Before we started this blog, I was a fanatic food blog reader. Though maybe reader is too strong a term. Gawker? I rarely read the content, but paged through endless photos and recipe titles in my feed reader. Shallow as that sounds, it was an immense learning experience. Seasonality was a new way of life, as my blogs started talking about asparagus in April and May, tomatoes in August, and squash in October. I learned terms like ganache, risotto, polenta and would surprise Alex with my new found knowledge (“yeah, everyone’s eating polenta these days. You know.”).
Around the time we became interested in whole food eating, I came across a blog called Sprouted Kitchen. It was outrageously cool, full of the most gorgeous shots of vegetables you could imagine. I mean, how can you make a sweet potato look unbelievably sexy? Sprouted Kitchen did it and was one of the first blogs out there making simple, whole food eating seem like the most attractive thing on the planet. Once we started our own blog, Alex and I would stare at the photos and the recipes and wonder, how can we emulate a little element of what Sprouted Kitchen does so well into our work? We were in the stage where we had no idea what we were doing, and it was an example of beauty and art executed so well.
Fast forward a bit and finding we had a mutual acquaintance caused me to reach out and email Sara, the recipe developer and writer behind the blog. I was a bit starstruck, but Sara’s email showed her to be one of the truly kindest voices in the food blog community. She’s been a friend and encouragement since that time, and we’re so grateful to know her and Hugh, not only for their art but the people they are. Not to mention, we naturally feel a kinship with other husband + wife teams!
Sprouted Kitchen just released a second cookbook, Bowl and Spoon, and it’s one of those books where each recipe sounds better than the one before it. This recipe is a Caesar salad from the book, with kale and crispy cornbread bits. Beware: if you ever wanted to be addicted to a salad, this is it. The dressing is fabulous – no raw egg, but a little kick of horseradish, and the crispy cornbread croutons — well, let’s just say not too many made it onto our salad. We made these Jiffy cornbread copycat muffins from The Faux Martha, which were delightful and the leftovers were a nice side for the salad. A few multicolored radishes and some baby kale from our Farmer’s Market run (Full Hand Farm) also made it in.
We’re honored to review this book by two artists who have been such an inspiration to us. And we would highly recommend the book to all of you as a finely crafted collection of standout whole foods, vegetable-based recipes. Kudos, Sara + Hugh!
Sprouted Kitchen’s Bowl and Spoon is available here, if you’re interested!
- 1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise or veganaise
- 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 anchovies, or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup (5 ounces) crumbled cornbread, preferably a few days old
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
- 3 cups chopped hearts of romaine
- 1 bunch radishes, sliced (optional)
- ⅔ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- For the dressing, in a food processor or blender, add the garlic, olive oil, mayonnaise, horseradish, Worcestershire, anchovies, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Give it a whirl until smooth. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Spread the cornbread pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss gently with your hands to coat. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until dry and crispy. Set aside to cool.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the kale, romaine, radishes, and half the Parmesan. Toss with the desired amount of dressing. Sprinkle with cornbread crispies and remaining Parmesan and serve.