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Recipe: Coconut Chia Pudding with Hibiscus Rhubarb Compote

Coconut Chia Pudding with Hibiscus Rhubarb Compote.

Coconut Chia Pudding with Hibiscus Rhubarb Compote.

This is the easiest recipe.

Combine 1 can full-fat coconut milk with 1/4 cup chia seeds and a splash of vanilla extract. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

In a saucepan, gently cook 1/2 lb rhubarb with 1/4-1/2c sugar (to taste) and 1/2 cup very strong hibiscus tea (made by steeping at least a half cup of hibiscus flowers with a full half cup of boiling water; let steep for 5-10 minutes and strain into rhubarb).

Top chia pudding with fruit compote and sprinkle with toasted coconut (if desired).

Weird tip: I actually eat hibiscus flowers after they're steeped. They have a weird seaweed texture that I dig. 

Ottolenghi's Lentils with Asparagus & Watercress (boosted!)

I'm just returning from ten days off the grid at Camp Grounded, a magical place where adults disconnect to reconnect. Ten days of play, music, deeply spiritual conversations, leaning into discomfort, great food, dancing, and commune with the California redwoods - what a blessing! Above this scene, the moon waxed until she reached a glorious fullness on the very last night - a fullness I too felt.

Back at home, I've been allowing myself to slip back into my tech-fueled reality slowly - sipping, not gulping; cooking meals for myself and going to bed early each night.

Here is a recipe I found in Ottolenghi's Plenty - one of the humble ones without a picture, filling only a half page. I made it as part of a private dinner for the recruiting team at Airbnb, choosing it for the watercress, which I am convinced will be the next kale (it's far more nutritious), and for the asparagus, which is nearing the end of its season. The next day, the leftovers (with a few boosts) made a complete meal - the simple, nutritious, one bowl kind I'm totally satisfied with these days.


Wash one cup of green lentils (I used de puy lentils) in fresh water and pick over for any small stones. Cover lentils in a small pot with water and bring to a boil, reducing heat to simmer and cooking for 15-25 minutes (time will depend on what type of lentils you use). They should hold their shape.

While the lentils cook, pulse 2 cups of watercress (big stems removed) with one big handful of parsley, a half cup or so of olive oil, a big swig of red wine or sherry vinegar, one garlic clove, and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper in a blender.

When lentils are done, drain them (don't rinse) and return to pot. Pour watercress dressing over the lentils while they're still hot and mix together.

Snap the woody ends off one bunch of asparagus and either sear them in a super hot pan or blanch them in boiling salted water (3-4 minutes tops).

Mix asparagus and 2 more cups of watercress into lentils. Salt to taste (you will need it).

This salad is wonderful with pecorino or manchego grated over it. I did so and also added a half cup of quick pickled shallots, some chopped toasted walnuts, and sliced avocado. A drizzle of walnut oil (if it's available) and a squeeze of lemon take it over the top.

Eat mindfully.


Coconut Cardamom Cashew Brittle

Fondly referred to as "CoCoCaCa," this brittle has become a favorite of my friends and family who receive it in their holiday boxes. 


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and rub some butter all over it. 

Have your ingredients measured out in advance - candy making goes fast! And be careful. Sugar burns are uncomfortable, to say the least. 

In a small bowl, combine: 

2 Tb butter
1.5 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda

In another bowl, combine:

1 cup dry roasted cashews
1 cup unsweetened coconut; lightly toasted

Set both bowls aside. In a heavy-bottomed medium or large pot (dutch oven is best), combine 2 cups of sugar,  1 cup corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water. Stir just until combined; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches 335°. Remove from heat; stir in all remaining ingredients. The mixture will bubble because of the baking soda - don't freak! :) Quickly pour mixture onto prepared pan, spreading evenly. Cool completely (about 1 hour, if you can); break into pieces. Share liberally.

Recipe: Last-Minute Griddle Cakes

Sometimes I wake up on a Sunday morning with every intention of doing all the things one is supposed to do to be a member of the Responsible Grown-ups Club. I'll get to a great start - brushing my teeth and cooking eggs and making my bed. Sometimes, though - as with this last Sunday - my carefully laid plans will be interrupted - in this case, by an 11:30 ping on my phone: "brunch at noon! bring something to share!"

