Festive Books From Local Chefs
The latest cookbook from local author Pascale Beale, Les Légumes: Vegetable Recipes from the Market Table, will have you looking for more excuses to eat more vegetables. With 110 delectable recipes organized by ingredient, this plant- based cookbook brings the essence of California cooking to your table with delicious farmers’ market-driven ideas for every season.
Taught to cook by her French mother and grandmother, Beale’s talents in the kitchen shine through the pages of Les Légumes, which showcases vegetables as the main event. Engaging anecdotes and beautiful full-page photos, highlighting the flavors and versatility of California’s vegetables, accompany her approachable recipes.
From beets and tomatoes to leeks and asparagus, Beale has a way of making cooking with vegetables fun an inspiring, not to mention entirely craveable. Think roasted eggplant curry with caramelized onions; salt roasted beets with mackerel and spiced onions; and potato and celeriac gratin, a decadent version of the classic gratin. There’s also a recipe for zucchini cappuccino with lime creme fraiche—her whimsical spin on spring green soup—and the show-stopping whole roasted branzino with lemon and fennel fronds. Each innovative recipe provides inspiration for eating vegetables in creative new ways, for every course and season, making Les Légumes a culinary treat that will have you celebrating vegetables all year long.
The Taste of Hygge
Local food blogger/cookbook author/lifestyle photographer Leela Cyd helps bring the Danish art of hygge into the home with her new cookbook, Tasting Hygge: Joyful Recipes for Cozy Days and Nights. While there’s no exact English translation, hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) roughly translates to “the art of spending quality time with people you love surrounded by good food, drink and cheer,” shares Cyd, who traveled to Denmark in the name of research after becoming enamored by the concept. Centered around what Cyd describes as “easy, cozy recipes for slowing down and enjoying the moment,” Tasting Hygge provides a delicious excuse to step back and cultivate hygge moments. More than 50 mouthwatering recipes are organized into categories of warm, spiced, smooth, calm, bright and hygge to go, including recipes for boozy treats, satisfying comfort food and innovative spins on familiar dishes. Cyd’s own colorful, inviting photographs accompany the recipes, along with personal stories that show glimpses of how she creates mindful, happy moments in her life.
From poached pears in red wine with yogurt, rose and crushed walnuts to the aromatic Scandinavian-style mulled wine, spiced glogg, the creamy roasted celeriac and sunchoke soup with smoked paprika and the decadent kale gratin with hazelnuts, Cyd’s easy-to-follow recipes will leave you satisfied, comforted and inspired to cultivate more mindful moments at home.
8 servings (from Tasting Hygge by Leela Cyd)
This Scandinavian-style mulled wine with citrus, spices, raisins, and almonds tastes like Christmas in a hot pot. On a cold winter’s evening, this traditional brew brings me such joy, with its heady, boozy warmth. The addition of raisins and almonds is standard in Sweden and Finland, but feel free to leave them out if you prefer. I love their wine-infused plumpness, but the texture may not be for everyone.
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3-inch piece of ginger, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
1 orange peel, trimmed into ½-inch wide strips
10 whole cloves
10 cardamom pods
4 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean
1 bottle dry red wine
1 cup brandy
1 orange, cut into ½-inch slices, plus extra for serving
2 tangerines, cut into ½-inch slices, plus extra for serving
½ cup golden raisins, plus extra for serving
½ cup slivered almonds, plus extra for serving
Place orange juice, ginger, orange peels and all of the spices into a medium pot. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and remove from heat. Allow it to steep for one hour.
When you’re ready to serve, strain and discard all the spices except for cinnamon sticks. Place spiced juice into a 4.5-quart pot and add red wine, brandy, reserved cinnamon sticks, orange slices, tangerine slices, raisins and almonds. Cook on medium heat until tiny bubbles form. Do not boil as this will burn off the alcohol. Serve each cup with a few extra pieces of citrus, raisins and almonds.
This story was originally published in the Winter 2017-18 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.