CARDAMOM TEFF CAKE WITH APRICOT PRESERVES & CASHEW CREAM

Brunch, to me, is always homemade. As much as I get the appeal of being served (especially in the morning hours), the best breakfasts are the ones I've made myself or for others. This cake, inspired & adapted from "Liz Prueitt's tartine cake", includes little pockets of apricot jam dolloped throughout (a truly lovely use for the preserves in your fridge.) Although I've only just begin experimenting with Teff flour, I can already see it becoming a staple in my kitchen.  It's whole-grain & earthy, something that could easily take the place of buckwheat in my own recipes.

The cake is somewhere between a layer cake and tea cake, slightly sweet, but still decadent. So, it's perfect for a special occasion or brunch (Mother's Day perhaps?).  It's topped with a orange blossom cashew cream & toasted pistachios for crunch (& the pop of color doesn't hurt). If you do dairy, this would delicious with whipped cream because really, what isn't? 

Almond Teff Cake with Apricot Preserves & Cashew Cream (Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

Cake:

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup teff flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup plant (or dairy) milk
  • 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 7 small spoonfuls apricot preserves (about 1 tsp. each)
  • 1/3 cup toasted pistachios, chopped

Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, soaked for 4-6 hours
  • 1 cup plant (or dairy) milk 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, cardamom and salt.

Measure out plant milk in a pyrex of small bowl, then add apple cider vinegar & set aside.  In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut sugar, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla.  Whisk vigorously for 1 minute or a ribbon of beaten eggs should trail back into the bowl.   Stir both wet ingredients into dry and mix to combine well - making sure there are no lumps.  Zest 2 teaspoons worth of orange zest into the batter & mix well.

Pour batter to a greased 9 inch springform pan. If your preserves are too thick, dilute with a little water to thin.  Dollop about 7  spoonfuls (about 1 tsp. each) evenly overtop the cake.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until browned.  The cake will bounce back slightly when you press it & a toothpick (poked into the center of the cake) should come out clean.

For cashew cream,  drain soaked nuts and rinse.  Add to a high-speed blender with remaining ingredients.  Blend very well - until super smooth and whipped.  Serve cake with toasted pistachios and cashew cream.

This post is in collaboration with Bonne Maman, a kitchen staple & one I've loved & used for many years.

Thank you for supporting brands that support Sassy Kitchen.

(P.S. They are giving away some amazing sets of Le Creuset & Bonne Maman On their site right now!)

ARUGULA BREAKFAST SALAD WITH TOASTED PISTACHIO, RADISH & SOFT EGGS

Happy New Year! I’ve been spending my mornings trying to reboot from what is always a busy, food-and-drink-filled holiday season.  This recipe is one I eat most mornings, when I’m busy and in need quick & clean sustenance.  It is technically a salad, but I find it to be more of a quick assemblage of ingredients I already have on hand.  No matter how simple, it never fails to be exactly one I need - no more and no less - for mornings when you need something lasting, but have little brain space for meal-making. 

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Arugula Breakfast Salad with Toasted Pistachio, Radish & Soft Eggs (serves 2) Gluten-free, DAIRY-FREE

This recipe gives you the foundation for pretty much any breakfast salad.  Feel free to use whatever green you have on hand - kale, tiny gem lettuces, rainbow chard, spinach, etc.  For the toppings, I always include an egg or two, something with crunch (I like a fresh crunch - radish, cucumber , fresh herbs - and a nut or seed) and whatever else you have on hand.  This is the perfect way to use leftover grains or veggies that aren’t enough for a whole meal, but need to be used somehow.  If you don’t stray from dairy, a shaved parmesan or pecorino would be amazing on this and as always, avocado makes everything better. 

  • 2-4 large eggs
  • 3 large handfuls wild arugula 
  • 2-3 radishes or 1 small watermelon radish, sliced in matchsticks
  • 1 small handful toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • Leftover quinoa or any other grain, about 1/3 cup or a couple spoonfuls
  • 1 small lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Flaky sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper

Fill a saucepan with water (enough to cover a couple eggs) and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat slightly and slowly submerge eggs, one at a time.  (*I use 1-2 eggs per serving, depending on how hungry I am).  Cook at a roiling boil for exactly 6 1/2 minutes (less, if you like a softer egg, and more, if you like it harder).  In the meantime, prepare an ice bath.

