Lunds and Byerlys REAL FOOD Summer 2021

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Lunds & Byerlys















Summer Road Trip 03


A culinary tour of regional specialties from across the U.S.

SUPER SALADS: Packed with protein for a whole meal GLOBAL GRILLING: Spice up your skewers QUICK PICKLES: Simplify the art of preserving

JUNE 26 & 27






Sample mouth-watering grilled foods and treats, cool craft beer and seltzers, refreshing summer wines and more—all included with your ticket. Test out the hottest grills, gather recipes, learn how to barbecue like a pro and purchase specially priced grills, grilling accessories and locally made products from Minnesotan artisans.




25% OFF

UNTIL MAY 31, 2021!

Those who love to cook make more than food in the kitchen. They make the most of every moment together—sharing stories, creating delicious flavors and simply enjoying the company of close friends. For more than 80 years, Le Creuset has been a part of these special times, and a colorful companion to all who savor food—and life—to the fullest. To learn more about Le Creuset’s classic French quality, and the joys of cooking with premium enameled cast iron, visit



real food summer 2021

20 Super Salads Added protein, veggies and toppings turn your side salad into a complete meal BY ROBIN ASBELL

28 On the Road Again Take a culinary tour by cooking up regional specialties from across the U.S. BY MOLLY STEVENS

40 A More Perfect Pickle It takes only vinegar, salt and spices

to make summer’s bounty come alive RECIPES BY JOSEPH SHULDINER

48 Global Grilling Intriguing international flavors spice up skewers RECIPES BY MARCUS BAWDON

52 Nadiya Hussain Baking is this Netflix star’s happy place, and she wants it to be yours, too BY MARY SUBIALKA

Departments 4 Bites Tofu: A versatile vegan protein RECIPES BY ATSUKO IKEDA AND SARAH WILKINSON

6 Kitchen Skills Unexpected sweet and spicy fruit sauces BY JASON ROSS

8 Contributors 17 Ingredient Farro: An ancient grain with a modern-day success story BY ERIK TORMOEN

18 Healthy Habits Sugar Swaps: The buzz about natural sweeteners BY KYRA BOWAR

56 Pairings Shake up your barbecue with cocktails this summer BY MARY SUBIALKA

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Our Cover

Shrimp Creole (page 37) Photograph by Terry Brennan Food styling by Lara Miklasevics


VOLUME 17, NUMBER 2 Real Food magazine is published quarterly by Greenspring Media, LLC, 9401 James Ave. S, Suite 152, Bloomington, MN 55431, 612.371.5800, Fax 612.371.5801. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Real Food is exclusively operated and owned by Greenspring Media, LLC. Printed in the USA.

The pages between the covers of this magazine (except for any inserted material) are printed on paper made from wood fiber that was procured from forests that are sustainably managed to remain healthy, productive and biologically diverse.

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Totally Tofu Fall in love with the versatility of this vegan protein


n its own, tofu is often considered bland and watery. But the beauty of tofu is that it is a canvas waiting to be painted with a rainbow of flavors. A curd made from soybeans, tofu can be used in a wide variety of dishes as a meat substitute, blended to create “yogurt,” or scrambled as an alternative to eggs and more. The new book, “Totally Tofu: 75 Delicious Protein-Packed Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes,” showcases its adaptability. It includes thoughtful ways to incorporate tofu in snacks, salads, soups and stews, main dishes and even options to satisfy your sweet tooth. Here we have two tofu-centric dishes from the book—one for dinner and the other for dessert—for you to try at home. —Liv Martin


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Combining tofu and cream cheese to make this baked cheesecake recipe keeps it light and moist—each mouthful almost melts in the mouth. The touch of cinnamon and addition of lemon zest makes it the perfect dessert to comfort you. or the Base F 6 ounces (about 12 sheets) graham crackers 1/2 stick butter, melted 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon For the Cheesecake 12 ounces firm tofu 16 ounces soft cream cheese 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 extra-large eggs finely grated zest of 1 lemon seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean 7 ounces mixed fresh berries 1. For the cheesecake, wrap the tofu in plenty of paper towels and compress under a heavy kitchen utensil for 30 minutes to remove excess water. 2. Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch round loose-based cake pan with butter and line the base with a circle of parchment paper. 3. For the cheesecake base, crush the crackers to fine crumbs in a food processor or by putting them into a resealable bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter and cinnamon until well combined. Spread the cracker mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan and press down to flatten. 4. Combine the tofu and soft cheese in the rinsedout food processor, and blend to combine. Transfer to a bowl and add the sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla seeds. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly combined. Pour the mixture over the top of the cracker base. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and bake for a further 45 to 50 minutes. 5. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to cool completely for 2 to 3 hours in the oven. This should help stop cracks from forming. 6. Remove from the oven and leave at room temperature for a few hours before transferring to the refrigerator and chilling overnight. 7. The next day, remove the cheesecake from its pan, transfer to a serving plate and scatter fresh berries on top to serve.

Spaghetti Squash with Tofu, Nori and Kale Pesto MAKES 4 SERVINGS | RECIPE BY SARAH WILKINSON

An excellent, lighter alternative to pasta, spaghetti squash is full of fiber and low in carbohydrates. The pesto is packed with delicious ingredients, including vitamin- and mineral-rich nori. This works well with the tofu to create a satisfying protein-based meal that supports your well-being ... and tastes good! 1 large spaghetti squash 2 tablespoons plus ½ cup olive oil 1/2 teaspoon sea salt freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs (such as a mixture of thyme, oregano, marjoram and rosemary) 14 ounces smoked or herb-marinated tofu 1/4 cup pine nuts, plus extra to garnish 1¼ ounces (about 2 cups) kale 1/3 ounce dried green nori (sheets or sprinkles) 1¼ ounces (about 2 cups) fresh basil freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon 2 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds 1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Prepare the squash by slicing in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and the central flesh. Place both halves on a baking sheet, hollow side up, and drizzle over 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste. Scatter the dried herbs over the squash (if you prefer to use fresh herbs, chop finely before adding). Roast in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, prepare the tofu by draining it, then wrapping in paper towels. Place between two cutting boards, weigh it down with a heavy item and leave for 10 minutes until pressed firm. 3. Dry-roast the pine nuts in a pan over a medium heat, tossing until brown on all sides. Place in a food processor with the kale, nori (tear into smaller pieces if using the sheets), basil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, hemp seeds and the remaining ½ cup olive oil, and process until the pesto reaches a coarse consistency. 4. Slice the tofu ¼-inch thick, place on a non-stick baking sheet and roast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. 5. Use a fork to scrape the flesh of the squash into spaghetti strands, toss with the pesto and tofu, and serve on warmed plates. Season with black pepper to taste and garnish with extra toasted pine nuts. 

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kitchen skills

The Savory Side of Fruit Turn summer’s bounty into sweet and spicy sauces BY JASON ROSS


ne of the best things to do with summer fruit when it’s perfectly ripe and there’s a bounty of it on the shelves at the store is to simply enjoy it out of hand. That first bite at the beginning of the season is always delicious. Savor it. After that, it’s time to cook. You’ll immediately think of cobblers, pies and crumbles, but fruit is delicious in savory food as well. To get some of that fruit into the mix for dinner, here are a few recipes that balance heat and smokiness while showcasing fruit at the center of the plate.

Summer Stone Fruit Salsa with Fresh Corn and Basil MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

This salsa really highlights the season with fresh fruit and corn. Use peaches, nectarines or apricots—whichever fruit is best and ripest. 2 ears corn, shucked and cut from the cob (about 1½ cups) ¼ cup minced red onion 1 tablespoon fresh jalapeño, minced (optional) ½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon sugar 1 tablespoon lime juice 2 cups stone fruit (peach, nectarine or apricot) cut into ½-inch dice 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil ¼ cup basil, sliced into thin strips

1. Bring 1 quart water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the cut corn kernels to the pot and cook for 3 minutes. Pour into a colander in the sink and strain out the water. Put corn on a plate and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. 2. In a medium sized bowl, mix the onion and jalapeño together, then add the salt, sugar and lime juice. Allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes until the onions and jalapeño soften and go slightly limp. 3. Add the fruit, olive oil and basil, and using a large spoon, toss gently to mix. 4. Serve immediately, or the salsa can be transferred to a sealed container, refrigerated and used on the same day. TO SERVE: A quick and easy way to enjoy this stone fruit salsa is to simply scoop it up with corn chips. Here are a couple additional ways to use it that will spruce up your summer table. Bruschetta: Brush olive oil on slices of crusty bread and toast on the grill or in a pan until browned on both sides; a few minutes should be plenty. Spread ricotta cheese on the toasted bread and top with the stone fruit salsa. Seared Fish: Season fish fillets, such as salmon or seabass, and sear in olive oil in a hot pan. Cook 7 to 12 minutes per side, depending on the size of the fish, until both sides are crispy and brown. Serve fish hot from the pan and spoon salsa over the fish. Drizzle with a little more extra-virgin olive oil. PHOTOGRAPHY TERRY BRENNAN FOOD STYLING LARA MIKLASEVICS

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Ancho Cherry Relish MAKES 3 CUPS, 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

Cherries sing in this sauce, bouncing off the smoky and earthy depth of ancho chilies. Chipotle chilies offer similar smoke but can increase the spiciness to high burn levels. You can call this a relish, but the sauce falls into the hard-to-categorize realm—is this a relish, chutney or barbecue sauce? Maybe it’s just plain delicious.

PEELING NECTARINES AND PEACHES: If you prefer peaches and nectarines without the skin, drop them into boiling water for 20 seconds. Then cool them quickly in ice water and use your hands, or a paring knife if you like, to pull the skins off the fruit. CUTTING CORN KERNELS FROM THE COB: Some people cut vertically down the cob to remove the kernels, which works, but the kernels tend to fall onto the cutting board, bounce around, and may end up on the floor. Instead, try laying the cobs on the cutting board horizontally and make cuts with the cobs resting on the cutting board. This might be a bigger controversy than how to eat corn on the cob-typewriter style across in rows or rotating and working around the cob? PITTING CHERRIES: If you do not have a cherry pitting tool, use a chopstick and plunge it into the cherry to push the pit out the other side.

1. Break off the ancho stems and split the chilies in half to remove the seeds. In a medium sized bowl, soak the chilies in the boiled water for 30 minutes, until they are softened and cooled. In a blender, purée the chilies with ½ cup of the soaking water for 30 to 45 seconds until they become a smooth paste. (Discard any remaining soaking water.) 2. Sweat the onion in oil on medium heat in a sauce pot. Season with salt as it cooks and stir until soft and translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. 3. Add the ancho paste from the blender and ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat and continue to simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. 4. Stir in the butter until it has melted and been incorporated into the sauce. Turn off the heat and mix in the cherries until they are warmed through, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. 5. Serve immediately. To make ahead, make the sauce minus the cherries and butter, and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To serve, reheat with 1 tablespoon of water and finish the warm sauce with butter and fresh pitted cherries. TO SERVE: With meat: This sauce works great with grilled pork chops or pork tenderloin, or even pulled pork tacos and sandwiches. Spoon the sauce over the pork, hot off the grill. Barbecue sauce: To make cherry ancho barbecue sauce, try throwing the cherries in the blender with the ancho paste and purée until smooth. Then continue with the recipe and baste ribs or wings with the tangy sauce.  NUTRITION


2 ancho chilies 1 cup boiled water 1 tablespoon neutral oil (vegetable, canola, corn or grapeseed) ½ cup finely minced onion 1½ teaspoons salt ½ cup ketchup ¼ cup brown sugar ¼ cup cider vinegar 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved



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Robin Asbell spreads the

word about how truly delicious and beautiful whole, real foods can be through her work as an author, cooking teacher and private chef. She likes to create delicious dishes that range from meat and seafood to beans and grains using global flavors. Her latest book is “Plant-Based Meats.” She is also the author of “300 Best Blender Recipes Using Your Vitamix”; “Great Bowls of Food: Grain Bowls, Buddha Bowls, Broth Bowls and More”; “Juice It!”; “Big Vegan: Over 350 Recipes, No Meat, No Dairy, All Delicious”; “The New Vegetarian”; and “Gluten-Free Pasta.”

