45+ Vegetarian Brunch Ideas

This article was written and published by Oh My Veggies. It may not be reproduce or republished without permission of the author. The original article can be found here: 45+ Vegetarian Brunch Ideas.

This article was written and published by Oh My Veggies. It may not be reproduce or republished without permission of the author. The original article can be found here: 45+ Vegetarian Brunch Ideas.

Cinnamon Canneles

Homemade Cinnamon Canneles

A cannele is a classic French pastry that is completely unique in both its flavor and texture. Sometimes described as a handheld creme brulee, they have a crisp and darkly caramelized exterior, yet have a surprisingly dense and custardy interior. Canneles are typically flavored with vanilla and rum, both of which are …

The post Cinnamon Canneles appeared first on Baking Bites.

Homemade Cinnamon Canneles

A cannele is a classic French pastry that is completely unique in both its flavor and texture. Sometimes described as a handheld creme brulee, they have a crisp and darkly caramelized exterior, yet have a surprisingly dense and custardy interior. Canneles are typically flavored with vanilla and rum, both of which are a good match for any custardy dessert. These Cinnamon Canneles do include vanilla, but cinnamon is the primary flavoring, adding a delicious aroma and warm spice to this classic French favorite. For me, the cinnamon adds a nod to one of my other favorite pastries – a churro – which also has a wonderful combination of crisp exterior, tender interior and lots of cinnamon!

The recipe is very straight forward and it should only take you a few minutes to whip it up, so there is very little hands-on time with this recipe. The batter for canneles isn’t difficult to make, however it does need to be prepared well in advance and rested for at least 24 hours – and up to 48 hours, if you are running a bit late! – before baking to ensure that the pastries have the proper texture when baked.

How to Make Cinnamon Canneles

At first glance, you’ll notice that there is more vanilla than cinnamon. The cinnamon – especially if yours is relatively fresh (toss old spices and replace them with fresh for best results – is so aromatic that you simply don’t need quite as much. There is a generous splash of rum in the batter, too. The alcohol will bake off and it will only add to the complexity of the vanilla in the end. Use an aged or dark rum, rather than a white rum, for the best flavorful results.

The canneles have a very long baking time, which allows their exteriors to become dark brown and deeply caramelized. Traditional cannele molds are made from metal and they are greased with beeswax to ensure that the pastries don’t stick. I prefer to use silicone molds, as they are much less expensive and much easier to use. Silicone is already nonstick, so you don’t need to fuss with wax, and the canneles will brown and crisp very nicely in the molds. If you’re making these at a professional level, then splurging on the beautiful, traditional molds is worth it, but silicone is a fantastic option for me and most other home bakers.

How to Make Cinnamon Canneles

Canneles are at their best when they are fresh out of the oven, just cool enough to handle. You’ll really smell eggy custard and cinnamon when you unmold them, and will pick up caramel and vanilla when you take that first bite. They’re delicious! Bake up a batch the next time you’re entertaining for brunch or want to serve up a dessert that’s a little out of the ordinary. If you don’t eat them all the first day (which I recommend!), warm them up for a few minutes in the oven before serving to crisp them up a bit before serving leftovers.

Cinnamon Canneles
2 cups whole milk
2 tbsp butter
1 cup cake flour
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons rum

Day 1
In a small saucepan, bring milk and butter just to a simmer.
In a large bowl, sift together cake flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Whisk in eggs, egg yolks, vanilla extract and rum until smooth.
Remove the milk from the heat and slowly stream in the hot milk while whisking to create a smooth batter. Strain batter into a large measuring cup and refrigerate for 24-48 hours. You should have approximately 4 cups of batter.

Day 2
Preheat oven to 425 F. Place an eight-cavity silicone cannele mold on a baking sheet. Whisk the batter gently in case it has separated, then fill 8 cavities, leaving about 1/3-inch of room at the top of each cavity.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350F and bake for 60-70 minutes, until canneles are very dark brown. Allow canneles to cool for at least 20 minutes in the molds, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Clean the molds and repeat with remaining batter (if baking in batches).

Makes 16.

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Pumpkin French Toast

The best fall breakfast? Try this pumpkin French toast! It’s fluffy and sweet, scented with warm spices and drizzled with…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

The best fall breakfast? Try this pumpkin French toast! It’s fluffy and sweet, scented with warm spices and drizzled with maple syrup.