It only took me 2.8 seconds to decide that homemade food with friends was an infinitely better plan for the day than anything else I had on my list (showering and paying bills, for example). I let my fried eggs get cold in favor of scrapping together some last-minute baked (well, griddled) goodness. 

Luckily, brunch items are some of the easiest to throw together. Scones are my personal favorite, but having just discovered the amazing fact that my stove has a large built in grill (!!) and eager to test it out, I turned to a recipe that uses a scone-like dough but cooks it on a grill. I'm excited to report that the grill heated up super evenly and made for perfect little wholesome cakes that cooked up in a flash and were still warm when I arrived at brunch exactly 30 minutes later.

Notes: Like scones, these are infinitely adaptable. Try cardamom and dried apricots, some lemon zest and poppy seeds, or bacon and cheddar as mix-ins.

Whole Grain Welsh Griddle Cakes

(Adapted slightly from

In a large bowl, combine one cup all purpose flour with one cup spelt or whole wheat flour (I'm a huge fan of this brand which supplies sprouted whole grain flours that make tummies happy). Add 1/4-1/2 cup sugar (I like things less sweet), 2 tsp baking powder, a large pinch of salt, and a few shakes each of cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk to blend.

Cut 4 tbs cold diced butter and 4 tbs cold lard (or 8 tbs butter if you don't love lard as I do) into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or your deft hands. Add a half cup dried fruit (currants, apricots, or cherries would be great) and the zest of one lemon. Stir in one beaten egg and enough whole milk to make the dough come together (about 1/4 cup). 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently a few times to ensure it sticks together. Roll it out until it's about a quarter inch thick and use a cookie cutter or water glass to cut it into tennis-ball-width rounds.

If you're a lucky duck like me with a griddle, heat it to 350° F. Otherwise, heat a heavy skillet over medium low. Add a little butter or lard to the surface and cook the cakes 3-5 minutes on each side or until dark golden brown. Remove and eat right away, burning your mouth with deliciousness, or wrap loosely in a towel and quickly ride across town to deliver to your hungry friends. 

(Non) Recipe: How to make shortbread without a recipe

Yours in 20 minutes - spelt and whole wheat shortbread with cumin, lemon zest, and himalayan sea salt

I have the bad habit of alienating non-cooks who compliment my food by exclaiming things like "it's so easy to make! You just make a choux paste, and you'll need some piping bags, but after that blah blah..." at which point they either feel put to shame or their eyes have turned into glacé cherries in disinterest. Social grace, where art thou?

But shortbread! It really is very easy. I mean, really. I swear. If a friend says he's dropping by in 30 minutes, you can blithely say "ok, I'll make some cookies!" and mean it because it's 1) super likely you have all the ingredients and 2) easy to scale up or down (if you just wanted 4 cookies you could do that!) and 3) they only take 20 minutes - total. Here, I've broken it down into a simple ratio that you can memorize and apply to whatever you have on hand:


  • 1 part sugar/sweetener
  • 2 parts butter - room temperature
  • 4 parts flour
  • salt to taste (more if butter is unsalted)
  • flavorings/spices

By flour, I mean any type of flour! Whole wheat, spelt, pastry - a blend of any of these - all will taste great. There are two exceptions: almond flour, which is a great GF alternative but will only need half as much butter, and bread flour, which will make a tough cookie and should be avoided. 

By sugar, I mean any sweetener - white sugar, brown sugar, sucanat, powdered sugar (which make for extra delicate cookies), or even honey will work. 

By butter, I mean any fat that's solid at room temperature: salted butter (use less salt), unsalted, lard, duck fat, or coconut oil.

By flavorings, I mean any assortment of the following (which is by no means an exhaustive list): vanilla, almond, or lemon extract, citrus zest, lavender, cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, sage, black pepper, chopped nuts - either folded in to the dough with the flour or sprinkled on top of the cookies before baking.


Preheat your oven to 350.

In a big bowl, cream butter, sugar, and any wet add-ins. Really cream them. Cream them like you're a sixth grader who wants their 4th-grade lunch. The more you whip them, the lighter your cookies will be.

In a smaller bowl, combine flour, salt, and any dry add-ins. Slowly incorporate into wet ingredients, stirring only enough to combine. Don't overwork the dough! If you have a flour sifter, you can use it here - it will make your cookie extra tender.