Terry Brennan is a

photographer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Clients include Target, General Mills, Land O’Lakes and Hormel. “Working with Real Food is a highlight for me—I look forward to every issue. I love working with the creative team and, of course, sampling the wonderful recipes.”

Molly Stevens is a cooking

instructor, writer and recipe developer. Her cookbooks include “All About Dinner” as well as the James Beard and IACP cookbook award winners “All About Braising” and “All About Roasting.” She has been named Cooking Teacher of the Year by both Bon Appétit and IACP. Stevens’ recipes and articles have appeared regularly in a number of national publications. She lives in Vermont and travels the country to teach, cook and eat. Find out more about her writing and teaching schedule at

Lara Miklasevics began her

of “Skewered” and “Food and Fire.” He loves to share his passion for cooking with fire via his CountryWoodSmoke website, Facebook group and YouTube channel; through demonstrations and appearances at food and barbecue festivals; and as editor of BBQ Magazine. He was crowned king of Meatopia BBQ festival in London, is a judge at BBQ events and makes regular media appearances to talk about all things related to outdoor cooking. Bawdon lives in Devon, U.K.

Jason Ross is a chef consultant

for restaurants and hotels, developing menus and concepts for multiple high profile properties. He grew up and trained in New York City but now calls St. Paul, Minnesota, home. Currently, he teaches the next generation of chefs at Saint Paul College Culinary School. 8 real food summer 2021

Joseph Shuldiner trained as a

Certified Master Food Preserver with the UC Cooperative Extension and the County of Los Angeles. He was also a designer, photographer, writer and cook with a passion for the lost domestic arts. He believed deeply in the importance of learning to prepare truly homemade food using authentic and locally sourced ingredients. Shuldiner passed away in 2019, but his legacy, including his contributions to the L.A. food world and his masterful teaching, lives on in “The New Homemade Kitchen,” published in 2020, which is excerpted in this issue.


Marcus Bawdon is the author

food career on the other side of the camera, cooking at the renowned New French Café in Minneapolis. Today her work as a stylist is in demand at corporations including Heinz, Target and General Mills, as well as with many magazines. She prides herself on using her experience as a chef to make food as appealing on the page as it is on the plate.

Lunds & Byerlys welcome Bloomington: 952-896-0092 Burnsville: 952-892-5600 Chanhassen: 952-474-1298 Eagan: 651-686-9669 Eden Prairie: 952-525-8000 Edina 50th Street: 952-926-6833 France Avenue: 952-831-3601 Golden Valley: 763-544-8846 Maple Grove: 763-416-1611 Minneapolis Downtown: 612-379-5040 Nokomis: Opening May 20! Northeast: 612-548-3820 Uptown: 612-825-2440 Minnetonka Glen Lake: 952-512-7700 Highway 7: 952-935-0198 Ridgedale: 952-541-1414 Navarre: 952-471-8473 Plymouth: 763-268-1624 Prior Lake: 952-440-3900 Richfield: 612-861-1881 Roseville: 651-633-6949 St. Cloud: 320-252-4112 St. Louis Park: 952-929-2100 St. Paul Downtown: 651-999-1600 Highland Park: 651-698-5845 Wayzata: 952-476-2222 White Bear Lake: 651-653-0000 Woodbury: 651-999-1200


CATERING 952-897-9800

Dynamic Growth


s we prepare to open the doors to our newest Lunds & Byerlys in the Nokomis community in Minneapolis, I’m reminded of one of the many business axioms my grandfather, Russell Lund Sr., shared with me while he was strengthening our company’s foundation many years ago. The axiom was, quite simply, if a business is not growing, it is declining. Growth, of course, comes in many forms. And while we are excited about the physical growth that takes place through bricks and mortar, I’m always most excited about the dynamic growth a new store represents. When our Nokomis store opens on May 20, it will provide inspiring career growth for many of our staff. It also provides us the opportunity to welcome many new members to our L&B family who share our passion for extraordinary food and exceptional service. And, of course, this new store gives us the ability to grow and foster even deeper relationships within the community. We’ve had the pleasure of serving many of those living in and around the Nokomis area at our other nearby stores in Highland Park, Uptown and Richfield, and now we eagerly anticipate opening a Lunds & Byerlys right in the heart of this great community. Similar to many of our other urban locations, this nearly 23,000-square-foot, full-service store will feature an impressive

selection of foods produced locally and sourced from around the world—everything from our patented Reserve Aged Beef and sustainable seafood to artisan bread and organic produce. Our Nokomis store will also feature seemingly endless fresh and flavorful meal offerings that are ready to eat or heat— soups, salads, sandwiches, classic comfort foods, Hissho Sushi, taco and Mediterranean bars, and more. Meals can be enjoyed in the café seating areas inside and outside our store. And for those who prefer to do their shopping online, you can have your groceries delivered right to your home or pick them up at the store using our convenient curbside pickup option. Whether you shop in our stores or online, we thank you for the opportunity to serve you. And we hope you continue to enjoy Real Food. Sincerely,

Tres Lund President and CEO

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FOOD QUESTIONS? Call our FoodE Experts: 952-548-1400



Aaron Sorenson: 952-927-3663 real food 9

Lunds & Byerlys meet the expert

Meet Flowers by Bachman’s


aybe you’re stopping by the store for your weekly shopping trip and the first thing you see is the Flowers by Bachman’s display, which is filled with radiant cut flowers such as peonies and dahlias and brimming with seasonal plants like chrysanthemums. There are greenhouse plants like ZZs and sansevieria, too. You think, “Wow, they’re so beautiful and so fresh!” You feel inspired. You dream of lush houseplants overflowing in your Instagram feed. The next time you stop by the store, they still look fresh and beautiful. You imagine the selfie you could post surrounded by colorful flowers. The Bachman’s displays in our stores are refreshed, tended to and loved every day our stores are open. “Our team goes out seven days a week, 362 days a year to bring fresh product to the stores,” says Jennifer Blaha, director of grocery operations for Bachman’s. “We prune, we deadhead, we pull out any flowers that are too far along in their bloom. We care for all of our products every day.” Bachman’s prioritizes exceptional product quality— just like Lunds & Byerlys—so they dispatch the same full-time and part-time teams to the same stores to care for the plants and flowers. Customers are welcome to ask Bachman’s employees questions—they love to share their expertise. Both Bachman’s and Lunds & Byerlys have been part of life in the Twin Cities for generations, and part of each company’s staying power has been a commitment to customer service and high quality, says Bachman’s director of marketing Karen Bachman-Thull. That is where the real magic comes in. The plants look fresh and beautiful every day thanks to hard work and dedication (and, okay, maybe a little magic; nature always has some magic in it). But the true beauty is in how both of our companies work together to put the customer first.

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A Beautiful Partnership The Bachman’s partnership with Lunds & Byerlys began in 1968, after Ralph Bachman visited Europe. “He saw all these beautiful flower carts, people pushing them through the streets, and he envisioned bringing that here,” says Bachman-Thull. When he returned to the Twin Cities, Bachman’s launched a new concept called the European Flower Market, modeled on those carts. “The whole concept was to provide beautiful fresh flowers in places people frequented,” Bachman-Thull says. “Byerly’s was that place.” (Lunds and Byerly’s were two separate stores until they joined forces in 1997.) The first European Flower Market kiosk appeared at the Byerly’s in Golden Valley and soon there were 22 kiosks around the metro. In the late ’80s, the companies created more permanent installations called “Flowers by Bachman’s” in all of the Byerly’s food stores.Today, Bachman’s provides flower services to all Lunds & Byerlys stores in the Minneapolis metro area and St. Cloud. Blaha leads the team of 34 dedicated plant experts who visit each store to care for the plants and answer customer questions. “You have two local companies with similar commitments to quality and service and connection to customers,” says BachmanThull. “It’s really beautiful. There is something very special there.” The Bachman’s team focuses on featuring seasonal blooms from local growers whenever possible. During summer, this may include sunflowers, gladiolas and peonies. Bachman’s-grown plants come from their 700-acre farm just south of the Twin Cities. Flowers by Bachman’s is also known for its signature cut-flower bouquets. The company’s buyer for fresh-cut flowers has a passion for music, so she names each bouquet she creates after a song. “Customers can buy a ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ bouquet or an ‘Imagine’ bouquet,” says Blaha. And if they fall in love with a particular bouquet ‘recipe’ and try to find it someplace else, they’ll strike out, she adds. “They can’t find ‘Imagine’ anywhere else because we created it.” 

Nokomis area of Minneapolis

Lunds Store Opens 8& a.m.Byerlys on May 20

Nokomis For more information, visit:

Meet our newest store in the Nokomis area of Minneapolis Store Opens 8 a.m. on May 20 For more information, visit:

and more Mediterranean bar: Lunds & Byerlysbar build-your-own Store Features featuring Gyro, falafel, hummus and more Seemingly endless chef-crafted meal fresh-rolled sushi options, including prepared our hot foodin-store bar anddaily soups Taco Mas: build-yourExclusive L&B own bar with tacos, Reserve Aged Beef® burrito bowls, chips and more Free knife sharpening service Mediterranean bar: build-your-own bar Bachman’s floral featuring Gyro, falafel, hummus Interiorand andmore exterior café seating areas fresh-rolled sushi FoodEprepared Expert to answer in-store daily all food-related questions and create Exclusive L&B menu ideas Reserve Aged Beef® Online shopping Free and knifedelivery pickup sharpening service Bachman’s floral Interior and exterior café seating areas FoodE Expert to answer all food-related questions and create menu ideas Online shopping pickup and delivery

Lunds & Byerlys recipe box

Happy Hour Fiesta Say “hola” to warm weather with this Mexican cuisine-inspired meal that has bright, summertime flavors


These flavorful shrimp tacos are the perfect dinner pick-me-up! For milder tacos, discard the seeds and ribs from inside the peppers. 1 pound raw extra large (26-30) shell-on shrimp, rinsed (see Cook’s Note) 1 lemon, zested then juiced 1 lime, zested then juiced 2 serrano peppers, sliced ½ cup tequila 1 cup guacamole (see recipe on page 13) ½ cup L&B salsa (we recommend L&B Black Bean & Corn Salsa) 2 cups shredded lettuce 1 bunch cilantro, washed, dried and chopped 2 beefsteak tomatoes, diced 8 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled 8 corn or flour tortillas 1. In a medium bowl, combine shrimp, juice and zest of lemon and lime, peppers and tequila. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 2. Heat grill to medium-high. Meanwhile, prepare remaining ingredients and set aside. 3. Drain shrimp and discard marinade. 4. Using a grill basket or skewers, grill shrimp for about 2 minutes per side, until opaque. Remove and let cool. Peel shrimp once cool enough to handle. 5. Heat tortillas on grill briefly on each side until lightly browned. Remove to a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm.

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6. When ready to serve, spread each tortilla with guacamole and three shrimp on top. Garnish with remaining ingredients as desired. Cook’s Note: If using cooked shrimp, modify Step 4 to heat shrimp until warm.

Lunds & Byerlys


This refreshing take on the classic margarita will brighten up any happy hour! coarse salt, for rim of glass 2 ounces fresh clementine juice (from 1 to 3 clementines) 1 ounce lime juice 2 ounces tequila 1 ounce triple sec 1. Moisten the rim of a cocktail glass with lime juice or water. Press into salt and set glass aside. Pour the clementine juice, lime juice, tequila and triple sec over ice in a cocktail shaker. 2. Shake and strain into the prepared glass with a few ice cubes and serve.

L&B FRESH GUACAMOLES AND SALSAS Enjoy all the benefits of homemade guacamole and salsa without any of the work! Developed by our executive chefs using high-quality ingredients and our signature recipes, our guacamoles and salsas are the perfect partner to any of our crispy, crunchy L&B tortilla chips. Visit our produce departments to pick up our fresh L&B guacamoles and salsas!


