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recipes

Turn a Pumpkin Carving Mishap Into This Cake

I've got pumpkins and squash on the brain lately. The first few squash made their way into my farm box this week, but not before I unknowingly spent $6 ($6!!) for an organic butternut specimen at Whole Foods. Let me repeat—butternut squash. Six dollars. What's that about the economy going to hell? Today, I had a pumpkin-shaped chocolate as my "afternoon dessert," a ritual I strongly encourage all of you to adopt. And over the weekend, I had the pleasure of driving around Sonoma at sunset and passed a bunch of pumpkin patches, filled with white and orange orbs. I would have bought some, but as everything I put on my stoop gets stolen, I just admired from afar.  Now I wish I'd bought a few sugar pumpkins so I could use fresh pumpkin puree for this handsome coffeecake. It looks like just the thing to ring in the season. Invite over a handful of friends for Sunday brunch and serve this, or bake it up on Sunday and bring it to some lucky ducks at your office Monday morning. Note: if you can't find fresh cranberries, they are available frozen at Whole Foods. And they don't cost $6 a bag.

Tyler Florence's Peach, Fennel, Mozzarella and Crispy Prosciutto Salad

You see, there's this guy, Tyler Florence. Maybe you've heard of him? Well, you're about to hear a whole lot more, because in addition to his new store in Mill Valley and two new cookbooks, he's also about to open a restaurant in San Francisco, housed in the Hotel Vertigo (and named, of course, Bar Florence), scheduled to make its debut in December. Still, his two cookbooks are filled with simple recipes for make-at-home food and this salad is just the thing to make this weekend, while the weather is warm and before the last few peaches vanish for another season.

Goat cheese and green onion galette from Joanne Weir's Wine Country Cooking

Hey, it's like fall out there. This strikes us as the perfect tart for a cool night, maybe with a cup of soup or salad beside. The perfect recipe for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, and equally good, we suspect, for breakfast, lunch, brunch, or a light dinner. Go on, make it. You know you want to.

Goat Cheese and Green Onion Galette


A galette is a fancy way of saying “a thin pie.” This one has a crunchy dough, rich with butter, that is a perfect casing for creamy ricotta, crème fraîche, mozzarella, fresh green onions, and Parmigiano. You’ll see why this has been one of my all-time favorites for years.

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

Mayacoba Bean Salad with Pesto and Shrimp from Steve Sando's Heirloom Beans

Even if you don't know Steve Sando by name, you're probably familiar with his heirloom beans, which he grows on his farm in Napa, Rancho Gordo, and sells at the Saturday farmers market at the Ferry Building. His new cookbook, written with co-author Vanessa Barrington, is chock-a-block full of delicious-sounding recipes, from spring lamb with flageolets to Anasazi cowboy chili. If you can't make it to the farmers market, you can also find Rancho Gordo beans in the bulk bins at Rainbow Grocery. If your experience with beans is limited to the canned variety, you're in for a treat. Sando's varieties (with such fun names as Marrow Beans, Black Valentine and Appaloosa) are toothsome and tasty.

Mayacoba Bean Salad with Pesto and Shrimp

Grilled Halibut from Chez Panisse Chef David Tanis

Is there a restaurant in California that's more revered than Chez Panisse? We don't think so. And while we're happy to give props to Alice Waters for her role is changing the way people think about food, on the day to day basis it's her talented cooks that make that restaurant what it is. Jean-Pierre Moullé and David Tanis share the job of orchestrating the set multi-course meals in the downstairs restaurant, each of them working for six months at a time. We're thrilled that David Tanis has just published a gorgeous cookbook, A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes—with its gorgeous photographs, simple recipes and wonderful tips, it's a must buy. Especially because once we print this recipe, you are going to want more.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Nectarines from Larkspur's Picco

Word on the street is that we're looking at a very nice weekend ahead, weather-wise, so in the spirit of a fog-free couple of days here's a very grill-friendly recipe for grilled pork tenderloin and nectarines with a bacon vinaigrette, courtesy of one of our very favorite North Bay restaurants, Picco (yes, home of the soft-serve I blogged about some weeks back). This recipe serves four, but we're betting you could easily double or even triple it and invite a crowd. This recipe is just one of many featured in a new book titled Organic Marin: Recipes From Land to Table, which showcases recipes from great restaurants in Marin (and a few in San Francisco, too).

Summer Vegetable Cianfotta from A16 Food + Wine

Welcome to the very first installment of Recipe Friday, the latest feature here at Bits+Bites. We've got a stack of soon-to-be-released cookbooks from local chefs and bartenders and we couldn't resist sharing—each Friday, we'll be giving you a sneak peek at one of the recipes from the book. This week, we're pleased as punch to be sharing a recipe from the forthcoming book, A16 Food + Wine. This lovely book, photographed by Ed Anderson (who photographed our "Around the World in 31 Meals" story in the August issue) makes me want to rush into the kitchen. This recipe, summer in a bowl, is the first thing I plan to cook.
 

A Cucumber Vodka Cocktail: The Watermelon Refresher

Cucumber, perhaps my favorite vegetable, is the supreme food for summer. Light, crisp, a mixture of sweet and bitter, cucumber is just made for eating … and drinking. As my colleague Sara Deseran pointed out last week in her Bits and Bites posting, Square One, the locally masterminded organic vodka company, has just released its cucumber-flavored vodka, and it's a winner. Normally, I don't get particularly excited about flavored vodkas, but this one is novel and very well made.

Tony Abou-Ganim's Cable Car: A Signature SF Drink

Last night was the kick-off event for cocktail week. It took place at the Starlight Room, where many of SF's best and brightest (like Marco Dionysus, pictured here) got behind the bar, making drinks for the masses.

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