Simple Recipes for the Season

By / Photography By Heather Diane Hardison | January 01, 2014
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Less flashy than multi-course meals and fancy nights out, the simple meal is often overlooked in favor of more extravagant fare. Yet there are few things better than great ingredients, prepared well—which is a good thing, considering my waning energy at the end of a long day! Here in California, where we’ve got produce aplenty even in winter, the building blocks of fantastic, simple meals are at our fingertips.

Delicata Squash & Ricotta Toasts

Toss sliced Delicata squash with olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and roast at 375° until tender. Toast good bread and rub with garlic. Spread ricotta cheese thickly across toast and top with squash slices, olive oil, flaky sea salt and pepper.

Chanterelles with Lemon & Parsley

Sauté chanterelles in butter. Once the mushrooms are tender, splash with white wine. Cook until most of the wine evaporates, then remove from the heat. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, fresh parsley, salt and pepper. Serve alongside a scoop of cooked farro.

Roast Carrots with Garlic & Rosemary

Arrange whole carrots on a pan with several cloves of garlic and a few sprigs of rosemary. Drizzle generously with olive oil and season well. Roast at 400° until the carrots are caramelized and blackened in places. Finish with a squeeze of Meyer lemon juice.

Polenta with Kale & Poached Egg

Prepare polenta according to your preferred method. Sauté chopped kale in olive oil, adding garlic and red pepper flakes just before removing from the heat. Serve polenta in bowls, draped with a generous portion of kale and top with a poached egg.

Red Cabbage Slaw

Thinly slice a head of red cabbage and cut an apple or two into matchsticks. Make a dressing of olive oil, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper. Toss the cabbage, apple and a big handful of chopped cilantro with the dressing. Sprinkle chopped toasted almonds on top.

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