In a medium serving bowl, add arugula, radishes, toasted pistachios and leftover quinoa (or whatever else you have on hand).  Squeeze the juice of about one lemon over top and a drizzle of olive oil.  Toss everything together until well combined.  Season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Once eggs are done cooking, add to ice bath for a couple minutes.  Then, shell the eggs and halve them overtop the salad.  Divide into bowls and serve immediately.

YEAR OF THE HIPPIE / "PULSES" !

I was very excited to be contacted by the USADPLC back in March to help them develop recipes based on dry peas, beans & legumes.  I mean, what a treat!  Apparently, each year the United Nations picks a topic of global interest, and they named 2016 the “Year of Pulses” - meaning beans, peas & legumes (who knew they were named pulses, right?).  It’s officially going to be the year of hippie food!

Obviously, I’ve always been a huge advocate of beans & legumes.  For healthy eating, vegetarian cooking & low-cost meals, “pulses” are literally the best option out there.  When I’m tired, exhausted & don’t want to feed myself (but need a homemade meal), I’ll very often turn to soccas or a quick batch of lentils over a salad.  It’s the easiest way to feel well-fed, fast.

Gearing up for 2016 (I can’t believe it’s already May), each country is called to submit one recipe to represent their country.  The USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council reached out for me to develop a recipe to be in the running.  Side note: If you love cooking with beans/legumes, their site is a great resource for recipes ( Lentil meatballs & chickpea quiche sound so good!).  With your help, my recipe could be selected as the National Signature Pulse Recipe for the U.S.

All you have to do, is go to the USADPLC Facebook page & vote just by LIKING my photo.  Simple as that.  I'd love if you could help spread the word, help out this amazing non-profit and get a good, hippie pizza recipe selected Nationally.  As always, thank you for your continued support!

As for this pizza, it's the simplest crust option there is - no rising, waiting or yeast.  It's super quick & something you could throw together for a lovely weeknight meal.  Plus, pesto & pizza are a true match made in heaven.

CHICKPEA PIZZA WITH ARUGULA, PISTACHIO NETTLE PESTO & BURRATA (Gluten-free, Grain-free) Serves 4

Chickpea Crust:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel fronds, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 4-6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • 4oz. burrata, broken into knobs
  • Large handful baby arugula, to top
  • Pea shoots, to top
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper

Toasted Pistachio Nettle Pesto:

  • 2 large "tongfuls" of stinging nettle leaves, de-stemmed* 
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, toasted
  • 1 lemon, juice & zest
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated & packed
  • 1;2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil (about 1/3-1/2 cup)

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, salt, pepper, celery seed, fennel fronds and parsley. Slowly whisk in lukewarm water, making sure to eliminate all lumps.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Fold in garlic and lemon zest.  Let mixture sit and thicken for about 15 minutes (or up to 12 hours).  

While socca thickens, make pesto: Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Blanch your nettles: add leaves to a boiling pot of water for 1-2 minutes. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon, and add to an ice bath to cool.  once greens are cool to the touch, strain and squeeze all water from the leaves.

Roughly chop the blanched greens.  Add to a food processor with garlic, pistachios, lemon juice and zest, parmigiano, salt and pepper.  Pulse into a coarse paste.  Then stream olive oil to desired consistency or about 1/3-1/2 cup.  Set aside.

*NOTE: To de-stem your nettle leaves, hold onto stem with tongs, and use your other hand to carefully snip the leaves using kitchen scissors

Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil evenly into a cast iron (10-12 inches) or 9x11 baking dish to preheat for about 5-6 minutes (or until pan is very hot).  Carefully remove hot pan and pour in batter evenly.  

Top with sea salt, fresh pepper and bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are browned and firm.  If socca appears dry while baking or after, drizzle more olive oil over top.  Let cool for 15-20 minutes.  Then. spread a thick layer of pesto over chickpea crust and dollop with burrata.  Top with baby arugula, a sprinkling of pea shoots, flaky sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.  Serve warm!