Cooking: The Forest Feast Mediterranean

Let me just get this out right now. This cookbook author has the most beautiful books you’ll ever see in your entire life and you should just buy them now. You can buy them all here. I bought her book (The Forest Feast) a couple years ago (and will definitely cover that at a future date) and have used it for many a potluck. As soon as she released this one, I picked it up. I’ve already pre-ordered her new one (road trip), don’t you worry. What I love about her books is that they’re so fresh, they have made me look at veggies in a different light, and they’re so creative! She was the person who taught me that Greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream – now I never buy sour cream!

1. Provencal Potato Salad

**I paired this with air-fried salmon**

I made this recipe because I hadn’t yet. I’m not actually a huge potato salad fan. There’s a million other (better) ways to use potatoes. That being said, this was FANTASTIC. The capers really added to it and the red onion gave it such a nice crispy bite. I would (and will) totally make this again. Potato Salad hate is officially over.

As for the recipe, I found a lot of recipes online that had so many more ingredients. This one was a lot more simple so here it is.

3 cups halved mini potatoes (I used yellow)
1/4 cup red onions, diced
3 Tablespoons capers
1 Tablespoons grainy mustard
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley (I almost exclusively use flat leaf/Italian simply cause it’s easier)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste

Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 10 minutes, or until fork-tender (not too mushy!). Rinse under cold water to cool them off. Throw them in a bowl and toss with all the other ingredients. You’re done. It’s that easy!

2. Roasted Cauliflower Salad

**I paired with Chicken Breast – baked with Everything but the Bagel seasoning**

I have made this one a few times and it’s very solid when you want something new with your cauliflower. That being said, it is dry. The recipe does say to top with greek yogurt, and that’s 100% needed to help with the dryness of this dish. I also add hot sauce (cholula specifically).

1 head of cauliflower, separated into florets
1 onion, sliced (I used yellow but white can be used)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon cumin
salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup raisins
Greek yogurt, for serving
lemon cut into wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees (F). Throw cauliflower and onion on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, cumin, salt & pepper. Roast for 30 minutes. Toss in a bowl with pine nuts and raisins. Serve warm or at room temp with a scoop of Greek yogurt and lemon wedge.

3. Spaghetti with Chard & Garlic

Find the recipe here.

**I added bacon and 10/10 recommend that option**

Holy crap. I’ve dreamt about this since I made it. It’s literally so easy and I feel like it’s a dish you can use any green with (spinach, collard greens, etc). It’s the bacon. I cooked the bacon in the skillet and ended up adding the garlic and veggies right to the bacon fat. I usually don’t opt for whole wheat pasta. As someone who has had a complicated relationship with food, I hear “whole wheat” and I think “diet food” and it’s a whole thing. I’m happy I went with her recommendation with this because the spaghetti whole wheat pasta was perfect. As Jacob said, “This is a hardcore remake”.

4. Herbs de Provence Winter Vegetables

Find recipe (plus more!) here.

My dog is way too cute

**I added shrimp since this was a main dish/meal**

I’ve made these veggies a few times and it’s a fan favorite. I love sheet pan meals because you just throw it all together and BAM, you’re done. I did the same thing here and it’s so simple. You don’t need the shrimp, I really only added it because this was it for dinner and I needed something a little more filling.

5. Chocolate-Hazelnut Cake Cups

Find recipe here.

SOMEONE almost knocked this out of my hand. I wonder who…

DUDE. DUDE. DUDE. You need to make this. We already had everything and I was like “well, this seems easy” and made it and dude. My life has been changed forever. I even made it the next night and tried a dollop of peanut butter instead of Nutella on top (highly recommend but amazing both ways). After watching Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, I have been obsessed with Maldon sea salt flakes. As you might already know (or have at least concluded from my posts), I love salt. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but if you throw some salt in my chocolate, I will devour it in a heart beat. Chocolate without salt is such a bore to me now.

6. Gnocchi and Cauliflower Casserole

Find recipe here.

I honestly thought this might be kind of ho-hum. I love colorful plates and this is NOT a colorful plate. It is a very beige meal. Don’t judge a book by its cover… or a casserole by its color. This was very tasty and totally filling. The cauliflower crunch really broke up the softness of the gnocchi. The black pepper sprinkled ever so softly on the top gave the perfect amount of bite. I did add hot sauce (sriracha specifically) because I have a problem.

6. Winter Caprese

I make this one A LOT. I love caprese salads during the summer with fresh, homegrown (by mom) tomatoes. Making a winter alternative is genius. The beats with the soft mozzarella, topped with pesto? No way can this be bad. I also almost feel like I shouldn’t even have to provide a recipe. Just slice some beets, lay them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast for 400 degreed (F) for about 20 minutes and you’re done. Get some mozzarella cheese and pesto. I drizzle the beets and cheese with flavored olive oil (truffle this time). Bam. You’re done.

Which one was your favorite? Are there any you’re planning on trying soon?

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