Key limes, which are more aromatic than regular limes and known for their distinctive tart juice, add a punch of flavor to this cocktail. This recipe calls for reposado tequila, which is aged in wooden barrels, where it develops a mellower flavor and amber color, though any tequila would work fine as well. 1 Key lime, quartered (optional) kosher salt for rims of glasses (optional) ¾ cup Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur ½ cup reposado tequila ½ cup fresh Key lime juice 2 teaspoons superfine granulated sugar (optional) 1. Run a lime wedge (if using) around the rims of 4 (6- to 8-ounce) glasses. Put salt (if using) on a small plate and dip glasses in salt to lightly coat rims. 2. Blend liqueur, tequila, juice and sugar (if using) in a blender until combined. Serve over ice in prepared glasses.

Lunds & Byerlys Fresh Guacamole MAKES 12 SERVINGS | PREPARATION TIME: 15 MINUTES

2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro 1 jalapeño pepper with seeds, finely chopped 1 to 2 Bushel Boy vine-ripened tomatoes, diced 4 ripe avocados 2 tablespoons Italia lime juice 1 teaspoon fine- or medium-grind sea salt

1. Wash and air-dry cilantro and jalapeño pepper. Finely chop cilantro and jalapeño pepper, dice tomatoes and set aside. 2. Cut avocados in half, remove pits and scoop flesh into a mediumsized bowl. Toss and coat with lime juice. Add salt and, using a fork or potato masher, mash until about half chunky and half smooth. 3. Fold in cilantro, jalapeño and diced tomato. Taste guacamole and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cook’s Notes: • Washed cilantro can be placed in a lettuce spinner to remove excess water. If you really want a punch of cilantro flavor, include about half of the stems when trimming and chopping the cilantro, as they contain more flavor than the leaves. • Either use the remainder of the guacamole as a dip with tortilla chips or store in the refrigerator. Add a squirt of lime juice to the surface and lay a piece of plastic wrap on top to help prevent some browning due to exposure to air.  real food 13





. BANZA CHICKPEA PASTA Banza makes delicious pasta out of chickpeas. That means you’ll get more protein, more fiber and fewer carbs in every bite of your favorite summer pasta salad, creamy carbonara or mouthwatering marinara. Plus, Banza pasta looks, cooks and tastes just like regular pasta, so you won’t notice a difference when preparing it or serving it to your biggest critics— those picky little ones! The pastas cook in less than 10 minutes and are gluten free, vegan and free from the top 10 allergens, which make them a great option for everyone.



. TERRA DELYSSA OLIVE OIL Scan the QR code on Terra Delyssa Extra Virgin Olive Oil and you’ll be able to trace the olive oil’s journey from the Terra Delyssa orchards in Tunisia to you. The olives are grown using chemical-free sustainable farming methods and are hand-picked and cold-pressed by master millers within hours of harvest. The olive oils are then packaged in hand-crafted dark glass bottles to keep the oil protected against exposure to light, which deteriorates the antioxidants in the oil. All this careful work ensures the best-tasting, smooth and mild oil that is perfect for daily use in your recipes.


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. NEON ZEBRA MIXERS Neon Zebra non-alcoholic cocktail mixers are a quick and easy shortcut to great tasting cocktails in seconds. The 7.5-ounce can makes two drinks so you can easily share with family and friends. Each mixer is designed to be paired with your favorite spirit and is made with 5 percent real fruit juice and sweetened with cane sugar and no artificial sweeteners. Varieties include margarita, whiskey sour, mojito and daiquiri. Neon Zebra get its name from the animal kingdom. Zebras are social creatures who like to drink. A Neon Zebra likes to do all of those things and stand out among the herd.


. DOT’S CHEESE CURLS The famous Dot’s Pretzels are a special family snack created many years ago by Dot in her home kitchen in North Dakota. Now the family-owned business has introduced Dot’s Cheese Curls, the newest addition to their collection. These are the cheese curls we all grew up with, now seasoned with the famous Dot’s Original Seasoning. The cheese curls are delicious on their own, mixed with popcorn or combined into a delicious snack mix.


. VERMONT CREAMERY GOAT CHEESE LOGS This is the cheese that started it all for Vermont Creamery. A 25-year history and a slow, authentic process make this chevre stand out. The goat milk is collected from local farms in Vermont. Fermentation is allowed to last a full 24 hours to make a cheese that is incredibly creamy and another day’s draining sets it to perfection. This versatile cheese is delicious on salads, sprinkled on flatbread or spread on sandwiches. Or give it a try on a cheeseboard or swirled into pasta.


. LUNDS & BYERLYS CHOCOLATES Lunds & Byerlys chocolates are made right here in Minnesota by Abdallah Candies. Our decades-long partnership with the family-owned business has resulted in a wide variety of decadent, high-quality confections. Abdallah uses time-tested family recipes and collaborates with the Lunds & Byerlys team to dream up new treats. Our newest confections are L&B Nut Clusters & Caramels, which feature premium almonds and cashews drenched in milk and dark chocolate, as well as chewy caramels and nougat enrobed in luscious chocolate. real food 15




At Lunds & Byerlys, our chefs prepare one-of-a-kind creations that are full of flavor. From sweet bakery items to savory ready-to-heat entrées, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. Our creations and your cravings are always Better Together. Meet our experts and browse signature products at


Favoring Farro An ancient grain with a modern-day success story BY ERIK TORMOEN



t stocked the tombs of Egyptian kings and reportedly fed the Roman legions. It sprouted in the Fertile Crescent—the Middle Eastern birthplace of agriculture. Centuries later, it grew popular in the U.S. around 2010 as Italian specialty stores and celebrity chefs like Mario Batali placed it squarely before home cooks. Good in dishes like risotto, salad, soup and oatmeal, this nutrient-rich, light brown wheat grain has since become a favored American stand-in for rice. It’s chewy, it’s hearty, it’s nutty. It is farro. “Couldn’t have happened to a nicer grain,” chef Robin Asbell tells me by phone, referring to the fact that I’m calling her—a culinary consultant to the Whole Grains Council and the author of two whole-grain-focused cookbooks—simply to talk about farro. Why do we love it? Why should we love it? The recent “ancient grains” craze has made farro more available to home cooks, and I tell Asbell that I, along with half the country (according to at least one estimate), have been cooking more because of the pandemic. In my hunt for variety, I have lately picked farro where more common carbs—like rice and the crowned queen of ancient grains, quinoa—used to dominate. Nutritionally, farro packs more of a punch than rice, especially in protein and fiber (where it beats quinoa, too). But I’m a kitchen novice. Why should I be favoring farro and not any other nutrient-dense, pedigreed grain like barley, sorghum or teff? For Asbell, it boils down to a pretty simple question: What’s the dish? “Farro does have a really uniquely delicious flavor,” she says. “It’s just got a really caramelly sweetness to it.” It pairs well with olive oil, garlic, basil, rosemary, chickpeas, Tuscan beans and other Italian flavors. There’s a reason Italian celebrity chefs started promoting it, after all. “It’s got a lovely, authentic taste that you know is going to work with the flavors of that cuisine,” she says. (For a Mediterranean salad recipe by Asbell that uses farro, see page 26.) But before you get to cooking, you’ll first need to select some farro in the store. Farro, a wheat grain, comes in three varieties: einkorn, spelt and emmer. The differences aren’t many, although emmer, a harder grain than einkorn, is most common in the U.S. “Years ago, when it was first coming out, I talked to some guys who were saying, ‘Change two genes in it, and it’s spelt!’” Asbell recalls. Just bear this in mind as you’re scanning the aisles. You’ll also want to pay attention to whether you’re buying whole, pearled or semi-pearled farro. Whole farro has an outer layer of bran that requires an overnight soak. “If you want a grain

that’s going to pop and have more chewiness to it, you go with the whole,” Asbell says. It makes for a satisfyingly al dente bite in salads and soups, and won’t turn to mush after soaking in the refrigerator for a few days. Pearled and semi-pearled farro are more commonly sold in the U.S. The “pearling” process removes, or partially removes, the outer layer of bran, making it texturally closer to rice. It’s an abrasive process that shears away some fiber and nutrients, too—but the result is a farro that cooks faster: Just boil and let simmer. It does especially well in risottos, and semi-pearled should also hold its shape in a soup. Farro is versatile: You can top it with roasted fruit and yogurt, stuff it in grape leaves and apply it to pilafs. Some chefs have even constructed veggie burgers out of it. “Twenty years ago, there wasn’t really farro to be found,” Asbell recalls. Like quinoa (“another little hippie grain”), media attention has secured it a place in U.S. pantries. Farro may still feel like quinoa’s less popular, non-gluten-free cousin. But Asbell says she’s noticed the gluten-free diet declining as a trend, as opposed to a health recommendation for those with celiac disease. She hopes a wheat grain like farro can steepen its ascent. Moreover, she describes a recent call she had with the Whole Grains Council—where a member recalled the initial pandemic panic that cleared grocery shelves of white-flour foods—and muses, “I hope that being stuck at home and wanting some variety has led more people to try it.” 

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healthy habits

Sugar Swaps From honey to stevia: the latest buzz about natural sweeteners BY KYRA BOWAR

intake come from added sugars, natural or otherwise. Ultimately, like with other foods, it comes down to balance. Read on to find out more about different sweeteners and discover the best choices for you.

Know what to look for Do your research on a product to see if it has been processed. The refining process often removes much of the health benefits of natural sugars, leaving only the tasty but not-so-healthy parts. “It’s up to the consumer to make sure that products aren’t processed—that it’s actual syrup or raw agave,” Ewoldt says. “Just because they’re natural doesn’t mean that the company didn’t process them.”

Moderation in sugar and weight loss “When you look at a standard diet, most of us are just overeating sugar because we have a diet high in processed foods,” warns Ewoldt. While a regulated amount of sugar is okay, our bodies process sugars the same—digesting it rapidly, leading to weight gain. The sugar problem comes in excess, no matter what kind of sugar it is. If weight loss is the goal, reduce overall sugar intake.



n a world of processed foods with high sugar content and artificial sweeteners that raise health concerns including possible links to cancer, natural alternatives are all the buzz in the health community. If you are looking to use natural sweeteners but are unsure about the options, you’re not alone. What makes a sweetener “natural”? White granulated sugar is natural, after all, but made from refining sugar cane, sugar beets or corn, so it is processed, and therefore further removed from its natural state. Other sweeteners such as honey, coconut sugar and maple syrup also come from natural sources but have not been refined or processed as much as sugar. Before you start adding natural sweeteners to your diet, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Jason Ewoldt, a registered dietitian and nutritionist with the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program in Rochester, Minnesota, emphasizes that the biggest misconception about natural sweeteners is that they are automatically healthier. “Sugar, whether it’s natural or not, is going to be processed the same by our bodies,” he says. “Even though it’s natural, you still want to consume in moderation.” Adverse effects of consuming excess sugars may include obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart problems and more. The USDA recommends that less than 10 percent of our total caloric


Coconut sugar (45 cal/tablespoon): Sourced from the sap of the coconut palm tree, this is often minimally processed. It contains few nutrients but may prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Coconut sugar contains small amounts of insulin, so it may also be beneficial to people with diabetes. 18 real food summer 2021

Date sugar (30 cal/tablespoon): Made from dried dates and rich in fiber, potassium, magnesium and iron, date sugar is less processed than other granulated sugars. However, because it’s thicker, date sugar doesn’t dissolve nearly as nicely in liquid as other sugars. Still, don’t be afraid to use it when sweetening recipes. Honey (64 cal/tablespoon): Bees know how to make our lives sweeter. Often the leastprocessed natural sweetener, honey has additional health benefits including immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it can be used to soothe a sore throat or cough. It’s cholesterol free, gluten free, sodium free and fat free. Be sure to check if you’re

buying “raw” honey, which preserves its natural benefits. But you should avoid giving this golden sweetener to children one year and younger, since it can potentially contain spores that are harmful to little ones. Maple syrup (52 cal/tablespoon): This breakfast classic is a great alternative to sweeten your recipes. It contains beneficial minerals like zinc and manganese, plus antioxidants. Maple syrup may help manage sugar intake for those with diabetes. When substituting maple syrup, it is essential to check whether it’s real maple syrup or actually high fructose corn syrup in disguise.


