. You should make this broccoli dish - it will make you feel really good.
Speaking of Ina Garten, there's a great special on Food Network called Barefoot Contessa in Paris Part Deux. It's so good, you guys! Ina has an apartment in Paris and just like the Hamptons, she has a lot of fabulous friends. So she goes around to some of her favorite spots and makes delicious dishes & drinks with her famous chef & bartender friends. Each stop is better than the next - she makes a french style lobster roll with a beurre blanc at Frenchie to Go (I'm so into that name), a whisky sour at her favorite bar with an adorable bartender, a fish ceviche at a restaurant this cute american couple owns called Ellsworth. She finishes her day of cooking at Poilane Bakery with her gorgeous gal pal Apollonia and learns how to make french style sandwiches called tartines. At the end of the episode Ina & Jeffrey head out on the Seine on a private venetian water taxi tour to celebrate Jeffrey's birthday whilst they dine on pastrami tartine sandwiches, personalized mini bread loaves, a beautiful goat cheese & red wine while the beautiful sights of Paris loom in the background. All I have to say is that I want to be Ina Garten. Or be her friend. Or just somewhere in her orbit. I LOVE HER.
Shout out to my friend Robin C who wrote to me this week saying she made a "Rachel" dinner inspired by last week's newsletter. She cleaned out her fridge and made a lentil & veggie casserole topped with cheesy breadcrumbs, which she served with roasted squash, a salad & some leftover pasta. Way to go, Robin - that sounds deeeeeelish! You can find out more about Robin here on her blog, which is called The Foggiest Idea (isn't that clever?). I love when I hear back from you guys so keep on writing to me because I love hearing from you.