Pumpkin French Toast

Craving a special fall breakfast or brunch? Look no further than Pumpkin French Toast! Coat slices of hearty bread in pumpkin puree and warm spices, then fry them until golden on a sizzling skillet. Top with a drizzle of pure maple syrup, and each forkful is heavenly: fluffy, sweet, and perfectly spiced! Try it for Halloween or Thanksgiving entertaining, or any fall day that needs a bright spot.

Ingredients for pumpkin French toast

Pumpkin French toast is ideal for cozy mornings, and it takes just minutes to put together! The pumpkin puree adds an even fluffier texture to this popular breakfast, making each bite irresistibly tender. Combining cinnamon and pumpkin spice spice makes just the right warm-spiced flavor (yes, you’ll need both!). Here’s what you’ll need to whip up this recipe:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
  • Salt
  • Bread: Italian or French loaf, sourdough, challah, or brioche loaf
  • Butter, for cooking
Pumpkin French Toast

Tips for the bread

We found in our research on the best French toast recipe: the type of bread can make or break a French toast recipe. In our opinion, a slice of flimsy store-bought sandwich bread loaf just doesn’t compare to artisan-style bread. Here are a few of the best types of bread to use for pumpkin French toast:

  • Sourdough bread: Sourdough bread has a naturally firm texture and a slight tang to the flavor. It’s our top choice!
  • Italian or French loaf: Look for an artisan loaf with a firm crust and sturdy texture (grocery stores label them differently). If you like, you can also use a French baguette.
  • Artisan bread: Or, use any style of artisan bread in the bakery section. We recommend avoiding very seedy whole-grain breads for this recipe because their flavor is too strong.
  • Challah or brioche: Egg-based breads like challah and brioche make a fluffy, custardy texture to the French toast.
Pumpkin French Toast

Pumpkin pie spice substitute

Pumpkin pie spice is a nice shortcut for the warming spices in pumpkin pie. You’ll notice this recipe also uses cinnamon, which ups the cozy factor even more (yes, use both!). If you don’t have pie spice, substitute another 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon cloves and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. Don’t have cloves or nutmeg? You can use varying amounts or swap in allspice.

How to avoid mushy bread

The best way to have sturdy pieces of pumpkin French toast? Use a great bread. Purchased sandwich bread has a flimsy structure and can become mushy when it’s soaked in the egg mixture. Here’s what to know about avoiding mushy bread here:

  • Use a bread with texture like a sourdough or Italian or French artisan loaf.
  • Consider using stale bread or bread that is a few days old, which soaks up the egg mixture more. (This isn’t necessary with sturdier breads like sourdough.)
  • If you’re using a purchased sandwich bread with a flimsy texture, consider lightly toasting it in the oven or toaster it before soaking.
Pumpkin French Toast

Toppings for pumpkin French toast

Once your pumpkin French toast is fried into golden perfection, it’s time to talk toppings! We think it’s perfect with pure maple syrup and a pat of butter. But you can get even fancier if you like? Here are some fun fall-centric toppings:

How do you plan to serve your pumpkin French toast? Let us know in the comments below!

More pumpkin recipes

When it’s the season, we’ve got our pumpkin recipes at the ready! Here are a few you’ll love:

This pumpkin French toast recipe is…

Vegetarian.

Print
Pumpkin French Toast

Pumpkin French Toast


Description

The best fall breakfast? Try this pumpkin French toast! It’s fluffy and sweet, scented with warm spices and drizzled with maple syrup.


Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup milk (whole or 2%*)
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 slices bread from Italian or French loaf, sourdough, challah, or brioche loaf (cut 3/4” thick)**
  • 2 tablespoons butter, for cooking

Instructions

  1. In a wide shallow bowl or container, whisk together eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and kosher salt.
  2. Preheat a griddle over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon butter. Soak each side of 4 slices of bread in the egg mixture until it becomes saturated (about 10 to 15 seconds per side for an artisan or sourdough bread**). Place the bread on the hot skillet and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until browned.
  3. Repeat with the remaining butter and 4 slices bread. Serve immediately with maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar.