Agave nectar (60 cal/ tablespoon): This syrup comes from the agave plant. Its recent rise in popularity is due to its low glycemic levels, so it’s a good alternative for those with diabetic concerns. However, agave is highly processed, so use it sparingly.

Some natural sweeteners are a good option for reducing caloric intake. “The nice thing about products like stevia or monk fruit is that they are a natural sugar substitute that wouldn’t contain calories,” Ewoldt says. “If you’re looking at weight loss, those would be the next step.”

Don’t stop at just substituting sweeteners “Natural sweeteners will contain small amounts of antioxidants and minerals, but those are very small amounts,” Ewoldt says. “Yes, they are healthier, but in order to really get those additional health benefits, we should be focusing on alternatives like increasing our vegetable intake.”

“Exchange rates” aren’t just for currency When substituting natural sweeteners for sugar in recipes, make sure you check the “exchange rate” because substitutions are rarely 1:1, and it is often much less than standard table sugar. For instance, stevia is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar per gram. The conversion rate depends on the brand of stevia, but it’s often best to use 1/8 to ½ teaspoon for every 1 teaspoon of sugar. In terms of honey, which is slightly sweeter than sugar, you can substitute it for up to half of the sugar called for in a recipe. For baked goods, you also need to reduce the liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup for each 1 cup of honey used, according to the National Honey Board. Then add about ½ teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used and reduce the oven temperature by 25°F to prevent over-browning.

When in doubt, sweeten it yourself Whether you put stevia in your coffee or maple syrup in your cookies, if you regulate your additive sugars personally, your overall sugar consumption should be less than what many manufactured foods contain. It could then be easier to be on target for that USDA recommendation to keep your diet in balance.  Always consult your doctor if you have health concerns or before making any major dietary changes.

Molasses (58 cal/ tablespoon): A thick, gooey syrup that results from boiling sugarcane, molasses hardly affects blood sugar or blood pressure. It contains beneficial vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, calcium and iron. Monk fruit sugar (0 cal/tablespoon): The juice from this fruit is dried into a concentrated powder which is 150 to 200 times sweeter than table sugar. This has zero calories and little impact on blood sugar levels.

Stevia (0 cal/ tablespoon): This granulated sugarlike sweetener is made from leaves of the stevia plant and is about 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. It contains no carbs, calories or artificial preservatives. Even though it’s a natural sugar, since it comes from a leaf, stevia is always going to be processed to get the usable sweetener. Sugar, white granulated (48 cal/tablespoon): This common table sugar that is a refined form of beet, cane or corn sugar is found in many processed foods.


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt zest and juice (about ¼ cup) of 1 lemon 3/4 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup butter, softened 3/4 cup honey 2 large eggs 1/2 pint raspberries For the Honey Raspberry Whipped Cream 1 cup whipping cream 1 tablespoon honey 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam 1. Heat oven to 350°F. 2. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. 3. In a liquid measure, combine lemon zest, juice and buttermilk; set aside. 4. In a mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Add honey and mix well. Add eggs one at a time and mix. Add half of the reserved dry ingredients to the butter mixture; mix on low until just combined. With mixer running on low, slowly add the lemon mixture. Add remaining dry ingredients until combined. Gently fold in raspberries. 5. Fill paper-lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool. 6. While cupcakes are cooling, make the Honey Raspberry Whipped Cream, if desired. In a mixing bowl, combine whipping cream, honey and jam. Beat until peaks form. When cupcakes are completely cooled, frost tops.

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Super Salads Fresh and flavorful whole-meal salads bring cool, colorful goodness to the table BY ROBIN ASBELL


hen summer brings us sunny days and fresh produce, it’s prime salad season. To take advantage, super-size the salad you usually serve on the side of an

entree to act as a base for an entire meal. You can pile your favorite protein on top,

then add cooked and raw veggies for great texture and color (and they’ll taste even better with a snappy drizzle of vinaigrette). Interesting toppings also sprinkle on flavor and complete a meal salad that is sure to be a hit on hot days. PHOTOGRAPHY TERRY BRENNAN FOOD STYLING LARA MIKLASEVICS

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Sure, taco salads are fun. But for an elevated version, try a seared, marinated steak on your salad. A classic Mexican carne asada-style steak marinade does double duty as the dressing for the salad. To cut through the meatiness, fresh lime and jalapeño will refresh your taste buds with each bite. For a meatless version, try it with marinated tofu. 1 pound steak or extra-firm tofu For the Marinade/Dressing ¼ cup fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon fresh lime zest 2 cloves garlic, pressed 1 large jalapeño, seeded and chopped ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon salt ¼ cup cilantro leaves ½ cup avocado or canola oil For the Salad 4 or 5 ounces (1 bag if prepackaged) mixed greens 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed 2 large tomatoes, cut in wedges 1 large avocado, sliced in the shell and scooped 2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded 2 cups tortilla chips, coarsely crushed cilantro, for garnish 1. Place the steak in a large bowl or baking pan. In a blender, combine the lime juice and zest, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, salt and cilantro and blend, then pour the oil through the hole in the blender lid with the machine running. Blend until smooth. 2. Pour 1/4 cup of the mixture over the steak and turn to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. (If using tofu, press and pat dry the tofu, cut in ½-inch cubes, then heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon oil, then add the tofu cubes. Use a thin metal spatula to turn the cubes as they brown. When the tofu is browned on all sides, add 1/4 cup of the dressing mixture and turn in the pan until coated and fragrant. Transfer tofu to a plate and let cool.) 3. Build the salad on a large platter or in a 9x15-inch baking dish or casserole. First spread the mixed greens, then sprinkle over the black beans, tomatoes, avocado and cheese. 4. For the steak, heat a cast iron or other heavy skillet over high heat. Drizzle with a little avocado or canola oil. Take the steak out of the marinade (discard the marinade) and sear the steak, cooking for about 2 minutes per side until medium-rare, depending on the thickness of the steak. Place the steak on a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain. 5. Drizzle the salad with the reserved dressing. Spread the steak slices across the salad, sprinkle with chips and serve.

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Butter Lettuce, Avocado and Shrimp Salad with Honey-Soy Dressing MAKES 4 SERVINGS

The flavors of toasted sesame and honey bring together tender butter lettuce and creamy avocado with plenty of delectable shrimp. Sweet, juicy strawberries add brilliant color and a fruity taste to contrast with all the veggies. 1 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined 6 tablespoons canola oil, divided For the Dressing 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil For the Salad ½ large head butter lettuce (4 cups) 4 ounces (1½ cups) snap peas, stems and strings removed ½ pound (2 cups) fresh strawberries, hulled and halved 1 large avocado, cubed (see Cook’s Note) 1. Peel and devein shrimp and pat dry with paper towels. Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, then when hot, drizzle in 1 tablespoon canola oil. Swirl it in the pan for a few seconds, then add the shrimp. Stir and turn the shrimp until they are pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely. 2. For the dressing: In a medium bowl or cup, whisk the honey, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil and remaining canola oil. Reserve. 3. In a large bowl or on a large platter, place the butter lettuce, snap peas, strawberries and avocado. Pile shrimp in the center. Drizzle with reserved dressing and serve. Cook’s Note: To cube avocado, slice in half and remove the pit, then use your paring knife to cut the flesh into cubes while still in the shell. Use a spoon to scoop out the cubes.


Mexican-Style Steak Salad


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Cauliflower Broccoli Salad with Mango-Curry Dressing

Spiced Chicken and Couscous Salad



The sweet and tart flesh of a ripe mango serves as a creamy base for a puréed dressing and a fruity salad topper. Broccoli and cauliflower are briefly steamed to make them a little softer, while still keeping some crunch. Feta and chickpeas provide protein as well as flavor and texture. Toasted pita bread acts as croutons to complete the meal.

In a nod to the berbere spice of Ethiopian cuisine, the chicken in this recipe is tossed with some warming, colorful spices before cooking. It goes well on top of tender couscous, lightly dressed in vinaigrette. Hearty spinach leaves hold their own among all of the other veggies and the chicken adds spice for a satisfying meal salad.

For the Dressing 1 medium ripe mango, chopped and divided ¼ teaspoon curry powder ¼ cup orange juice 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon honey ½ teaspoon salt ¼ cup avocado or canola oil For the Salad 2 cups cauliflower florets, about 1-inch across 2 cups broccoli florets, about 1-inch across 2 ounces mixed greens, about 2 cups 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 4 ounces feta cheese, rinsed, drained and crumbled ¼ cup slivered red onions ½ cup fresh mint leaves, slivered 2 large (about 9-inch) whole-wheat pita bread olive oil, for toasting pita ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds (optional) 1. Peel the mango and slice the flesh away from the pit. Chop ½ cup worth of cubes for the dressing, then slice and reserve the remaining fruit for the top of the salad. 2. For the dressing: In a blender, place the ½ cup mango cubes, curry powder, orange juice, lemon juice, honey and salt. Cover, blending until smooth, scraping and repeating as necessary. Scrape down the sides of the blender, then, with the plug removed from the lid, drizzle in the oil with the machine running, to make a smooth dressing. Transfer to a cruet or jar and reserve. It will keep up to 2 days in the refrigerator. 3. Prepare a steamer, and when the water boils, place the cauliflower and broccoli over the boiling water, cover, and steam for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then spread on a clean towel to pat dry. 4. Build your salad on a large platter or in a 9x15-inch casserole pan. Spread the greens in the bottom, then sprinkle the cauliflower and broccoli over it. Sprinkle the chickpeas, then the feta and reserved mango, and finally top with red onions and mint. If desired, cover tightly for up to 1 day in the refrigerator. 5. Before serving, slice the pita breads into 8 thin wedges per round. Place a 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat and when hot, drizzle with olive oil. Place the pita bread wedges in the pan and use a spatula to lightly press them down as they toast. After 1 to 2 minutes, reduce the heat to medium, and keep toasting and turning the pieces until they are crisped on the outside, about 5 minutes. 6. Serve the salad drizzled with the mango dressing and topped with pita wedges. If desired, sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

1 tablespoon paprika ¼ teaspoon cayenne 1 teaspoon ground cumin ¼ teaspoon allspice ½ teaspoon ground coriander ½ teaspoon salt 1 pound chicken breast ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 2 cloves garlic, pressed ½ teaspoon salt 8 ounces green beans, stems removed ½ cup couscous ½ cup water 4 ounces baby spinach, washed and dried 2 large tomatoes, cut in wedges ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted 1. Heat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, mix the paprika, cayenne, cumin, allspice, coriander and salt. Slice the chicken across the grain in ¼-inch thick slices, then add to the bowl with the spices. 2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a sheet pan and spread the chicken over the oil. Bake for 15 minutes, just until the chicken is cooked through. Let cool on a rack. 3. In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining olive oil, wine vinegar, garlic and salt. Reserve. 4. In a steamer, bring water to a boil, then steam the green beans for 5 minutes. Rinse and cool. 5. In a small pot, bring ½ cup water to a boil, then stir in the couscous and remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, then uncover, stir in 2 tablespoons of the dressing and fluff. 6. On a large platter or in a baking dish, spread the spinach, then top with couscous, green beans, tomatoes and chicken. Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with almonds and serve.

PACK IT UP These big salads are perfect for packing. A 3-quart, 9x15-inch glass casserole dish with a lid is a great way to store and serve it. If you have an insulated carrier, you can repurpose it as a salad chiller. A 3-quart rectangular storage container works, too. Whether you are packing it for the park or just out to the deck, your salad will be crisp and easy to serve.

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Chopped Salad with Marinated Farro and Smoked Turkey MAKES 4 SERVINGS

The chopped salad—with its delicious toppings arranged like rows or groupings in a garden—is a beautiful thing to see. In this version, one of the rows is made of farro, a variety of wheat that has gained great popularity in recent years for its nutty taste and chewy texture. (See page 17 for more on farro.) Colorful red cabbage and roasted red peppers pop alongside green avocado and cucumber, and smoky turkey provides protein in the meal. If you want to add some cheese, fresh mozzarella balls or cubed provolone would be delicious.

