Tartine Afterhours x Violet Bakery: Wednesday, October 14

Following an epic hiatus, Tartine Afterhours is back!  First up: a special book-signing dinner with Claire Ptak of London's beloved Violet Bakery.  

Claire and I met as cooks at Chez Panisse, and from the start I was enchanted by the way she seemed to somehow simultaneously prioritize both flavor and aesthetics.  

Her sweet, tiny bakery in East London is where she puts her art into daily practice.  Her preferred palette of ingredients includes whole grain flours, less refined sugars, and fruit at the peak of its season.  Our cooking styles fit hand-in-hand, so when Chad and Claire called to ask if I wanted to cook a special Afterhours dinner to celebrate her book, I answered with a resounding YES!  

After shopping at the Tuesday farmer's market Claire and I will put together a menu inspired by both her book and the unrivaled variety of flavors of the season.   This summer-to-autumn limen is one of my favorite times of year to cook, and the menu will reflect a market ripe with tomatoes and persimmons, eggplant and quince.  Chad and his bakers will complement the menu with breads and desserts made with a variety of ancient grains.  

The cost of each ticket includes: a multi-course dinner, drinks, sales tax, tip, a signed copy of The Violet Bakery Cookbook, and a few secret surprises!

We can't wait to see you!  Get your tickets here.   



WHO: the fab folks at TartineViolet Cakes & me
WHAT: Book-signing Dinner Extravaganza
WHERE: Tartine Bakery (600 Guerrero St. SF, CA)
WHEN: Wednesday, October 14th at 8pm
WHY: to highlight the joy of good food and good company
TO RESERVE: Buy tickets here

Sea Level Farm Tomato Flash Sale, Sunday, August 9th

My friends Jane and JP from Sea Level Farm grow some of the best tomatoes around, and they're up to their necks in them.  So they're having a FLASH SALE of their dry-farmed early girls, grown in Corralitos, California, this Sunday, August 9th.  Dominica has graciously agreed to host the pick up from 9am - 10:30am at Cosecha in Oakland (907 Washington Street, inside the Old Swan's Market).   

Pre-order your tomatoes by filling out the form below.  Don't forget to press "submit"!

WHERE: Cosecha (907 Washington Street in Old Oakland)

WHEN: Sunday, August 9th from 9am-10:30am

HOW: Fill out the form above to pre-order your tomatoes, and show up on Sunday with CASH to pick them up!

Recipe: Chez Panisse Meyer Lemon Curd

I'm posting this recipe as much for myself as for all of you.  I need to record it somewhere public, so I have access to it wherever I am.  There are countless Meyer lemon curd recipes, and many dozens of them are Chez Panisse versions, but this is the version that they serve in the restaurant today, and it is perfect.  The key is balance--of sweeter Meyer and more acidic Eureka lemons, of sugar and acid, of heating the eggs enough so that they set, but not so much that they overcook.  

Since I've got that Nomiku on my hands for another week or so, I thought I'd experiment using it to cook the curd.  Instead of plastic, which I just can't bring myself to use as a cooking vessel, I just poured the raw, tempered curd into sterilized mason jars and cooked them for 45 minutes.  The results: perfect.  The smoothest, creamiest curd I have ever made.  Though it took longer than the classic method, it wasn't active time.  I washed dishes, ate snacks, and took copious photos of my eggshells while the curd cooked. 

Make the curd, and then make meringue softies with the leftover whites.  

  • 1 cup Meyer lemon juice
  • ½ cup Eureka lemon juice
  • Zest of 5 Meyer lemons
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • Pinch of salt to taste
  • 7 whole eggs
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 16 Tablespoons cold butter

Classic Method

Combine lemon juices, zest, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and heat just until the sugar dissolves.

Set up a double boiler on the stove: pour 2 inches of water into a large, wide pot and bring to a boil.  

Place the eggs and yolks in a large bowl.  Temper the eggs with the warm lemon juice mixture by adding it in slowly, in a thin stream, while continuously whisking.  

Place the bowl of tempered eggs over the pot of simmering water and whisk continuously until the curd just starts to thicken.  Remove immediately from the heat, add the chilled butter, and strain through a fine mesh sieve.

Cover immediately with plastic wrap pressed against the curd to prevent a skin from forming.  Keep refrigerated for up to five days, but it's doubtful the curd will last that long.

Sous Vide Method

Sterilize 4 pint-sized mason jars and their lids.

Set the immersion circulator in a large pot, fill to the minimum, and set the temperature to 180°F/82°C.  

Combine lemon juices, zest, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and heat just until the sugar dissolves.

