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.