For the Dressing 2 cloves garlic, crushed ¼ cup balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons honey ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil


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Cheese: Crumbled goat cheese, feta or blue cheese are all great additions, as is just about any cheese you like. Crunch: Broken crackers, chips, pretzels, chow mein noodles or make your own garlic croutons (see below).

Nuts and seeds: Toasted sliced almonds, walnuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds. Pickle: Fermented kraut or kimchee, chopped pickled cucumbers or other pickled vegetables add tang.

For the Salad 1 heart of romaine (4 cups chopped) 1 cup sliced red cabbage 1 cup chopped cucumber 4 ounces sliced smoked turkey 1 large avocado, cubed and scooped (see Cook’s Note page 22) 4 small roasted red peppers (jarred), drained and chopped ½ cup fresh basil, slivered 1. In a small pot, bring 2 cups water to a boil, then add the farro. Adjust heat to hold the pot at a simmer until the farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain in a wire mesh strainer. Transfer to a bowl. 2. For the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the garlic, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Pour 1/4 cup of the mixture over the farro and toss to mix. Transfer the remaining dressing to a cruet or jar and reserve. 3. In a 3-quart 9x15-inch casserole dish or a large platter, spread the chopped romaine. You’ll be making six even rows of toppings across the width of the top, so imagine a line across the center and divide the space on each half into three 2- or 3-inch wide spaces. Place the rows of toppings so that the colors pop—place a row of avocado next to a row of red cabbage and cucumber next to bell peppers, with rows of farro and turkey in between. Alternately, arrange in groupings of ingredients. When all six rows or groupings are laid out, drizzle all with the reserved dressing, sprinkle with basil and serve. 


salads more interesting. After you have made these big salads, improvise with your own combinations. Here are a few ideas:

Herbs: Shredded or torn fresh herb leaves like basil, parsley, dill, cilantro, mint, or even arugula can finish a salad with extra flavor and color.

¼ cup pearled farro


SALAD TOPPERS Add creative toppings to make


Spice: A sprinkle of your favorite spice adds pizzazz; try a little chipotle powder on the steak salad or a pinch of paprika over the chopped salad. Veggies: Add crunch and nearly zero calories with thinly sliced radishes, shredded carrots or chopped celery.

MAKE YOUR OWN STOVETOP CROUTONS A thrifty way to use stale bread is to make this easy stovetop method for a small batch of garlicky croutons—no oven needed. 1. Cut bread in ½-inch cubes to make 2 cups. In a cup, measure 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil and use a garlic press to crush a small garlic clove into the oil. Stir and reserve. 2. In a large (12-inch) sauté pan, warm 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat for several seconds. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with oil. After 1 minute, reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The bread should be golden brown in spots and crisp on the edges. Reduce heat to medium-low, drizzle the garlic and olive oil mixture over the bread cubes and stir to mix. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, stir and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until crisp. Spread on a plate to cool.




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On the Road Again Take a culinary tour by cooking up regional specialties from across the U.S. BY MOLLY STEVENS PHOTOGRAPHY TERRY BRENNAN FOOD STYLING LARA MIKLASEVICS

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ne of the best parts of any road trip is stopping to sample local fare along the way, but it would require a lifetime of travel—and no small amount of expense—to explore all the culinary riches that the U.S. has

to offer. Our solution? Visit new regions from the comfort of your own kitchen with these go-to meals inspired by several of our favorite culinary destinations. From the bounty of seafood along the Atlantic shore to the complex cuisine of the Delta, and from the smoky-sweet barbecue of the Great Plains to the chile-spiked dishes of the Southwest, there is much to be discovered and savored—no suitcase required.

Slow-Cooked Barbecue Spareribs MAKES 6 SERVINGS

Succulent, lip-smackingly good spareribs take time—but they are worth every minute. First, the ribs are coated in a dry rub and refrigerated overnight, then they cook slow-and-low in a gentle oven, and finally get brushed with a thick, spicy-sweet barbecue sauce before being grilled to caramelized perfection. Coleslaw and cornbread make ideal sides for these magnificent Kansas City-style ribs—and don’t forget to put out plenty of napkins. or the Spice Rub F 3 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons ground coriander 2 tablespoons paprika 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1½ teaspoons cracked black pepper 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 2 racks pork spareribs (6 to 7 pounds total) 1 cup lager beer (or water) For the Barbecue Sauce 2 tablespoons butter 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 tablespoon paprika ½ teaspoon kosher salt 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (with their liquid) or tomato sauce ½ cup ketchup ½ cup cider vinegar 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons molasses 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard ½ teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce, or to taste 1. In a small bowl, mix together all the spice rub ingredients. Massage the rub into the ribs, coating all surfaces. Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

2. Heat the oven to 300°F. Place the ribs in a roasting pan, meat side up. Add the beer (or water) to the pan, cover tightly with foil, and cook until meat is very tender and begins to pull away from the bone, about 2 hours. Uncover and let cool in the pan. (The ribs may be made ahead up until this point, wrapped in foil and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Discard the drippings.) 3. Meanwhile, make the barbecue sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until tender and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, paprika and salt, and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes (or tomato sauce), ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, mustard and hot sauce. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cook at a quiet simmer until thick and flavorful, 25 to 30 minutes. 4. Heat a grill to medium-high. Brush the ribs lightly with barbecue sauce. Grill, flipping and basting with more sauce as needed until heated through and sizzling, 8 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and cut between the bones. Heat any remaining barbecue sauce until warm and serve alongside the ribs. Cook’s Notes: • Spareribs come from the belly portion of the pig, and they are heftier—and meatier—than baby back ribs, making them more suitable for a main course. Shop for slabs that look well-trimmed with plenty of lean meat. • If you don’t have access to an outdoor grill (or if the weather won't cooperate), you can finish the ribs in the oven: Heat the oven to 475°F. Brush the ribs lightly with barbecue sauce and arrange them on a baking sheet. Cook, turning once or twice, until sizzling and browned, about 15 minutes. • If you’re short on time, you can substitute a favorite storebought barbecue sauce; you’ll need about 2 cups (16 ounces).

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These crab cakes are the real deal—wall-to-wall crabmeat with a minimum of fillers and no fancy seasonings to overwhelm their sweet, delicate taste. A single cake makes an elegant appetizer with nothing more than a dollop of the spicy remoulade, or serve two per person accompanied by a fresh tomato salad and buttered corn on the cob for a dinner that will transport you to the Mid-Atlantic shore.

1 pound lump crabmeat (see Cook’s Notes) 1 large egg 1/4 cup mayonnaise 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs (see Cook’s Notes) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 2 scallions, white and pale green part, minced 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus about 2 teaspoons (or cooking spray) for pan

For the Remoulade 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon minced or grated garlic dash hot sauce, to taste salt and pepper, to taste 1. Drain the crabmeat, if necessary, and place in a large mixing bowl. Pick through for shells. 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the crabmeat and toss gently with your fingers or a rubber spatula to combine without breaking up the crab. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs (or cracker crumbs), parsley and scallions, and mix again to combine. Shape into 8 evenly sized cakes and arrange on a large plate or tray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 6 hours. 3. Make the remoulade sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. 4. • If baking crab cakes, heat the oven to 375°F. Butter a baking sheet using about 2 teaspoons butter (or cooking spray). Arrange the crab cakes on the prepared baking sheet. Cut the 2 tablespoons butter into 8 slivers and place 1 piece on each crab cake. Bake until heated through and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. 4. • If sautéing crab cakes, melt the butter in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. When the butter stops foaming, add the cakes and cook until nicely browned on the first side, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue to cook until deeply browned and heated through, another 4 to 6 minutes. 5. Serve hot. Pass the remoulade sauce at the table. Cook’s Notes: • To make great-tasting crab cakes, you need great-tasting crabmeat, and this means shopping for fresh or pasteurized lump crabmeat, found in the refrigerated seafood section of the market. Avoid claw meat or tins labeled “special,” as the smaller pieces and stronger flavors aren’t suitable for delicate crab cakes. • The best breadcrumbs are made from white sandwich bread. Remove the crusts and pulse a couple of slices in a food processor to make crumbs. If using store-bought breadcrumbs, panko crumbs are best for their light, flaky texture; just be sure they are unseasoned. For cracker crumbs, place a stack of saltines in a heavy plastic bag and crush into coarse crumbs by tapping with a rolling pin.

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Chicken Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps MAKES 4 SERVINGS

These vibrant lettuce wraps pay tribute to the deliciously sticky-sweet teriyaki chicken that’s a street food favorite across the Pacific Northwest. Combining the soy-glazed grilled (or broiled) chicken with plenty of crunchy raw vegetables celebrates the fusion vibe of the region—and makes a refreshingly bright summer meal. 6 ounces dried thin rice noodles (maifun or vermicelli) 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken 2 to 3 heads Bibb or Boston lettuce (16 to 20 leaves) thighs 1 heaping cup shredded carrots 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved and thinly sliced ginger, divided 16 to 20 sprigs fresh cilantro sprigs 1½ teaspoons finely grated garlic, divided 2 scallions, thinly sliced 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari, divided 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 1/3 cup mirin or Sherry Sriracha, chili paste or other favorite hot sauce 3 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch 2 tablespoons orange juice, pineapple juice or water 1. Place the chicken in a non-reactive dish or heavy-duty plastic bag and season with 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon grated garlic and 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari). Turn to coat and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. 2. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1 teaspoon grated ginger, remaining 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic, and remaining 6 tablespoons soy sauce with the mirin (or Sherry) and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and juice (or water). Drizzle the cornstarch mixture into the sauce, whisking, and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Set aside at room temperature for up to 6 hours. 3. Just before serving, cook the noodles according to package directions and drain. Divide into 16 to 20 individual nest-like portions or chop coarsely and arrange on a plate. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter. Put the carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, scallions and sesame seeds in individual bowls. Warm the sauce if made ahead. 4. Heat a grill (or broiler) to medium-high. Grill (or broil) the chicken about 3 minutes per side, brushing lightly with sauce during the last minute of cooking. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into bite-size pieces. 5. Let diners build their own wraps by filling the lettuce leaves in the following order: noodles, chicken, carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, scallions, sesame seeds, a thin drizzle of sauce and hot sauce to taste. Cook’s Notes: • Lettuce wraps are a fun do-it-yourself way to serve dinner, but if you’re looking for a more controlled presentation (and one that doesn’t require diners to assemble their own plates), skip the lettuce wraps and serve the chicken and toppings over the noodles. You can turn this recipe into a rice bowl by substituting plain cooked rice for the noodles. • To make the noodle nests, use a table fork to twirl a bite-size portions of noodles into a little swirl. Each nest should be about the size of a walnut.

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36 real food summer 2021

Shrimp Creole MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Plump, tender shrimp bathed in a piquant tomato-based sauce makes a memorable summer meal to enjoy on the porch with a little Zydeco music floating through the air. The velvety sauce gets its characteristic flavor from a base of gently sautéed onion, celery and bell peppers—a combination known in the Delta as the “holy trinity.” 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 cup diced yellow onion 1 cup diced celery 1 cup diced red bell pepper 1 cup diced green bell pepper 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried) 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, hot or sweet 2 tablespoons tomato paste salt and pepper, to taste 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced or crushed tomatoes, with their liquid 1 cup chicken or shrimp broth (see Cook’s Notes) 1 bay leaf 1/2 teaspoon Louisiana-style hot sauce, or to taste 1½ pounds jumbo or extra-large fresh or frozen, thawed, peeled shrimp, deveined and tails removed cooked rice, for serving 1/4 cup chopped scallion 1. Heat the butter in a large, heavy skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, red and green pepper, and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, jalapeño, thyme, paprika, tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth, bay leaf and hot sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (The sauce may be made ahead up to this point. Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.) 2. Increase the heat to medium and add the shrimp. Simmer, uncovered, until shrimp are cooked through, 4 to 8 minutes, depending on their size (the larger the shrimp, the longer they take to cook). Taste for salt, pepper and hot sauce, and adjust to taste. 3. Spoon shrimp and sauce over cooked rice. Garnish with scallions and serve hot. Pass hot sauce at the table. Cook’s Notes: • Extra-large or jumbo shrimp make this fancy enough for a dinner party, but the recipe also works beautifully with medium size; just adjust the cooking time accordingly. Jumbo or extra-large shrimp will take about 8 minutes to cook through, while medium will take closer to 4 minutes. • For an even more flavorful sauce, buy shell-on shrimp and use the shells to make a quick shrimp broth. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot or onion and sauté, stirring until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring, until they turn pink, another 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water and 1 small bay leaf. Simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for 3 months.