Place the eggs and yolks in a large bowl.  Temper the eggs with the warm lemon juice mixture by adding it in slowly, in a thin stream, while continuously whisking.  

Divide the curd mixture evenly amongst the jars, cover, and set in the water bath.  Cook for 45 minutes, then remove the jars from the water bath and stir 4 tablespoons of cold butter into each jar.  Cover with plastic wrap or parchment pressed against the curd to prevent a skin from forming.  Keep refrigerated for up to five days, but it's doubtful the curd will last that long.


And, if eating the lemon curd straight out of the jar isn't exciting enough for you, then layer it between shortbread cookies, or sugar cookies.  Spoon it into thumbprint cookies.  Spoon it into a blind-baked shortcrust tart shell and gently bake at 325°F until just barely set, about 20 minutes.  Serve a dollop alongside ginger-molasses cake, lemon pound cake, or olive oil cake.  Spoon atop ice cream.  Eat with berries and whipped cream.  The Meyer lemon sunset sky is the limit.

Recipe: Parsi Deviled Eggs

I didn't grow up eating deviled eggs, so I don't have a sense of nostalgia for any one particular version of them.  To be honest, I actually have to be in just the right mood to even want to eat them at all.  But the first time I had this version, from Niloufer Ichaporia King, I was a goner. As Patty Unterman first wrote in the SF Examiner, Niloufer found this recipe in a book published in Bombay in the 1940s, with the confounding title of "Italian Eggs."  The flavors, though, aren't Italian at all--they're much more reminiscent of India, Thailand, Vietnam or Mexico.  Make these, and soon they will be your preferred version of deviled eggs, too, no matter what you want to call them!


  • 6 large eggs, hard-cooked
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt 
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced 
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish


Shell the eggs, cut them in half, and put the yolks in small bowl.  Set the egg whites aside.

Add all of the remaining ingredients, apart from the mayonnaise, to the yolks and mash with a fork until well combined.  Make sure the honey is well distributed.

Stir in the mayonnaise and taste.  Adjust lime and salt as needed.  

Spoon the mixture into the egg whites, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.  

To serve, let the eggs return to room temperature and garnish with cilantro leaves.



Egg Month Giveaway: Gift Certificate to Good Eggs & EGG by Michael Ruhlman

There might not be anything capable of more kitchen miracles than that little, two-toned magician, the egg.  And there might not be anyone better suited to detail them all than author Michael Ruhlman.  

Michael Ruhlman is obsessed with eggs.  And he does them justice in his book, Egg, which began with a flowchart he made to obsessively organize all of the possibilities the egg offers us.  If you want to explore meringues, souffles, mayonnaise, hollandaise, custards, cakes, and everything in between, this is the book for you. 

The good folks at Good Eggs (who are so committed to supporting local farmers that they named their company in honor of the first farm--an egg farm--with which they developed a relationship) have also contributed a $25 gift certificate for me to give away to this week's winner.  If you haven't already checked out Good Eggs, do.  And if you don't know where else to buy humanely-raised eggs, start there!  

Thank you to Michael Szczerban at Little, Brown, and at Greta Caruso at Good Eggs, for contributing this week's #eggmonth prizes!

To be eligible to win this prize, simply post a photo, recipe, link, or anything else egg-related to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and use the #EggMonth hashtag.  I'll announce the winner next Monday when I reveal next week's giveaway.

Good Luck!

And the winner of last week's prize--the copper bowl and four cookbooks from Chronicle books--is @awmanny.  Get in touch with me at ciao (at) saminnosrat (dot) com, and I will send you your prize! 



Recipe: Niloufer's Everydal Dal

In my opinion, Niloufer Ichaporia King is one of our terribly undervalued culinary greats.  And her book, My Bombay Kitchen, is my subcontinental reference manual.  Part memoir, part cookbook, part history lesson, it's just one of those books that never goes out of style.

This is my go-to dal, or Indian red lentil, recipe, and it couldn't be easier to make.  Plus, it's DELICIOUS.  Served with plain rice, yogurt, and mango chutney, it makes a totally respectable and comforting dinner.  Add vegetables, chicken, lamb or seafood and call it a feast.