With a gentle touch, gather the dough in the bowl until it's all one mass and set on a floured surface. Roll out to a cylinder as fat as you want your cookies wide.

If the dough's too soft to handle, wrap the cylinder and stick it in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up.

Slice the dough into thin (1/2 in) slices and arrange on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with any additional toppings and bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Recipe: The Last of the Gazpachos

Life in San Francisco sure does screw up one's sense of the seasons - so much so that I hosted a Supper Club celebrating the beginning of summer...

...a week after Labor Day.

It's consistently sunny and warm these days (as compared to August, when I had the foggiest and coldest birthday party of my life). In fact, the only way you can really tell what season it is around here is by what's ripe at the farmer's market. Luckily, while fall's deep gems are creeping their way into the rotation, there's still plenty of summer goodies to cook up for a dinner with friends. That's just what I did last week, when I started my dinner with friends with this vegan and nearly-raw soup. While it's quite a long process to put it together, the end result is quite transcendent - it tastes like everything bright and good about summer in San Francisco. 

NOTE: This recipe will put some serious miles on your blender. Don't worry too much about a thorough cleaning after each go - I just rinsed it out (it's all being mixed together eventually anyway!)

Golden Gazpacho w. Sriracha Granita & Basil Oil

adapted from Serious Eats by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

For soup:

  • 4 pounds very ripe yellow tomatoes, cored (I used a mix of super flavorful baby tomatoes and larger heirlooms)
  • One medium cucumber, peeled & seeded
  • 1/2 pound (about 1 medium) red onion, peeled
  • 1/2 pound (about 2 medium) yellow or orange bell peppers, cores removed
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 6 ounces (about 3 slices) white sandwich, French, or Italian bread, crusts removed and set aside (no sourdough or otherwise strongly-flavored bread, but GF should work)
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar (white or red wine vinegar will work too)

For granita:

  • One container (about 10oz) red cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tb sugar
  • 2 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce (to taste)
  • 1 Tb tomato paste (if you don't have any, ketchup is acceptable - this is for color)

For basil oil:

  • 2 cups basil
  • 1 cup mild olive oil or grapeseed oil

Roughly chop tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and pepper into one-inch chunks. Combine with garlic and salt in a large bowl and toss to coat thoroughly. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, start on the granita:

Blend one container of red cherry tomatoes in the blender until reasonably liquidated.

In a pan, combine water, sugar, sriracha, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Using a fine mesh strainer, pour in the tomatoes. Stir to combine and transfer to a wide bowl or baking dish (a cake pan would work well). 

Put granita into the freezer. 

Back to the soup:

Drain accumulated veggie juices into a large bowl and add the bread. Transfer the drained vegetables to a rimmed baking sheet and place in freezer until vegetables are frozen, about 40 min.

When the soup veggies are frozen, remove them from the freezer. While you're in there, give the granita a brisk stir with a fork. You'll want to do this every 45 minutes or so from here on out so it doesn't become one big ice block. Allow the veggies to sit at room temperature until mostly thawed, about 30 minutes (another good time to stir the granita!). Transfer vegetables and all their juices from the pan to bowl with soaked bread.

Working in batches as necessary, blend vegetables, juice, and bread at high speed, slowly drizzling olive oil and sherry vinegar into blender as it blends. Strain soup through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Gazpacho can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

By now, the soup is done and your granita is workin' on becoming icy (keep stirring it every so often!). The only part left is the most delicious - basil oil! Using your blender once again, blend the basil & oil until it's pesto-ey. Pour into a small saucepan and let it infuse over very low heat for 30-40 minutes. Using a very fine mesh filter, cheesecloth, or a coffee filter, strain basil out and reserve oil.

If you'd like croutons, crumble the bread crust you reserved earlier and fry over medium heat in basil oil until golden.

To serve, use a fork to loosen flakes of the granita and top each bowl with a spoonful. Add a few elegant squirts of the oil and a pinch of the croutons. Enjoy right away, before the ice melts and summer is over!

<3 Sophie




Recipe: Fig Flatbread

If you're worrying about  or how you can appease your dinner party guests while you run around like a headless chicken in the kitchen trying to make sure your pork cutlets are pounded and your cocktails are mixed, figs are the answer.

