So, I’ve learned that what I’ve been calling a “bake” is actually a “strata.” I’m always down with fancy label upgrades–and let’s be real, this thing is way too hefty to fall into the feeble “fritata” category–so this week BEHOLD a kickass FALL HARVEST STRATA that dare I say is a vast improvement over last week.
LAYER 1 – beets, golden beets, parsnips, sweet potato, and heirloom carrots from the Templeton Farmer’s Market roasted to a butter-like consistency in evoo, a little honey, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and some garlic salt.
LAYER 2 – pinot noir-soaked cured salumi stir-fried with onion
LAYER 3 – eggs whipped with almond milk.
LAYER 4 – effing smoked gouda from Cal Poly Creamery.
*oh and I guess there’s a side salad of spinach, shredded heirloom carrot, and honeycrisp apple with Kewpie deep-roasted sesame dressing, aka #thegoodstuff.
Is this very similar to what I made last week?! Not if we get technical. Not if we emphasize that there is SMOKED GOUDA of the HIGHEST CALIBER atop this strata, and not if I can accurately convey how delicious and Fall-appropriate my kitchen smelled after all those root veggies had roasted in that foil bag in a cinnamon-strong mix for an hour.
I promise promise I’ll be back to Asian cooking soon, but for now I’ve just let myself identify with healthy, farm-fresh California food that is the pride and joy of this county. In a way it’s a bit of a coping mechanism to being finally bound to one location, a way to nest. Keep in mind I’ve hardly spent two consecutive years in the US since high school; further, this is the first time I’m not plotting my next *perhaps slightly reckless* leap to some far-flung corner of the world. For now my instinct can’t be to reach for something too distant; I just want to want what’s right in front of me, what I can touch and feel. Like those impossibly vivid beets from the corner cart at the farmer’s market. Those purple carrots that, if you cut them in half, hold a perfectly circular flaxen core.
Speaking of embracing SLO county, this weekend was Harvest Festival in Paso Robles and every winery was throwing down; it was the perfect time to live it up. I scored a ticket to a release party at Doce Robles, which came with free-flowing wine, jerk chicken, and very very special jerk chocolate.
I mean, just look at that chicken, which I will note could comfortably feed several men. I’m pretty sure it’s actually a pterodactyl. Mine is the wheat-free plate, because that’s how I roll.
After hoovering our respective pterodactyls, my friend Alex and I actually went on a hay ride through the winery. AND I CANNOT RESIST POSTING THESE STRATA PROGRESS PICS. My hope in posting these is to encourage anyone reading this to feel comfortable learning to cook intuitively, and to muster up the wherewithal to comb farmer’s market for something you love, to actively prioritize your body and health. A perfect Sunday in my world involves spin class and then an easy, apron-clad, day in the kitchen cooking for the week. I fully understand that’s not feasible or desirable for most; that said, putting in effort for just one day can keep a person eating healthy for an entire week and it’s entirely worth it. I make more veggies than I need for the strata so I can have leftover roasted veggies for salad dinner bowls, and use beet greens for smoothies every morning; there are ways to use the proverbial “whole hog” that maximizes the money and time involved in eating fresh, local food. * *That’s all for now! I’m still doing a ton of juggling with this new work schedule, but expect more soon!