Want to knock people’s socks off at your next brunch? Serve this.
Want to make yourself feel extra special? Make this.
Want a dish that’ll make every part of your palate sing glorious hymns? This is the dish for you.
This recipe was inspired by a dish my friend Claudette ordered when we went to the closing night of The Linkery in San Diego. I took one look and was so impressed I went home and tried to replicate it just a couple days later. The frisee (a curly, slightly bitter vegetable related to endive) makes the perfect mop for the yolk and the lemon basil dressing.
*If the bacon is raw, get that cooking first. I like to bake my bacon but use whatever method you prefer. For baking bacon: line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Bake for ~15-20 minutes or until it’s as crispy as you’d like. Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing using the hot, melted bacon fat that collects in the baking sheet. You can also use olive oil if your bacon is precooked and there’s no melted fat.
Arrange the frisee on a plate. Drizzle the dressing over the frisee.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt bacon fat or another fat of choice until it’s shimmering. Fry the eggs until the yolks are as firm as you’d like. I went for sunnyside up with a runny yolk because I wanted yummy yolk all over the salad.
Place the eggs on top and the bacon on the side. Try not to eat it so fast that you don’t enjoy it because it’s goooooooood!
Tangy lemon and fresh basil mingle together with bacon fat to make a surprisingly light dressing perfect for Frisee Salad with Eggs and Bacon or any other application. No bacon fat? Substitute olive oil instead.
Makes: 1/4 cup
Ingredients for Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
Juice + zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon brown mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 Tablespoons melted bacon fat (or olive oil)
2 Tablespoons basil, chopped or cut as chiffonade
Directions for Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
Place the lemon juice and zest, brown mustard, salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk to combine.
Slowly drizzle in the melted bacon fat (or olive oil) while continuously mixing to emulsify the fat.
This rainbow on a plate was inspired by a ratatouille made by my amazing friend Claudette, the owner of Cavegirl Confections (her granola and nut butters are HIGH quality and made with love…and she ships). We got together for dinner last week – with scallops, crab cakes, pork belly and lamb kofta with lemony herb sauce – and she made this as a side dish. It’s light and colorful and perfect for summer. Claudette’s not a big eggplant fan, so she left it out, but you could certainly add it if you’d like.
Like the creative genius that she is, she slices the peppers and tomato thin and uses a regular ol’ peeler to make the squash, zucchini and carrots into wide noodles.
Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 8-10 min Makes: 2-3 side-dish servings
Ingredients for Ratatouille a la Claudette
2 yellow summer squash
1 large tomato
1 bell pepper, any color
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Large spoonful of ghee or your fat of choice
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions for Ratatouille a la Claudette
Use a regular vegetable peeler to peel the carrots, zucchini and yellow squash into long slices. Seed and thinly slice the tomato and bell pepper. Roughly chop the basil and parsley.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the ghee. Sauté the veggies (save the herbs for later) until they’re tender but not mushy, about 6-8 minutes. Turn off the heat, sprinkle in the herbs and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
The other day, I wanted fresh spring rolls. Badly. I also happened to be staring at the collard greens in the grocery store and this idea was born. I know you love quick and easy recipes, but I’ll be honest: this one is a bit more labor intensive because there is more cutting / chopping than usual and it depends which sauce(s) you make on the side. I could see these being an awesome weekend treat or something neat to bring to a summer party. All the components can also be prepped ahead of time and refrigerated for a day or two before use.
You’ll need to blanch the collard leaves so they become more pliable and lose some of their bitter flavor (this can be done ahead of time). Set up a large bowl with ice water. Bring a very large pot of water to boiling. Dip the WHOLE collard leaves in the boiling water for 1 minute. Immediately place them in the ice water to cool and stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
Peel and devein the shrimp, if needed. Into a small skillet over medium heat, place the raw shrimp and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cover and steam until the shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Slice in half from head to tail.
Rinse and drain the kelp noodles. Set aside.
Prepare the carrot, cucumber and green onion. How thinly you slice them depends on how much chewing you want to be involved.
Now that the collard leaves are cool, remove the tough stem with a sharp knife by cutting upward toward the top of the leaf in an upside-down V shape. The leaves will roll better.
Now assemble a wrap: Lay the collard leaf on a flat surface. Place two halves of shrimp at the top of the leaf. Next, put a small amount of kelp noodles (a little less than a 1/4 cup worked for me). On top of that put a few mint leaves, and two or three slices EACH of carrot, cucumber and green onion.
Now you’re ready to wrap, burrito-style. Gently but with a bit of pressure, roll from the shrimp end toward the stem end. Once you’ve rolled over once, fold in the sides and then finish rolling all way down.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Slice each wrap in half and serve cold with your choice of dipping sauces, if desired.
This salad was inspired by one I had at San Diego’s Tiger Tiger last month, but I’d like to think I improved upon it a bit. The tanginess of the citrus and the freshness of the basil are perfect complements to the orange-poached chicken. When it comes to chicken breasts, it’s hard to keep them moist, but poaching is an easy way to ensure that it stays juicy and is really simple to do.
