Beauty

New Year's Resolution: Eat Well

January 11, 2017

If you haven’t been to eat at Sqirl in Los Angeles, you’re seriously missing out. (If you need an even better idea of what exactly you’re missing out on, take a scroll through their Instagram feed.) Jessica Koslow is the brains behind the jam company turned hip restaurant and released her first cookbook last year. Here she is sharing two recipes from Everything I Want to Eat that will help you get into the (healthy) swing of 2017.

TURMERIC TONIC

We’ve gone through ten juicers this year—all in the name of Turmeric Tonic.

Makes 1 quart (1 L); serves 6 (GF, VV)


¼ cup (50 g) sugar
¾ cup (180 g) fresh lemon juice (from 4 or 5 small lemons)
2-inch (5-cm) piece of ginger
12 (2-inch/5-cm) pieces fresh turmeric root
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

FIRST, MAKE SIMPLE SYRUP

Combine the sugar and ¼ cup (60 ml) water in a small pot over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Once it has completely dissolved, remove from the heat and let cool.

Pour the simple syrup into a 1-quart (1-L) jar. Add the lemon juice and 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (495 ml) cool water. Chop the unpeeled ginger root and put it through a masticating juicer to yield 2 teaspoons ginger juice. Do the same with the turmeric root to yield ½ cup (120 ml) turmeric juice. (You might want to wear gloves when handling the turmeric root because it’ll temporarily stain your fingers yellow.) Add the juices to the jar, screw on the lid, and shake well.

To serve, put 2 ice cubes in each glass and pour in the turmeric tonic. Sprinkle with a few grinds of pepper, if you like.

WANT A SUGAR-FREE VERSION?
Instead of making simple syrup, make honey syrup by combining ¼ cup (85 g) orange blossom honey and ¼ cup (60 ml) water in a small pot over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the honey, then remove from the heat and let cool. I use orange blossom honey because it has a very friendly flavor and because some people are allergic to buckwheat honey, which is a little darker and has a more pronounced caramel flavor. Either works well.

NOTE ON TURMERIC WITH BLACK PEPPER

After breaking my ankle a few years ago, I went looking for anything with lots of naturally occurring anti-inflammatory compounds that would help out a lady who stands in the kitchen all day. I found turmeric, a rhizome that looks like ginger’s colorful cousin, and I liked it so much, I started incorporating it into the food at Sqirl. Turns out, our bodies absorb turmeric better in the presence of black pepper. In other words, there’s proof that a glass of turmeric tonic really does go well with the Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl (page 63). If I’m just sipping on turmeric tonic alone, I like to sprinkle a few grinds of pepper into my glass.


Brussels sprouts two ways

SHAVED RAW AND PAN-ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH ROASTED PEARS


A lot of chefs use the great trick of highlighting an ingredient by using it in two different ways within the same dish. If you’re making a beet salad, you could emulsify some of the cooked beets and use them in the dressing. You can do this easily with both fruits and vegetables. In this recipe, I borrow that trickery and use it as a way to get more pear into the dish.

Serves 6 (V)

2 to 3 Warren pears (1 pound 5 ounces/600 g total (see Note)
6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Fine sea salt
½ cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds 10 ounces (1.1 kg) Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
¾ cup (130 g) pomegranate arils (from ½ medium fruit)
¹⁄³ cup (45 g) toasted chopped hazelnuts
¼ cup (13 g) lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
½ lemon
Cut the pears lengthwise into quarters, scoop out the cores, and trim off the stems.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a wide pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 pear (4 quarters), cut-sides down, to the pan and cook until lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes. Rotate and caramelize the other cut sides for another 1 to 2 minutes, until tender but not mushy.

Transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the champagne vinegar, honey, and ½ teaspoon salt. Blend until completely pureed. Then, with the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil and continue blending until the dressing is emulsified.
Cut 1 pound (455 g) of the Brussels sprouts in half. Doing so will cause some of the outermost leaves to fall off. Keep the loose leaves in a little pile on your cutting board.
Return the pan to the stove and heat over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons (60 g) butter. As soon as the foam subsides, add the cut Brussels to the pan, arranging each one cut-side down. (I know this seems like a pain, but it will ensure that the sprouts cook evenly.) Cook, without stirring the sprouts, for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip, season evenly with ½ teaspoon salt, and cook the rounded sides for another 2 minutes.

Add the reserved outer leaves and the sherry vinegar, and shake the pan to distribute. Cook for 10 more seconds, just to wilt the leaves, then transfer to a plate.

Shave the remaining raw Brussels sprouts thinly on a mandoline. (Fingers, be careful!) This takes forever with a knife, but a food processor fitted with a slicing/shredding blade would also work. Toss the shaved sprouts into a large bowl. Add the pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts, parsley, about three-quarters of the dressing, and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to coat everything well. Taste, adding a bit more salt or dressing, if you want. Thinly slice the remaining pear quarters. Serve the salad with the pan-roasted Brussels and the sliced pears tucked in. Finish with a big squeeze of lemon juice, and a handful of parsley on top.

NOTE ON WARREN PEARS

Warrens are super sweet and have a velvety, grit-free texture like butter that gives this dressing great body. If you can’t find any, use Red d’Anjou.