Thursday, October 26, 2006

Not Loungin'

Just so that you don't think I was lounging around the house drinking mimosas while Jon was working on the bathroom remodel, I should tell you that I spent Saturday cooking North African Vegetable Stew, courtesy of Field of Greens cookbook, courtesy of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco.

That picture on the Greens website? My friend Betsy and I once sat for Sunday brunch at a table overlooking that very marina. It was Christmas several years ago and I was already a longtime fan of the cookbook. She was in the Bay area visiting from Florida and I was visiting from North Carolina. Betsy and her sister whisked me away for a surprise Greens experience ("Where are you taking me?"). It is one of the best surprises and favorite experiences of my life.

Over the years, my Field of Greens cookbook has weathered. The spine is broken by overuse along the page for 'Filo Turnovers with Spinach, Feta, and Rosemary'. My Greens cookbook library has expanded with The Greens Cookbook, Everyday Greens (signed by the current executive chef Annie Sommerville), and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, written by Deborah Madison, the former executive chef of Greens Restaurant.

I have never made anything I didn't love out of the Greens cookbooks, but I do have my favorite recipes. The thing about cooking from Greens is that you are usually guaranteed lots of flavor at a cost of lots of ingredients with lots of preparation. It is a labor of love to be sure.

Pictured below are garbanzo beans, onions, potatoes, cauliflower, red and yellow peppers, broccoli, carrots, cilantro, ginger, garlic, saffron, turmeric, cayenne, and paprika.

And the finished product, which was served over Almond Couscous to some of our favorite people: our neighbors Jer and Selina and our friends (their old neighbors) Mike and Caroline.

A good time was had by all, despite any appearances to the contrary.

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