Prep time: 15min Cook time: 15 min Makes: 2 servings
Ingredients for Citrus Basil Chicken Salad
2 skinless chicken breasts
8 0z (240 g) mixed salad greens, microgreens or spinach
1 red grapefruit
1 small bunch of fresh basil, sliced
1 pomegranate (or a small package of pomegranate arils)
1/4 cup walnuts
1 Tbsp orange zest
1 tsp grapefruit zest
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions for Citrus Basil Chicken Salad
Poach the chicken breasts first. Place them in a small pot with the rind from one orange and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a very low simmer (barely bubbling), and cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for another 10 minutes. Remove the chicken and let cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by combining the juice of two oranges, orange zest, grapefruit zest, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
Arrange the salad with the mixed greens, basil, pomegranate, walnuts and supremes of grapefruit and orange. To make supremes – which are essentially wedges of citrus – cut the top and bottom off the fruit. Use a knife to remove the skin and white pith. Then, slice on each side of the citrus segment so that it comes away cleanly.
Slice the chicken and top the salad with it and a few spoonfuls of the dressing.
I fell in love with Green Papaya Salad on my trip to Bali in 2011. We took a side trip to Nusa Lembongan, a tiny island off the coast of Bali and spent a couple days snorkeling and enjoying maximum relaxation time. While there, we dined outside at a Thai restaurant and I had my first taste of this dish…flavors of savory, spicy, sour and a little sweet all duked it out on my tongue.
Ever since then, I’ve wanted to make Green Papaya Salad (or som tam as it’s called in Thai) myself and make it Paleo-friendly. I’ll admit, this recipe may fit under the “special” category because you may have to do a little searching outside a conventional grocery store to find some of the ingredients, but any Asian food market should have these basic ingredients. Our local health food market actually has everything you’d need except the fish sauce and dried shrimp!
Most of the recipes I searched on-line use peanuts, bean sprouts and sugar to develop the complex flavor profile of som tam. With a few swaps, I figured out a couple ingredients that did the trick. I substituted cucumber for the bean sprouts (similar in color and texture) and roasted unsalted cashews for the peanuts.
Ingredients for the Green Papaya Salad
1 medium-sized green papaya, about 4 cups shredded
1. Peel the papaya with a sharp knife. Julienne the flesh using a julienne peeler (as I did) or use a box grater to achieve a similar effect.
2. Prep the remaining veggies:
Peel and slice the cucumber lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and slice flesh into match-stick sized pieces.
Quarter the cherry tomatoes.
Slice the green onion into match-stick sized pieces (discard upper dark green parts).
Slice the green beans on the bias (diagonal) into long pieces.
*Mince the Thai chilis. CAUTION: Thai chili peppers, though tiny is size, pack a whallop of heat. Take care not to touch your eyes, etc when prepping them. I scooped out all the seeds prior to mincing and it was still a medium-spicy. I recommend starting with ONE and upping to two or three if it’s not hot enough for you.
Roughly chop the basil leaves. Add all veggies and papaya to a large mixing bowl.
3. Juice the limes and pour over the veggies. Hint: Roll your limes on the counter prior to squeezing to help release the juice.
4. Add fish sauce, coconut aminos and (optional) a drizzle of honey.
5. If you prefer, add the dried shrimp and then let sit for 30 min for all the flavors to meld. Garnish with chopped cashews and cilantro prior to serving. Serve straight up or as a delicious side dish to grilled chicken or fish.
Enjoy the taste-circus that’s about to happen in your mouth!
“I do not like them, Sam-I-Am!” or so says the main character in Dr. Seuss’s famous book. My friend and training partner Trish took me to a popular Encinitas eatery recently and swore that their green egg scramble was amazing…and it was!
It did happen to contain pesto (which traditionally contains parmesan cheese) and feta, so it wasn’t technically Paleo-friendly for me, as I don’t eat dairy. Intrigued by all the flavors, I decided to make a version that’s dairy-free and every bit as tasty. The extra pesto can be made and stored for other dishes (or even frozen in an ice cube tray). The quantities in this recipe served two very hungry people, but you could adjust accordingly. (Note: I, for once, did NOT use my iPhone for these pictures…learning how to use the big-girl camera slowly but surely!! Aren’t you proud?!)
1. In a food processor, combine basil, garlic and pine nuts. Grind down until everything is chopped finely.
2. Add the olive oil and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Prepare the veggies: microwave the spinach and squeeze out the excess moisture. Julienne the zucchini and cut into matchsticks (I cheated and have a special julienne peeler which I absolutely love!). Slice the green onions thinly (whites and about half of the green tops).
4. Crack eggs into a medium bowl and add coconut milk (if desired). Whisk until smooth.
5. In a large skillet, add 1 tbsp of your fat of choice (ghee, coconut oil, lard, etc).
6. Quickly cook the zucchini and green onion until soft, ~1-2 minutes.
7. Add spinach and eggs and scramble the eggs until firm.
8. Stir in the pesto.
9. Top with avocado, serve with a side of good quality bacon.