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Green Chile Cheeseburgers MAKES 6 BURGERS

Variations of green chile cheeseburgers prevail throughout the Southwest, but they all have one thing in common: roasted New Mexican chiles piled high on a meaty cheeseburger. This version dials up the flavor quotient even further by spicing up the burger and rounding out the toppings with the sweetness of a grilled onion. The result? A magnificent amalgam of juicy beef, melty cheese, sweet heat and irresistible flavor. 1¼ cups coarsely chopped fire-roasted green chiles, preferably New Mexican Hatch (see Cook’s Notes), divided 2 pounds ground chuck, preferably 80 percent lean 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1½ teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 large red or sweet onion, peeled and sliced into rings 1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil 6 to 12 slices pepper jack or Monterey Jack cheese (see Cook’s Notes) 6 hamburger rolls, preferably brioche 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature sliced tomatoes, for serving lettuce, for serving 1. Measure out about 1/4 cup chiles and chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Set the rest aside. 2. Break the ground chuck into 1- to 2-inch bits and drop into a mixing bowl. Add the 1/4 cup chopped chiles, cilantro, cumin, chili powder and salt. Mix gently to incorporate the seasonings without compressing the meat. Shape into burgers, about 3/4-inch thick, without compacting. Press a dimple in the center of each burger (which prevents them from puffing up as they cook). 3. Heat a grill, grill pan or heavy skillet to medium hot. Toss the onion rings with oil, and cook, turning as needed, until soft and browned, about 6 minutes. Set to the side to keep warm. 4. Arrange the burgers on the grill or in the pan, and cook, flipping as needed, until desired doneness, 6 to 10 minutes. About 1 minute before burgers are done, top with cheese and allow the cheese to melt. Toast the rolls while the cheese melts—on the edge of the grill if grilling, or under the broiler if cooking indoors. 5. Butter the rolls and top the burgers with roasted chiles, grilled onion, tomato and lettuce. Serve immediately. Cook’s Notes: • The traditional green chile used to make chile cheeseburgers are New Mexican chiles—sometimes labeled Hatch chiles after the town where they originated—a variety prized for its earthy flavor and sweet heat. If you can’t find New Mexican chiles, try Anaheim or poblano, or shop for canned fire-roasted green chilies. • If you’re starting with fresh chiles, you’ll need to first roast and peel them. Here’s how: Place the chiles on a hot grill, under the broiler or directly over stovetop flames, turning frequently with tongs, until charred and blistered all over, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside until just cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise, remove the stems and seeds, and scrape away the charred skin with a small knife. Taste a small piece. If the chiles are too spicy for your taste, briefly soak and rinse. Otherwise, do not rinse. The chiles may be roasted and peeled a day in advance. • For the best burger-to-cheese ration, you’ll want about 1 ounce of cheese per burger; this means either 1 thick slice or 2 thin slices. 

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SHRIMP CREOLE (W/O RICE): PER SERVING: CALORIES 300; FAT 14g (sat. 8g); CHOL 245mg; SODIUM 1350mg; CARB 18g; FIBER 5g; SUGAR 8g; PROTEIN 26g


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40 real food summer 2021

A More Perfect Pickle

It takes only vinegar, salt and spices to make summer’s bounty come alive


here are few flavors in the world that signify summer better than a

fresh cucumber pickle. The tang of vinegar and the pleasing crunch

somehow make a gooey cheeseburger even better. But do you ever feel let down by store-bought pickles? If you think that you could make a better one in your kitchen, you’re correct. Now when you hear “making pickles,” you might have visions of the hot

water canning process in your head. For many, canning for preservation can be too daunting. You have to sterilize the Mason jars, buy new tops, run tests for pH and stand by your stove for hours. But you don’t need to go through that whole rigamarole—there’s an easier way. A “quick pickle” is one in which you simply add vinegar and spices to your produce and let them rest in the fridge. No blanching, boiling or sterilizing required. It’s not just cucumbers that make a fine quick pickle. Nearly every sturdy, fibrous vegetable you’ll find overflowing in the produce aisles right now can work. Red onions are a particularly versatile pickle in summer—use the Rose Water Pickled Onions recipe on tacos and tostadas, or brats and sandwiches. And it’s not just vegetables that can be pickled. The same basic process also cures meat and fish. Salmon swimming in gin, anyone? Try the gravlax recipe. “The New Homemade Kitchen” by Joseph Shuldiner, released last year by Chronicle Books, is a tremendous resource for all your questions on pickling, preserving, canning, fermenting, infusing and all the techniques that will QUICK PICKLES (RECIPES PAGE 42)

extend the shelf life of your fresh produce—including candied citrus peels, which are made using an age-old preservation process. These are a few of our favorites. —John Garland

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Basic Pickling Spice Mix MAKES 1 CUP

If you’d like to start with our Basic Pickling Spice Mix (instead of building your own), it uses eight classic ingredients. It can be stored long-term in your pantry and used for multiple batches of pickles. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons per 1 pint jar of pickles.

Quick Pickles Master Recipe MAKES 2 (1-PINT) JARS

Vinegar quick pickles are easy to make and the perfect way to begin exploring your inner creative pickling impulses. Use the proportions in the recipe below to create your own custom pickle, using ingredient suggestions from the FlavorBar (at right). Remember that quick pickles will become even more delicious as they sit in the refrigerator for a few days, allowing the flavors of the spices to develop and meld with whatever it is you’re pickling. Go wild! mixed vegetables (enough to fill two 1-pint jars) mixed spices and flavorings, to taste (see Basic Pickling Spice Mix at right) 1 cup vinegar 1 to 2 teaspoons salt 1 to 3 teaspoons sweetener (optional) 1. Wash and scrub the vegetables, peeling if desired, then cut into spears, slices, or 1-to-1½ inch chunks. Divide vegetables and any spices or flavorings evenly between two prepared 1-pint Mason jars, wedging the vegetables in as closely as possible to prevent them from floating once submerged in the pickling solution. 2. To make the pickling solution, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, salt, sweetener, if using, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, stirring until the salt and any sweeteners are dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and carefully pour the solution over the vegetables, dividing it evenly between the jars and leaving ½-inch of headspace. 3. Allow the liquid to cool completely before sealing the jars and storing in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 3 weeks before serving.

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6 tablespoons mustard seeds 3 tablespoons allspice 2 tablespoons dill seeds 2 tablespoons coriander seeds 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes 6 cloves 3 bay leaves, crushed 3 cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces

In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

FLAVORBAR: More Pickle Ideas Pimm’s Cup: Cucumber + lemon peel + ginger, thinly sliced + splash of Pimm’s No. 1 The Heart of a Cauliflower: Cauliflower hearts + celery + carrots + crushed cardamom pods + turmeric Dilly Beans: Green beans + fresh dill + garlic + red pepper flakes + dill seed Baby Zucchini: Baby zucchini + mustard seed + coriander seed + saffron + garlic

Amazuzuke (Cucumber Sweet Vinegar Pickles) MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Given that they can be found in nearly every Japanese home kitchen, Dean of Fermentation Yoko Maeda Lamn urged us to include at least one sunomono (Japanese vinegar pickle) recipe in the book. (In Japan, tsukemono vs. sunomono is the analogue of fermented vs. vinegar pickles in the West.) Ready in just a few hours, this Japanese quick pickle can be made right before you start dinner, or, for that matter, whenever the impulse strikes. Eat them right away or wait awhile; the longer you pickle them, the tastier they become. Oishii, ne! (“Mmmm!”) fine sea salt 4 Japanese or 6 Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed ¼ cup rice vinegar ¼ cup raw cane sugar 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Rub a pinch of salt on the cut ends of the cucumbers and massage gently. The salt will draw out the bitter compounds and should create a bit of froth. 2. Sprinkle another healthy pinch of salt over each cucumber and rub vigorously with your hands to massage the salt into the skin. 3. Slice the cucumbers diagonally crosswise into 3⁄4-inch thick pieces and set aside. 4. In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and pepper flakes. Add the cucumbers to the bowl and toss to coat the pieces well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. 5. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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44 real food summer 2021

Candied Citrus Peels MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS

Made using techniques that are literally hundreds of years old, sugared citrus peels continue to be an important part of many European and Middle Eastern recipes. Served as a dessert item or as a counterpoint to meat dishes, candied citrus peels allow the fruit to do double duty, providing a use for the peels that are so often discarded. We use them to decorate cakes, tarts and cookies, and as garnishes in cocktails. Wrap them up in tissue paper and place in a decorative box for a seasonally appropriate holiday gift or to score big with your host or hostess. 6 to 8 citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges or grapefruits 3 cups granulated sugar, plus more for coating 1. With a sharp paring knife, score 4 to 6 straight lines along the sides of each citrus fruit from the stem to the bottom, cutting only through the peel and leaving the flesh inside intact. With your fingers or using a paring knife, gently pull the peel away, reserving the flesh for another use. 2. Slice each peel segment lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch strips. Leave the white pith on lemon and orange peels, but if using grapefruit, trim away and discard any spongy, excess white pith with a paring knife. 3. Place the peels in a medium saucepan with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, then remove from the heat and drain. Repeat this process two more times with fresh water to remove the bitterness from the pith, then set the strips aside. 4. In the same saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the sugar and 3 cups of water to a boil, stirring occasionally just until the sugar dissolves. Add the citrus strips to the boiling syrup, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer gently without stirring until the strips are translucent, about 1 hour. 5. Remove from the heat and allow the strips to cool completely in the syrup. 6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the strips to a wire cooling rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet. Spread the strips out in a single layer and allow them to drain and dry for 12 to 24 hours, until slightly sticky but no longer dripping with syrup. 7. Fill a small bowl with sugar and roll the strips around to coat. Spread the sugar-coated strips in a single layer on a wire cooling rack or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and allow them to dry for at least 1 hour or overnight. Transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 months. Cook’s Note: Zero-waste alert! Save the leftover simple syrup from boiling the citrus strips and use it for citrusinfused cocktails. Allow to cool completely, then transfer to a clean glass jar and store, tightly sealed, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Rose Water Pickled Onions MAKES 1 PINT

Pickling onions in rose water transfigures them, lending their usual savory quality an appealing floral note. Juniper berries and star anise add to the exotic atmosphere, and the acidity of this quick pickle makes it the perfect foil to rich or unctuous dishes like pot roast, or a brightener for your favorite grain bowl. 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced ½ cup rice or white wine vinegar 2 teaspoons granulated sugar 1 teaspoon kosher salt 6 juniper berries 6 black or pink peppercorns 1 star anise pod 1½ teaspoons rose water 1. Pack the onion slices into a 1 pint Mason jar and set aside. 2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, spices and 1⁄2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve, then immediately remove from the heat and pour the mixture over the onions. 3. Add the rose water, then set aside for at least 30 minutes, allowing the liquid to come to room temperature. Pickled onions may be used immediately but will become pinker with additional time. They taste best within the first week but may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

