Earlier this month I hosted our latest In the Veggie Kitchen gathering with holistic nutritionist Elissa Goodman and chef Amber Wilson. We wanted to create a menu that was healthful and restorative but a bit richer and warmer for the fall season. The main course consisted of wellness bowls with ingredients like chickpea tofu, roasted eggplant, and hen of the woods mushrooms, and Amber also made a dairy-free pear tart with almond crust for dessert. The meal was colorful and comforting—just what I’m craving during this final stretch in my pregnancy—and I loved that everyone got to compose their own bowls so they could indulge or abstain depending on their preferences.
Elissa also added a “fall elixir”; a juice made with beet, fresh pineapple, Persian cucumber, and fresh ginger. It was refreshing and had just the right zing thanks to the ginger. I love fresh juice year-round but it’s especially helpful during cold season to keep your immune system strong.
To prepare for the lunch I set the table with Irving Place Studio bowls, leather wrapped carafes from Simon Hasan, and a speckled Victoria Morris vase filled with florals by Maurice Harris of Bloom & Plume. I love how textured Maurice’s arrangement was, with cotton, soft petal florals, wild leaves, and other elements all mixed together.
Before the lunch Elissa gave a talk on nutrition, walking us through Amber’s recipes. Elissa and Amber were also kind enough to share those recipes here. In addition to the signature ingredients listed below Amber set out mache greens, caramelized onions, roasted eggplant, roasted radish, and a few other odds and ends. There was also wild smoked salmon belly from Cape Seafood in West Hollywood for a boost of protein. I hope these recipes inspire you to make something delicious for yourself and others this month! Enjoy! XXJKE
- Lightly oil a square pan (I used 8 x 8 inch size) with olive oil.
- To a medium mixing bowl add chickpea flour in a bowl along with the salt, garlic, and ground seasonings. Whisk to combine. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and whisk until smooth.
- In a medium stock pot, bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium/high and vigorously stire in the chickpea flour and water mixture from above. Whisk this over the heat consistently until the mixture becomes thick, smooth, and “glossy” about 6-7 minutes.
- Pour mixture into the greased pan. Leave out at room temperature to cool and set for minimum of two hours. You can serve chilled, at room temp, or sauté in a little coconut or olive oil and enjoy warm.
- Cut into cubes. Store in a container in the fridge up to 3 days.
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Shred the small bunches of mushroom into small clusters. Add to a medium mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, seasonings, lemon juice, and a couple pinches of sea salt and grind of black pepper.
- Arrange seasoned mushrooms in a single layer on a large sheet pan. Place in oven and roast until golden brown and crisped on the edges (approx. 45-50 minutes). Taste, adjust seasoning and enjoy warm.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Blend oil, butter, anchovy, and garlic in blender until smooth.
- Place tomatoes in an oven safe 8-inch pan. Pour the bagna cauda sauce over the tomatoes. Place in oven to roast for 25 minutes.
- 8 inch tart pan lined with parchment paper
- 1/3 cup melted grass fed butter (or non-dairy alternative)
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (I like Arrowhead Mill's)
- 2 whole Bartett pears (could also use D'Anjou), the firmer the better
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tsp ginger grated
- 1/3 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat butter with a mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add ¼ cup of sugar; beat until combined. Beat in the 1 cup of flour until crumbly, being careful not to over-mix. Press mixture into the bottom of an lined 8-inch round tart pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool as your prepare other ingredients.
- Peel the pears, cut them into quarters and remove the cores. Heat a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add water, honey, spices stirring until the honey has dissolved completely.
- Add the quartered pears. Then turn heat to a low simmer and cover the pot until the pears are cooked through but still firm, about 10-12 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pears to a wire rack. Let them cool until you can handle them comfortably. Slice each pear quarter into 1/4-inch thick wedges.
- Add the almond butter, egg yolks, and coconut palm sugar to a small mixing bowl. Hand mix until smooth.
- Adjust oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Pour the almond butter filling into the cooled crust. Use a spatula to smooth the filling evenly over the crust. Then, carefully layer the slices of pear, overlapping, in a circular pattern.
- Place in oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
- To unmold the tart, push the base of the pan up from the bottom and put aside the frame. Leave the base of the pan underneath the tart and carefully slide it onto a serving plate.
- Cut into slices and serve with coconut ice cream.