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

This pumpkin pancakes recipe makes tender, moist, and perfectly-spiced flapjacks! Serve with maple syrup for a cozy fall breakfast. Here’s…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This pumpkin pancakes recipe makes tender, moist, and perfectly-spiced flapjacks! Serve with maple syrup for a cozy fall breakfast.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Here’s a cozy breakfast idea to make at least once every fall: this cozy pumpkin pancakes recipe! It’s hard to put into words just how good these are, but we’ll try. Adding pumpkin puree gives the pancakes a fluffy, hearty texture and satisfying mouthfeel. They’re seasoned with a hefty dose of warm pumpkin spices. Drizzled with pure maple syrup, each bite is lusciously sweet and spiced. Our son took one bite of these and immediately wanted the entire stack! They’ve become an autumn tradition (that, and pumpkin French toast!).

Ingredients in pumpkin pancakes

This pumpkin pancakes recipe makes flapjacks with just the right fluffy, tender crumb and spiced interior. Pumpkin puree makes that fluffy texture, pumpkin pie spice brings warmth to the flavor, and brown sugar adds a rich depth of sweetness. Otherwise, the ingredients are similar to a classic pancake recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • All purpose flour
  • Brown sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Milk
  • Neutral oil like grapeseed or organic vegetable or canola oil
Pumpkin pancakes recipe

Pumpkin pie spice substitute

Pumpkin pie spice is a nice shortcut for the warming spices in pumpkin pie. You’ll notice this recipe also uses cinnamon, which ups the cozy factor even more (yes, use both!). If you don’t have pie spice, substitute ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon cloves or nutmeg.

Tips for cooking pumpkin pancakes

Cooking pumpkin pancakes is similar to the traditional method. The batter is slightly thicker than a standard pancake, so it will take slightly longer to cook. Make sure the heat is not too high, or the pancake might not cook through before it’s browned. Here’s what to note when cooking:

  • Use a large griddle: non-stick is helpful. Some griddles are uneven with their heating, so find a quality pan. A non-stick surface is helpful.
  • Experiment to find the right heat level. Medium low heat is ideal, but it’s different on every stovetop. It should take a few minutes to get the pan up to heat.
  • When you flip, the pancake may ooze at the edges. The batter may ooze out a bit at the sides, which is expected. Just keep cooking until it’s cooked through, adjusting the heat as necessary so it doesn’t brown too fast on the outside before it’s cooked on the inside.
Pumpkin pancakes

Pumpkin pancake toppings

This pumpkin pancakes recipe is perfect with butter and pure maple syrup, in our opinion! But want to get even fancier? Here are a few fun ideas for pumpkin pancake toppings:

And that’s it! Let us know if you try these pumpkin pancakes and what you plan to use for toppings.

More pumpkin recipes

When it’s the season, make all the pumpkin recipes! Here are a few favorites to get you started:

This pumpkin pancakes recipe is…

Vegetarian.

Print
Pumpkin pancakes

Best Pumpkin Pancakes


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 medium pancakes

Description

This pumpkin pancakes recipe makes tender, moist, and perfectly-spiced flapjacks! Serve with maple syrup for a cozy fall breakfast.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup [140 g] all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup milk of choice
  • ¼ cup neutral oil (or melted unsalted butter)

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the pumpkin puree, milk, and oil (or melted butter).
  3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until no dry patches remain and a smooth batter forms.
  4. Lightly butter a skillet or griddle and wipe off extra grease with a paper towel. Heat the skillet to medium low heat. Pour the batter into small circles (about ¼ cup). Cook the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top and the bottoms are golden. Then flip them and cook until cooked through and no longer gooey at the edges (the batter may ooze out a bit at the sides; just keep cooking until fully cooked, adjusting the heat as necessary so they don’t brown too fast).
  5. Place the cooked pancakes under an inverted bowl to keep them warm. Repeat with the remaining batter, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain an even temperature. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.

Notes

Pumpkin pie spice is a nice shortcut for the warming spices in pumpkin pie. You’ll notice this recipe also uses cinnamon, which ups the cozy factor even more (yes, use both!). If you don’t have pie spice, substitute ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon cloves or nutmeg.

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Pancakes
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pancake recipe, pumpkin pancakes recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

I’m a big fan of all pumpkin baked goods, especially in the fall. I’m just as happy to start to the day with a piece of Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel, as I am to end it with a slice of pumpkin pie. The coffee cake is light …

The post Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel appeared first on Baking Bites.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

I’m a big fan of all pumpkin baked goods, especially in the fall. I’m just as happy to start to the day with a piece of Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel, as I am to end it with a slice of pumpkin pie. The coffee cake is light and fluffy, yet loaded with pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavor. It’s always a hit and disappears even faster than pumpkin pie in my house. Bake it up for a fall brunch or simply make a batch to treat yourself if you’re a pumpkin fan, like me!