The beauty of lentils is that they require no soaking, and they cook up so quickly.  Keep red lentils on hand for legume emergencies--I do.

photo by Emily Nathan

photo by Emily Nathan

Everyday Dal from My Bombay Kitchen

1 cup red lentils (masur dal), husked split pigeon peas (tuvar dal), or mung beans (mung dal)

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon (or more) salt

1 onion, quartered (optional)

1 green chile (optional)

4 cups (or more) water

1 to 2 tablespoons ghee or butter

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion or shallot (optional)

Pick over the dal to remove stones and chaff. Rinse the dal and transfer to a pot; add the turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt, quartered onion, and chile, if using, along with at least 4 cups water. Bring to boil; reduce the heat and simmer, partly covered, until the dal is tender. (

Masur and mung dals soften in about half the time it takes to cook tuvar dal, which needs a good 45 minutes to 1 hour.) Watch out for overboiling, even with the heat down.

When the dal is soft and mushy, pass through a sieve or a food mill or liquefy in a food processor or with an immersion blender, which saves you the trouble of pouring and transferring. The texture of the dal should be thick, smooth, and pourable. Taste for salt.

To finish, heat the ghee in a small skillet over medium heat. Sizzle the seeds, garlic, and onion, if using, until the garlic begins to brown around the edges and the seeds start to crackle. These sizzling seeds and garlic are known as vaghar in Gujarati,tarka in Hindi. Tip the vaghar into the dal and stir.

Dal Soup:

Dal without vaghar makes an excellent cold soup. I've served it with a blob of yogurt and chive blossoms, or snipped chives or green onion tops.

Note: In my mother's house, it was considered good practice to send dal to the table in a tureen with the vaghar floating on top, a last-minute affair, although the flavors have a better chance to combine if you stir in the toasted spices ahead of time. If you're having dal as a first-course soup, you can serve individual portions with a little vaghar poured over each one.

Serves 6

Bean Month, So Far

#Beanmonth is off to an incredible start!  Here are a bunch of posts from the far flung corners of the internet:

In classic style, The Joy of Cooking tells you everything you need to know about Cooking Dried Beans

Russ Parsons stirs up an age-old debate: To Soak or Not To Soak

Phyllis made some Good Old Bean Soup to get her through her last cold over at Dash and Bella

Heidi's recipe for Pan-Fried Giant White Beans with Kale is no-fail via Food52

Julia Nishimura made some insanely beautiful Tuscan Pork and White Beans (a major achievement considering it's a dish not typically known for its beauty)

Adam at Amateur Gourmet lists the Things You Can Do With A Big Pot Of Beans

Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome makes it easy, listing all of her bean recipes for you, here

Learn how to turn one pot of beans into five meals from the Canal House ladies via Food52

Learn about Leather Britches from Sean Brock on Food Republic

Food52 also tells you The Best Ways to Use Canned Beans

How to Cook Beans in the Oven at The Kitchn

Learn how to can your own beans from Punk Domestics

Make feijoada, like the good folks at Good Eggs NYC

Kim O'Donnel shares a recipe for Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

Heidi's recipe for a beautiful Ayocote Bean and Mushroom Salad

Sarah posted her take on Melissa Clark's Beans Braised with Bacon and Red Wine

Judy Witts Francini shares the ribollita recipe from Trattoria Mario, one of my favorite lunch spots in Florence

Olivia at The Coast Kitchen shares her recipe for Lemon Lentil Soup

And, right here: 
Cal Peternell's Fagioli all'Amatriciana
Mary Oliver's Beans
Cooking (beans) with Italian Grandmothers
Bean Resources

Instagram Photos
@sansculottes made these beautiful beans all'Amatriciana

@andreagentl did right by these beautiful chestnut beans with this moody photo, then she turned them into soup

@dominicarice's corona beans with pork adobo

@fieldsofplenty's beautiful pozole with black-eyed peas and smoked brisket

@juliaostro's Tuscan pork and Beans

@danalouisevelden's La Chamba bean pot took the internet by storm

@tifamade cooked up some mung beans

@claraygray turned these black badger beans into curry

@heyk8 cooked dried beans for the first time!

@goodeggsnyc turned these black beans into an occasion for tacos

@dashandbella went above and beyond with this navy bean gratin baked with bacon and bread crumbs

@melinahammer's lentils with watermelon radish and avocado sure brighten things up!

Post your own photos with the #beanmonth hashtag so I can see and repost them!

Spotify Playlist


The Best Bean Cookbooks, According to Omnivore

Heirloom Bean Sources:
Rancho Gordo
Rancho Llano Seco
Good Eggs: SF, NYC, NOLA, LA
Jalama Valley
CUESA: Tierra Vegetables, Lonely Mountain Farm, Dirty Girl Produce, and Iacopi Farms

(Know of any other great sources for heirloom beans?  Let me know and I'll add them to the list!  And keep posting with the tag!  I'll do another round-up next week!)