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The Scandinavians have a way with preserved fish, and there’s nothing as elegant and easy to prepare as gravlax, which is similar to lox, but without the additional step of smoking. Fresh salmon is flavored with dill fronds and spices, and treated to a salt- and-sugar cure, which draws out some of the fish’s moisture, giving it a firm and velvety texture. We’ve also included a generous pour of juniper-forward gin in place of the traditional caraway-flavored Aquavit liquor. Gravlax is a showstopper, perfect for making a splash at a weekend brunch. It calls out to be thinly sliced and served open face on a slice of whole-grain bread or an “everything” bagel. Gravlax will benefit even further from sliced radishes, a dab of crème fraîche and a Gin and Tonic. We said brunch, didn’t we? 2 teaspoons coriander seeds 1 teaspoon black peppercorns 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds 1 teaspoon fennel seeds ½ teaspoon celery seeds ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes 3 tablespoons kosher salt 1 tablespoon granulated sugar ¼ cup gin 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 (2-pound) salmon fillet, preferably a 1-inch-thick center cut 1 bunch fresh dill, plus more for garnish crème fraîche, for garnish (optional)


1. Coarsely crush the coriander seeds, peppercorns, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, celery seeds and red pepper flakes in a spice grinder (or crush with a mortar and pestle), then transfer to a small bowl and add the salt, sugar, gin and lemon zest, stirring to combine. 2. Cut the salmon in half against the grain and place the pieces on one large sheet of plastic wrap, skin-side down. Spread the spice mixture over the surface of both halves, lightly massaging it in. 3. Spread the dill sprigs evenly on top of one salmon half, then sandwich the second half on top, skin-side up. 4. Wrap the salmon tightly in two layers of plastic wrap and place on a rimmed tray or pan to collect any drips. 5. Place a second small tray, pan or cutting board on top of the salmon, weighting it down with a heavy can or other weight, and place in the refrigerator overnight. 6. The next day, remove the fish and the weight from the refrigerator, keeping the plastic wrap tightly sealed, and drain any liquid that has accumulated on the tray. Flip the fish over, replacing the weight, and return to the refrigerator. Repeat once a day for 2 more days. 7. After 3 days, remove the weight and discard the plastic wrap. Gently scrape off the dill and spices from the surface of both fillets and discard. 8. To serve, use a long, very sharp knife to slice each fillet as thinly as possible, cutting against the grain and on the diagonal for the greatest surface area, and leaving the skin behind. 9. Serve gravlax immediately, garnished with fresh sprigs of dill and/or a dollop of crème fraîche, if you feel like being fancy. Leftovers can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 





Editor's Note: Nutrition information is approximate due to optional ingredients in some recipes and variations in serving sizes.

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GRAVLAX: PER 2- TO 3-OUNCE SERVING: CALORIES 120; FAT 4g (sat. 1g); CHOL 40mg; SODIUM 990mg; CARB 2g; FIBER 1g; SUGAR 1g; PROTEIN 17g


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Global Grilling Intriguing international flavors spice up skewers




rilling food on sticks over fire may be as age-old as cooking gets, but it’s still a favorite around the globe. Turn to these “sticks” to brighten up your barbecue routine this summer. Rubs and marinades made with

intriguing international spices are a great way to layer rich flavors in these kebabs, skewers or satays—or whatever you like to call them. In his new book, “Skewered: Recipes from Around the World for Fire Food on Sticks,” author Marcus Bawdon draws on his travel experiences to create flavor-packed recipes that deliver a taste of far-flung places, including these highlighted here. Cheese adds a savory coating on the South American favorite Pork Loin with Parmesan Crust. A coffee and cumin spice rub lends delicious flavor to short rib skewers that give a nod to our own corner of the world. The Egyptian topping, dukkah, adds crunch and a bit of spice to sweet honey and cumin-glazed chicken, and you’ll be surprised with the great “meaty” results from a Far East-inspired miso-marinated eggplant with a spicy almond dipping sauce. —Mary Subialka

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Eggplant Satay With Spicy Almond Dipping Sauce MAKES 2 SERVINGS

I could easily have opted for a chicken satay skewer recipe as it’s a classic, but I wanted to do something a bit different with the nutty sauce that usually accompanies the chicken, so I decided to experiment with a “meaty” miso-marinated eggplant. The results blew me away, so I knew I had to include this recipe in the book. 1 eggplant 1 teaspoon white or red miso paste 1 teaspoon honey 1 teaspoon soy sauce freshly squeezed juice of ½ a lime ½ teaspoon mild red pepper flakes sea salt and black pepper, to taste For the Spicy Almond Dipping Sauce 4 teaspoons almond butter 2 tablespoons coconut milk (scoop out the creamy part at the top of the can) freshly squeezed juice of ½ a lime 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce 2 teaspoons soy sauce pinch sea salt pinch red pepper flakes 1. Soak small wooden skewers in water. 2. Cut the eggplant into ¾–1¼-inch cubes. 3. In a bowl, mix together the miso paste, honey, soy sauce, lime juice, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add the eggplant chunks and leave to marinate in fridge for an hour or two. 4. Set your grill up for moderate heat grilling. 5. Make the Spicy Almond Dipping Sauce. Place ingredients in a bowl and stir thoroughly to combine. 6. Place the marinated eggplant cubes onto soaked wooden skewers, 3 cubes on each. Grill the skewers for a few minutes, then turn occasionally every couple of minutes to build up a nice medium char. The eggplant should start to soften (but don’t let it go too soft or the cubes will fall off the skewer). Total cooking time should be 10 to 12 minutes. 7. Drizzle with a little of the Spicy Almond Dipping Sauce, and place a little sauce by the side to dip the skewers in. Serve with jasmine rice and freshly chopped cilantro, if desired.


Pistachio Dukkah and Honey Chicken Skewers MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Dukkah is a wonderfully crunchy Egyptian topping that works so well with this sweet honey and cumin-glazed chicken, adding a lovely textural contrast and a hint of spice. 1 pound 2 ounces For the Pistachio Dukkah chicken breast 4 tablespoons shelled pistachios 2 tablespoons honey 2 teaspoons sesame seeds 2 teaspoons cumin seeds 1 teaspoon ground coriander coarse sea salt 1 teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon fine sea salt ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 1. Set up your grill for moderate-to-hot cooking. 2. In a small skillet over the coals, toast the dukkah ingredients lightly for a few minutes, then smash up with a mortar and pestle or blitz briefly in a food processor, but don’t make them too fine. Set aside. 3. Cut the chicken breast into 1¼-inch cubes, load onto flat metal skewers and season lightly with coarse salt. 4. Grill the chicken over the coals for a few minutes on each side until just starting to char slightly. Place the honey and cumin seeds in a small pan to warm through (keep an eye on it as the honey will quickly caramelize and burn if you aren’t careful) and brush onto the chicken using a silicone pastry brush. The chicken is ready when cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F with a digital probe thermometer and caramelized. 5. Sprinkle generously with the pistachio dukkah and enjoy hot.

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Short Rib Skewers with Coffee Cumin Crust

Peach and Chipotle Mayo


I love to tinker with combinations of ingredients for sauces, glazes and marinades. Often, you place two ingredients together and they just work in harmony. I found that with sweet peaches and chipotle. The sweetness of the peach is perfectly balanced with smoky heat. This recipe is simple to prep as it uses canned peach slices and chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. You have a choice whether to keep this as a simple salsa or to whisk into a mayonnaise to make it creamier. It’s very versatile.

You can make this skewer with plenty of different cuts of steak, but I wanted a robust steak with a bit of fat that I could crisp up and a cut that could handle the spicing of the dry rub. Ask for the short rib meat for the tenderest cut. That said, other cuts such as rump cap would be a great alternative to this, as would something like flat iron. The key with any of these cuts is to not overcook them past medium, otherwise they will toughen up. My ideal is between 127 and 140°F (medium-rare and medium), as it makes them stay nice and juicy and tender. The coffee cumin spice rub packs a real flavor punch. 1 (about 2¼ pounds) beef short rib For the Coffee Cumin Rub 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper 1 tablespoon fine sea salt 1 tablespoon cumin seeds 1 tablespoon demerara sugar 2 teaspoons instant coffee 1 teaspoon garlic granules Peach and Chipotle Mayo, to serve (recipe right) 1. Set up your grill for low-to-moderate heat coals. 2. Make the Coffee Cumin Rub by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl. 3. Cut the beef into pieces approximately 1¼x 1¼x4 or 5 inches. 4. Thread the beef onto flat metal skewers, ideally piercing each piece twice by curving the fatty side around the outside to face one way. Sprinkle the rub evenly over the meat. 5. Place the skewers on the grill over the coals and cook for about 14 to 16 minutes. You want them to caramelize on the outside and for the fat to crisp up but not burn. Turn them frequently so they cook evenly but do not flare up. Use a digital probe thermometer to check the internal temperature. When it is about 130°F, take them off the heat. The temperature will go up a degree or two while you rest them. 6. Serve with Peach and Chipotle Mayo and some flavorful rice on the side.

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6-8 ounces (about 1 small can) canned peach slices in syrup (reserve 4 tablespoons of the syrup) 3 ounces canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (drained weight) 10 tablespoons good-quality mayonnaise (optional) 1. Set aside one of the peach slices and half a chipotle. 2. Place the remaining peach slices and chipotles into a pitcher and blend with a stick blender, adding the reserved peach syrup. Taste and you should have a nice salsa. If, however, you want to turn it into a delicious peach and chipotle mayo, then stir through the mayo and spoon into a serving bowl. 3. Finely chop the reserved peach slice and chipotle half and scatter the pieces over the top of the bowl to serve.


Pork Loin with Parmesan Crust MAKES 4 SERVINGS

I love this recipe and brought the big guns out for it—my 3-foot-long churrasco skewers—and cooked the meat over apple-wood embers. It is certainly a grand skewer, but quite simple to make. The herb baste really makes this dish shine and the Parmesan crust gives a wonderful extra savory element that is unexpectedly good. For the Herb Baste leaves picked from a handful each of fresh rosemary, thyme and flat-leaf parsley 2 garlic cloves, peeled 5 tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil freshly squeezed juice of ½ a lemon 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt 1 anchovy fillet 1 pound 9 ounces pork loin with ¼–³⁄8 inch of fat on it 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt 11/3 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese 1. Make the Herb Baste first. Blitz all the ingredients in a pitcher with a hand blender or in a food processor. Set aside for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop. 2. Set your grill up for moderate to high heat embers. 3. Cut the pork loin up into 1¼-inch cubes, then thread these onto long, thick metal skewers, making sure the fat all faces the same way. Season with the salt. 4. Place the skewers on the grill over the embers and cook for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally until the surface of the pork is brown. Give the fatty side a little extra time to help it to crisp up. Using a silicone pastry brush, occasionally brush over the herb baste throughout cooking. 5. Use a digital probe thermometer and, once the pork hits 140°F internal temperature, evenly sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the pork, leave for a few minutes so it starts to melt, then turn the cheesy side to the heat for 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese forms a crust. Serve alongside some grilled chorizo and a nice glass of Malbec.




Editor's Note: If watching sodium content in your diet, adjust the salt measurement as desired to reduce sodium level in this recipe. 






summer 2021 real food 51

The Great British Baker Nadiya Hussain rose from baking show champion to Netflix star, and wants to spread her love of baking to you BY MARY SUBIALKA


adiya Hussain’s smile and excitement are infectious. “For me, baking really is my happy place, and I want it to be yours, too,” she says at the beginning of her new Netflix series, “Nadiya Bakes.” Her ability to draw in the audience— not to mention her impressive baking skills—has brought Hussain a long way since winning “The Great British Baking Show” in 2015. After taking home the trophy as the top amateur baker in the U.K., life changed quickly for this mother of three young children. Born on Christmas Day 1984 in Luton, a town a little more than an hour’s drive north of London, England, she grew up in a lively house with her parents, who had emigrated from Bangladesh, and five siblings. After marrying her husband Abdal in 2005, they moved to Leeds a few hours farther north. Having no formal cooking training, it was there that she first began to hone her baking skills. After her youngest child was born in 2010, Hussain worked on her college degree through the night feedings, nappy changes, nursery runs and long days, she says. “Life progressed, but my desire to get my degree never left me, so when the kids went to bed, I worked

52 real food summer 2021

on my degree and when I felt stressed, I baked. I was baking my way through my degree on my path to become a social worker,” Hussain shares on her website. She “forced” Abdal to sit through many cooking and baking shows: “I would sit quietly and observe techniques and get familiar with alien baking terms. He would sit through each episode and shout at the box, ‘Nadiya, you can do that!’ And I would ignore him.” He downloaded an application to “The Great British Baking Show,” and she took a chance. Since winning the show, Hussain has written 14 books—including cookbooks for adults and children, picture books and a memoir—and has appeared in television shows such as “The Big Family Cooking Showdown” for BBC2. Her first cookbook, “Nadiya’s Kitchen,” hit the bestseller lists in 2016, as did her cookbook for children, “Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story.” In “Time to Eat,” published in 2019, she shares tips for making meal prep as simple as possible, including repurposing leftovers into new recipes, creating second meals to keep in the freezer and using shortcuts such as frozen foods to reduce prep time.

