Toasted Oat & Honey Porridge
I crave porridge for breakfast on cold winter days. Growing up, my sister and I ate porridge for breakfast most mornings. At some point along the way, things got a little creative, with my sisters’ addition of chocolate chips to her bowl, and my own garish sprinkle of mouth puckering vitamin C powder to mine. I think you could say that these add-ins remain a fairly accurate representation of our adult taste preferences. When I saw the title ‘very best oatmeal’ in Whole Grain Mornings, I couldn't resist. Our slightly adapted version, Toasted Oat & Honey Porridge, is fantastic and speedy, and I have been obsessively making it on weekdays and weekends for the past month. The texture is incredible, no more gummy, thick porridge. Instead, the technique preserves the shape and texture of the individual oats through a two-step toasting and steaming process that leaves you with a surprisingly soft and chewy texture. We liked that addition of honey for just a hint of sweetness, and a flurry of crunchy almonds and pomegranate seeds to make this into a quick, beautiful, and delicious bowl of porridge.
Persimmon Citrus Salad
“What kind of weird orange tomato is that...” the check-out clerk wondered aloud, as persimmons made their way up the conveyor belt at the grocery store last week. Ten minutes later, there were two mangers involved, a low buzz of grumpy conversation in the line, and toes tapping impatiently. Finally, with the arrival of a third manager, and no persimmon on the produce list, I was told to name my price and take my strange fruit home. Victory! Persimmon Citrus Salad is worth the trouble to track down persimmons in your area, it is a festive and zippy salad, featuring winter's most vibrant colors and textures, bathed in a lime mint vinaigrette.
Persimmons are a fall fruit in season between September and December and there are a number of varieties of this fruit. We prefer the pumpkin orange, tomato shaped Fuyu persimmons, as they can be eaten at all stages of the ripening process, unlike other varieties which are astringent and incredibly bitter until they fully ripen.
Moroccan Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
In a holiday season notorious for sweet potato casseroles topped with marshmallows and candied nuts, we play it unconventional. We love the warm spices and fresh herbs of this Moroccan Roasted Sweet Potato Salad. A fragrant dish with a nod towards North African seasonings, the sweet potatoes are roasted until they are lightly crisped, flavored with an aromatic, garlic, and lemon infused Charmoula vinaigrette, and topped with feta, cilantro and pomegranate. Charmoula is a traditional Moroccan, Tunisian, and Algerian marinade that is traditionally used in fish and vegetable dishes. Moroccan Roasted Sweet Potato Salad is a winner with guests and an unusual twist on the seasonal sweet potato.