The coffee cake is made in two parts: the cake and the streusel. The cake comes together very quickly and uses a whole can (15-16oz) of pumpkin puree. If you do a lot of baking with pumpkin, you’ll know that many recipes don’t use a whole can, leaving you with a small quantity of leftover puree. The pumpkin puree actually takes the place of any liquid dairy (where you might use buttermilk or sour cream in another coffee cake recipe) and turns the batter a beautiful orange color. There is a generous amount of pumpkin pie spice in the batter, too.

The streusel is made in a second bowl after the cake batter. It comes together even more quickly, since it uses melted butter, and clumps together easily to make a very visually appealing – and very tasty – streusel topping. I only used cinnamon in the streusel because I didn’t want to go crazy with the pumpkin pie spices. The cinnamon in the streusel compliments the cinnamon in the spice mix from the cake, making it stand out without dominating the flavor of the pumpkin itself.

The cake has a surprisingly light, tender crumb and contrasts well with the crisp, buttery streusel on top of it. Thanks to the pumpkin puree, the cake is quite moist and keeps very well for a couple of days after baking. While the cake should be cool before you cut into it, I like to warm up the slices for a few seconds in the microwave before serving them. Feel free to mix up up to 1/2 cup of chopped nuts or chopped toffee bits if you want to add some extra textures or flavors to this cake, too.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel
Cake:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree

Streusel:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Make the cake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice.
Stir 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, followed by half of the pumpkin puree. Stir in an additional 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by the rest of the pumpkin. Stir in remaining dry ingredients and mix until no streaks of flour are visible. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Set aside while you prepare the streusel.

Make the streusel: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt and ground cinnamon. Pour in butter and vanilla and, using a fork, stir until the mixture has the consistency of wet sand. Grab the streusel mixture in your hands and squeeze to create clumps of streusel. Sprinkle streusel mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before slicing. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Serves 9-12.

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focaccia onion board

Welcome to the cutting room floor. Whenever I finish a cookbook, there are recipes that didn’t make the final book not because they’re flawed in any way, but because they weren’t necessary. Smitten Kitchen Keepers already has…

Welcome to the cutting room floor. Whenever I finish a cookbook, there are recipes that didn’t make the final book not because they’re flawed in any way, but because they weren’t necessary. Smitten Kitchen Keepers already has a couple great savory breads and sufficient caramelized onion magnificence, so I pulled this recipe out because I knew it would be perfect for the site, right now. Why? This week is the most significant Jewish holiday of the year, Yom Kippur, a day of atonement. It is traditional fast for the day, and the fast is traditionally broken with a dairy meal, quite often a giant spread of bagels and fixings. But that wasn’t the first time I made this. In March 2020, when the whole world shut down, so of course did all of the bagel shops in my neighborhood. I started making easy bagel-y breads so we could still enjoy our cream cheese and lox weekend fix. This one has a cool history, too.

focaccia onion board-01focaccia onion board-02focaccia onion board-03focaccia onion board-04

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Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin pancakes are loaded with sweet pumpkin, warm spices, and toasted pecans. They’re the perfect warm and cozy start to any chilly morning. As if fall wasn’t already busy enough, we are adding to the madness with a bathroom remodel and some other work around the house. So my week is spent trying to calm …

The post Pumpkin Pancakes appeared first on My Baking Addiction.

Pumpkin pancakes are loaded with sweet pumpkin, warm spices, and toasted pecans. They’re the perfect warm and cozy start to any chilly morning.

Maple syrup being poured over a stack of pumpkin pancakes on a plate.

As if fall wasn’t already busy enough, we are adding to the madness with a bathroom remodel and some other work around the house.

So my week is spent trying to calm a dog who is anxious about the construction work and trying to figure out if the shipping company really lost our new bathtub on top of all of the normal stuff.

I’m really looking forward to a peaceful weekend morning, ok?

I think this weekend is due for a batch of pumpkin pancakes, a cup of coffee with homemade vanilla coffee syrup, and maybe a trip to the apple orchard. 

Sounds like a pretty perfect weekend to me.

(more…)

The post Pumpkin Pancakes appeared first on My Baking Addiction.