How did you prepare to compete on “The Great British Baking Show”?

I practiced an awful lot. We filmed on weekend[s] and so I had the weekdays to practice when kids were in between nursery and school. So, I practiced from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., got the kids home and then got them to bed for 6 p.m., and started around half [past] 6 and baked till 3 a.m., and slept for a few hours till I was back up again at 6 a.m. with the kids. I did this five days a week for 10 weeks; it was exhausting, but practicing allowed me to make mistakes. Rectifying and recognizing them at home was important, so I knew what I was doing if it happened in the tent, and that philosophy served me well most of the time. On your website you shared that you have anxiety. How did you deal with this during “The Great British Baking Show”?

In her new book, “Nadiya Bakes,” which comes out in the U.S. this July, Hussain returns to what she describes as “her first true love”—baking. The book features recipes ranging from easy everyday treats and savory bakes to indulgent desserts to share, such as the Mango and Coconut Yogurt Cake with German Buttercream, which she describes as “sunshine in a cake.” (See the recipe on page 55.) “I bake every day, whether that’s for work or for my family,” Hussain says. “I very rarely go a day without baking.” With many exciting projects on her plate and plenty of new recipes, Hussain shared her thoughts with Real Food via email from her home across the pond.

It was a constant battle that I struggle with even to this day; I wish I didn’t but I do. It was tough because I didn’t talk about my anxiety. I did things like shock therapy where I pinged my wrist with an elastic band every time I felt anxious—a technique that I was taught as a teenager by a professional, something I have stopped doing altogether. I had frequent panic attacks while on ‘Bake Off,’ but used prayer in my quiet times to feel focused when my head was all over the place and the panic was setting in. What was your life like immediately after winning?

Life well and truly changed after the show. The biggest shock was being recognized when out and about. It was not something I was ever prepared for, and to be honest, nothing can prepare you for that. Since ‘Bake Off,’ I have forged a career in food and television. It was unexpected and never a part of the plans, but something I hope to be doing in years to come.

How did it come to pass that you made Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday cake? Are there other notable people you would like to bake for one day?

I received an email and I didn’t think it was true. But soon after I was traveling to film, so I didn’t have much time to think about it. When I got back, I was jet lagged and had five days to bake this cake. I would love to bake a cake for David Attenborough and my nan when I finally get to see her after [the pandemic] is over. What are some of your biggest influences from your family growing up?

Staying humble—I grew up in a working-class family and everyone around me worked hard, worked long and worked all the time, so growing up around people who have grafted has always made me feel grounded and humble about everything I have achieved so far. Growing up in an immigrant household, my family has always been apologetic and ever grateful for their opportunities, but they were never proud of their achievements—something I tried to always encourage them to do as a young teenager. Whilst I am grateful and humbled by all the opportunities that I am offered, I am equally as congratulatory of myself—to remind myself that I work hard for everything I achieve and try to celebrate these achievements however I can. Did you take formal cooking/baking classes?

No, I have no formal training. I am a home cook and everything I have learnt has been by myself. But that is what I love about being a home cook; I learn and understand at my pace and in a leisurely way with none of the pressure of being formally trained. I would love to get some formal training one day, just because I love the pressure of learning and I love exams! Everything I have learnt has been through books, media and all led by my curiosity.

summer 2021 real food 53

Where do you get inspiration for your recipes?

A lot of inspiration comes from reading, my own curiosity about other cuisines and travel. Travel allows me to fully immerse myself into a whole other culture, which I absolutely love. Although travel is a luxury that I try not to take for granted, and whilst I can’t always travel, I love reading books and using social media to learn about new cuisines and cultures.

“Make mistakes. Mistakes mean you learn, and when you learn you rectify, and that is all a part of the process.” —Nadiya Hussain

Do you have a favorite item to bake?

I love baking brownies, in every which way: simple brownies, loaded brownies, layered brownies, over-complicated brownies—all the brownies. What was one of your most challenging items to bake?

One of the bakes that I really struggled with when I first started to bake were macarons. They can take a while to master; there are lots of techniques and so many recipes, but once you have the right recipes and you have mastered the techniques, you can really feel like a master in the kitchen. What are your favorite aspects of making TV shows and cookbooks?

NADIYA’S ESSENTIAL EATS What are some favorite foods?

I love Thai food! American food?

I was in L.A. recently and I absolutely loved papousas and tacos! Indulgent/“junk” food?

I love crisps and chips, pretty much anything deep fried! Samosas are one of my most favorite things to make, fry and eat. If you were left on a deserted island, what are the few food items you would want with you?

Marmite, bread and cheese.

I love the crew. We have a really good vibe; we have all worked together for a few years and we know each other really well, so the familiarity is wonderful. But what I love is that we spend weeks eating and chatting, and [those] are two of my favorite things to do. The best bit about writing a book is developing the recipes. I love being able to develop, tweak and change the recipe till it’s perfect! That, and the photography, is my favorite bit to get involved in. Then, when the book is released and I see people cooking the recipes, that is also a moment of joy for me—that’s when it feels really worth and special to be able to write cookbooks. How long did it take to develop recipes and write “Time to Eat” and “Nadiya Bakes”? Do you have favorite recipes from each book?

Books can take up to a year to develop, write, test, photograph and print, so it is a true labor of love. I have so many 54 real food summer 2021

favorite recipes, but from ‘Time to Eat,’ I love the peanut butter and jam pancake tray bake, and from ‘Nadiya Bakes,’ I really love the chicken doughnut, and mango and coconut cake. Do you get your children involved in cooking and baking?

My kids love baking. If they want cookies or cake or a sweet treat, they have to bake it—that’s the rule! Are you teaching them some ageappropriate ways to help cook or bake? If so, how do you suggest others get their children involved?

I think start as early as possible; get them cooking, stirring, washing, weighing any job, big or small. Get them confident in the kitchen … As a starter, begin with something simple that does not require an oven, like a rocky road or tiffin, where you get all the joy of being in the kitchen, measuring and mixing and licking the bowl, and a delicious treat at the end. What is a little tip or trick you learned along the way that really helped you? And is there a mistake you often see and can you suggest techniques to avoid this pitfall?

Buy an oven thermometer. Ovens can dip and vary in temp, so to make sure it’s exactly right, be sure to get one. They can be bought online and are a great investment to make sure your bakes are really well baked. Make mistakes. Mistakes mean you learn, and when you learn you rectify, and that is all a part of the process. What has been one of your biggest surprises or unexpected/proudest moments since winning the baking show?

Receiving an MBE* was probably the biggest surprise. It was something I never expected, so when I got that very beautiful letter through the door, I was well and truly surprised. To be recognized for the work I have done within the culinary arts is pretty special.  This interview has been edited for clarity and style. *Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, an order of chivalry that rewards contributions to the arts and sciences.

Mango and Coconut Yogurt Cake with German Buttercream MAKES 8 TO 10 SERVINGS PREP 35 MINUTES, PLUS CHILLING; COOK 45 MINUTES

These flavors are as traditional as they get for me. They’re the flavors I grew up with, though while mango was cooked in curries, dried, or eaten in the sun under the shade of the tree, it was never put in a cake! The same went for coconut. If it wasn’t being eaten dry, it was being stewed or eaten early, drinking its sweet water and scooping out its young flesh, but never ever in a cake. So, let’s fix that, and put all that wonderful stuff straight into a cake, shall we? For the Cake butter, for greasing the pans ½ cup dried shredded coconut 1 mango, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise 1⅓ cups plus 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt 1½ cups granulated sugar 7 large eggs, lightly beaten 3¼ cups all-purpose flour 5¾ teaspoons baking powder ¾ teaspoon salt For the German Buttercream ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk ½ cup granulated sugar 3 large egg yolks 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature ½ teaspoon vanilla extract For the Decoration ¾ cup mango pulp ¼ cup coconut flakes or dried shredded coconut, toasted Greek yogurt and extra mango pulp, for serving 1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and grease two 8-inch round cake pans. 2. Toast the coconut in a small pan until it is golden, and sprinkle it into the bottoms of the cake pans, making sure to evenly distribute it. Toasting it will enhance the flavor (untoasted coconut is no different to the wood chip shavings I lay out for my rabbit). Add the mango in some sort of orderly fashion, straight on top of that coconut. 3. The cake is an all-in-one method, so really easy. Pop the yogurt into a large mixing bowl along with the sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and salt and mix until you have a smooth, shiny cake batter. 4. Pour the mixture into the pans and tap the pans a few times on the work surface to level off the top. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean. 5. Take the cakes out and let cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out and allow to cool completely.

6. Meanwhile, make the buttercream by putting the milk in a saucepan with the sugar. As soon as it just comes to a boil, take off the heat and mix, making sure the sugar has melted. 7. Now put the egg yolks in a bowl with the cornstarch and whisk. In a steady stream, pour in the hot milk mixture, making sure to stir all of the time. Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat gently until it all thickens into a really thick custard that coats the back of the spoon. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool, then chill in the fridge 30 minutes to 1 hour. 8. When chilled, beat the custard mix, then add a good tablespoon of butter at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla. Keep beating until you have a really stiff, pipeable buttercream. Pop into a piping bag. 9. Take the first cake, with the fruit side facing upward, and arrange on a serving dish. Pipe swirls of the buttercream all around the edge and then in the center, covering the top of the cake. Pop the other cake on top and make the same swirls around the edge, avoiding the middle and leaving gaps between the swirls. 10. Pour the mango pulp into the center, allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle it with the toasted coconut and serve the cake with Greek yogurt and any extra mango pulp.


summer 2021 real food 55


Shake up your BBQ Trade wine for cocktails the next time you barbecue BY MARY SUBIALKA


ring a refreshing change to the table and pair cocktails with sizzling steak off the grill. Foods you might serve with red wine go surprisingly well with brown spirits like whiskey. Similarly, white spirits, such as vodka and gin, make great accompaniments to the foods you tend to eat alongside white wines. Cocktails like the classic and refreshing Whiskey Lemonade or the Whiskey Daisy (featured below) can be enjoyed with steak, a burger or barbecued pork. If fish or chicken is on the menu, try an orange Martini made with vodka or gin, or a Mojito, made with light rum. Give the corkscrew a rest, grab the cocktail shaker instead and have some fun experimenting with different cocktails and food pairings this summer. 

Whiskey Daisy MAKES 1

2 ounces bourbon or other whiskey ½ ounce triple sec or other orange liqueur ¼ ounce grenadine (pomegranate syrup) ¾ ounce lemon juice lemon slice or twist, for garnish Place all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon slice or twist. PHOTOGRAPHY TERRY BRENNAN FOOD STYLING LARA MIKLASEVICS

56 real food summer 2021


A celebration of cocktails

Thursday, July 15

Minneapolis Grain Exchange An evening of sampling high-end spirits from around the world while enjoying gourmet bites. VIP Early Admission: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Main Tasting: 6:30-9 p.m.

Tickets on sale now!

$60 in Advance, $65 at the door


50% off

Use pr om EARLY o code BIRD thru M ay 31, 202 1


*All tickets are subject to availability. All attendees must be 21 years of age or older. Legal ID required. No children or strollers. No exchange or refunds.


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