They're gorgeous without trying, the perfect size for snacking, and harmonize easily with both savory and sweet flavors. The names alone are alluring - Green Kadota, Black Mission, Calimyrna - I mean, come on - they're the sexiest fruit out there! They're at the peak of their season here in California, but the season is short. Go forth and gather all the figs you can NOW, hear me?

Besides buying every type I can find, cutting them open to show their jeweled insides, and pairing them with salty meats and cheeses, I love to use figs on flatbread. I buy pre-made levain for its thin, light, crunchy ease, but you could also make a homemade focaccia or pizza dough if you're feeling industrious or want something more substantial for a main dish.


Fig Flatbread with Chevre & Reduced Balsamic

Preheat your oven to 375°. On two cookie sheets, lay out 4 sheets of levain flatbread. Sprinkle generously with olive oil and sea salt and use a pastry brush or your fingers to spread the oil to all the corners. If you have some on hand, a generous dusting of za'atar is also a nice touch here. 

Pop the flatbreads in the oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until they start to crisp. Don't let them get too brown because they'll be going back into the oven.

While the flatbreads are pre-baking, slice 1 pound of figs into half inch slices. When the flatbreads emerge from the oven, arrange the sliced figs on top and crumble about 6 ounces chevre cheese over the figs. Other cheeses would be great here as well - shredded parmesan, manchego, and feta especially. Use what you have on hand, and don't pay too much attention to measurements.

Return the figged-out flatbreads to the oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the figs have softened and the levain is lightly browned on the edges.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Slice into bite-sized pieces an scatter with finely sliced basil and a few squirts of balsamic vinegar reduction (found at most grocery stores or easily made by boiling balsamic until it's 1/4 of its original volume). 

Allow someone else to open the wine, and enjoy the ease of your guests stuffing their faces until you're ready for the rest of dinner to emerge!

Recipe: Melon Tower Salad (for hot days)

This post originally appeared a few days ago as a guest blog on Kellan's Kitchen. It's the first in a three-part series on savory fruit dishes. Kellan is an amazing private chef in the Bay Area and Tahoe - check out his site!

I'm currently sitting in my parents' kitchen on a cool 95° day in Chico. All I can think about it how nice this salad would taste right now (if I only had the ingredients!) and how guilty I'd feel if I didn't share it with you before summer in San Francisco really gets kicking. 

Melon Towers

Serves 8

Confession time: I’m a single lady with a bad fruit shopping habit. This time of year is especially tough - the glut of rosy stone fruit, taut melons, and perfect shiny berries at my local farmer’s market always makes me feel guilty if I don’t take home some of every kind.

As much as I’d like to eat pies and crisps all day and as likely as I am to gorge on watermelon straight over the sink, I needed to find a different route to using summer fruit, lest it be relegated to the compost bin. Savory dishes provide the perfect answer to this very good problem to have - a touch of sweetness can often temper a great savory dish, and a touch of sour or savory can bring out flavors you didn't realize a fruit had. 

Melon and feta salads are nothing new, but this recipe elevates them to new heights (pun intended). It’s simple and works very well for a summer dinner party, especially since you’ll need several melons to get the best rainbow effect and eating several melons on your own is tough. If you just have one melon or are looking to keep things simple, feel free to make a deconstructed version with cubed or balled melon.

  • 3 chilled melons of varying types & colors, including at least one watermelon (seedless preferable)
  • 3 limes
  • one small bunch of mint, stems removed
  • one small red onion or large shallot
  • 1 cup crumbled feta (French is nice)
  • high-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • finishing salt such as Maldon

Slice the muskmelons (those with a cavity in the middle) in half width-wise and scoop out any seeds. Slice all melons into 1-inch round slices and set aside.

For each salad, stack one slice of each type of melon on your cutting board. Try to find rounds that match up size-wise, and put the watermelon on top so the hole will be covered. With a sharp knife, cut down the sides of the stack to remove the rind. Squeeze a lime over the stack (I make sure to get in between the layers, too) and transfer the stack to a plate.

With a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice the onion into fine slivers and set aside. Cut your mint into ribbons. If your knife is not sharp and is bruising the mint, try tearing it instead.

Top each melon stack with a small amount of finishing salt, a few onion slices, a sprinkle of mint, and some feta crumbles. A drizzle of oil on the plate adds a beautiful finishing touch. Serve chilled with a glass of fruit-forward rosé.