Blueberry Lemon Brunch Cake

Blueberry Lemon Brunch Cake

Cake for breakfast is always a treat. Now there are plenty of times were I treat myself to a slice of leftover layer cake from the day before with you morning coffee, but usually cake for breakfast means coffee cake. This Blueberry Lemon Brunch Cake is a moist cake packed with fresh …

The post Blueberry Lemon Brunch Cake appeared first on Baking Bites.

Blueberry Lemon Brunch Cake

Cake for breakfast is always a treat. Now there are plenty of times were I treat myself to a slice of leftover layer cake from the day before with you morning coffee, but usually cake for breakfast means coffee cake. This Blueberry Lemon Brunch Cake is a moist cake packed with fresh blueberries and bright lemon zest, both flavors that are welcome at my breakfast table. And who doesn’t love a bit of extra fruit with breakfast – especially when it helps to justify an extra piece of cake!

The cake starts with a buttermilk cake batter that is flavored with lots of lemon zest. The lemon zest gives the cake plenty of bright flavor, more than you would get from juice alone. I did use two whole lemons (medium sized lemons) for the zest, so be sure to pick up two and save the zested lemons for juicing later on by storing them in the fridge. The blueberries are folded into the batter just before baking. Some may sink to the bottom of the cake because this is a light textured cake that has quite a lot of berries in it, but as long as you’ve greased your pan or lined it with parchment paper, the cake slices will come out neatly with the berries perfectly intact.

The cake is very moist and tender, much more cake-like than your average blueberry muffin. I topped the cake with a very generous sprinkle of sugar before baking to give it a nice crisp top crust and to add a little additional sweetness to the cake. If you have a favorite streusel recipe, you can certainly sprinkle that on top instead of the sugar to turn this easy cake into a slightly more traditional coffee cake.

As usual, you can use frozen blueberries in this cake recipe instead of fresh if fresh berries aren’t in season. If you are using frozen berries, I recommend using them from frozen and not letting them thaw before folding them into the batter. This will prevent the berry juice from running into the rest of the cake and turning the whole thing blue. Your cake might also need an additional minute or so of baking time, especially if you opt to be generous when you measure out the berries (as I sometimes am!), since cold berries will slightly chill the batter. Fresh blueberries are best when they are in season, so keep this recipe in mind the next time you buy a basket from your local grocery store or farmers’ market.

Blueberry Lemon Brunch Cake

Blueberry Lemon Brunch Cake
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp lemon zest (2 lemons)
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp coarse sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan or line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and sugar.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and lemon zest. Add in dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour in melted butter and whisk until butter is completely incorporated. Fold in blueberries.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the top of the cake with coarse sugar.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed. Allow cake to cool in the pan until almost room temperature (or at room temperature) before slicing.

Serves 9.

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grilled nectarines with gorgonzola and hazelnuts

Listen, I don’t make the rules. These things aren’t rational. But at some point over our vacation in Scotland — a time when we mostly consumed fish and chips, more chips, steak pie, also with chips, a detail that I’m sure is unrela…

Listen, I don’t make the rules. These things aren’t rational. But at some point over our vacation in Scotland — a time when we mostly consumed fish and chips, more chips, steak pie, also with chips, a detail that I’m sure is unrelated — I began intensely craving the combination of peaches and blue cheese even though I can’t think of a time when they’ve crossed paths in my kitchen. Once we got home, I beelined for Salad Freak by Jess Damuck [Amazon, Bookshop, More Indies], a cookbook that came out this spring, because I had a hunch she’d put the idea in my head and sure enough, she had a combination of stone fruit and blue cheese waiting to fulfill my wayward vacation craving.

If you are thinking you don’t need a cookbook for salads, as I might have in the past, I’m here to tell you how wrong we are. We do, if not for exact measurements then for inspiration. For more creative ways to throw together what’s left in your fridge so nothing goes to waste. And to figure out what to eat when you’re in the third heat wave [fourth? fifth? heat waves are just a continuum now, aren’t they?] of the summer and everything you thought you’d want to cook in August no longer makes sense because it’s too hot to cook. Damuck’s book has us covered. There’s a breakfast salad with yogurt, cucumbers, eggs, and toasted seeds. There are soba salads and shredded kale salads and tortellini salads dressings with miso-mayo and horseradish goat cheese and a BBQ chicken cobb beloved by Snoop Dogg and every single thing is just a little bit unexpected and delivering the freshness I need right now.

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