Author: True, Margo
Date published: March 1, 2011
FOUR YEARS AGO, as the loca vore wave was building, Sunset launched a project called the One-Block Diet. We designed a summery menu calling for ingrethents that we thought we might be able to grow or make right here on the magazine's grounds in Menlo Park, California - and then we did our best to actually create it. We planted vegetables and fruits (easy), pressed our own olive oil (a bit more challenging), made wine and beer and cheese (bring it on!), and even raised chickens and bees.
The story of that menu ran in our August 2008 issue, but we didn't stop there. Along with Team Cow, Team Tea, and Team Escargot (when your garden gives you snails the project spawned a blog (5unset.com/onebi0cyeastJ - which won a James Beard award in 2009 - and now a book. Here's a peek into its pages.
Favas and ricotta on buttermilk crackers
8 SERVINGS (16 CRACKERS) | 45 MINUTES
We picked the favas from our garden and made ricotta from the milk of Holly, Sunset's cow (she lives on a farm south of our office). Storebought ricotta and crackers work fine in this recipe - but if you want to make your own, as we did, you'll learn how in our book.
3 lbs. fava beans in the pod
Fine sea salt
16 large buttermilk or whole-wheat crackers
1 cup ricotta
About ½ cup thinly sliced peppermint leaves
About ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Shell fava beans (you will have about 2 cups). Boil beans in salted water 2 minutes, then rinse with cold water until cool.
2. Peel tough skin from each bean by tearing it open at its round end and popping out the bean.
3. Spread crackers with a thin layer of ricotta and top with favas and mint. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with oil.
Make ahead: Peeled fava beans, up to 1 day, covered and chilled.
PER CRACKER (IF USING HOMEMADE) 248 CAL., 45% (113 CAL.) FROM FAT; 11 G PROTEIN; 13 G FAT (4.4 G SAT.); 29 G CARBO (2.2 G FIBER); 607 MG SODIUM; 16 MG CHOL.
Radishes, fresh homemade butter, and salt
This classic French hors d'oeuvre could not be easier: Put firm, juicy radishes on a platter (cut larger ones in half) and serve with fine sea salt and butter, homemade (recipe follows) or store-bought.
PER SERVING (4 RADISHES AND Va TSP. BUTTER) 28 CAL , 93% (26 CAL.) FROM FAT; 0.2 G PROTEIN; 2.9 G FAT (l.8 G SAT.); 0.6 G CARBO (0.3 G FIBER); 7.4 MG SODIUM; 7.6 MG CHOL.
Fresh homemade butter (and buttermilk)
MAKES 1 CUP BUTTER AND 3M CUP SWEET BUTTERMILK | 5 MINUTES
Homemade butter tastes sweeter and fresher than ordinary store-bought butter - and so does the buttermilk that's left over.
Whirl 2 cups heavy cream (preferably not ultra-pasteurized) in a food processor until it separates into buttermilk and clumps of butter - they'll look like fluffy scrambled eggs. Keep whirling until butter forms bigger clumps, about 3 minutes. Pour mixture into a strainer (set over a bowl if you want to keep the buttermilk) and let drain briefly. Squeeze butter to extract remaining buttermilk (it's okay if a little is left). Put butter into a second bowl and stir in fine sea salt to taste, if you like.
PER TBSP. BUTTER 101 CAL., 100% (lOl CAL.) FROM FAT; 0.1 G PROTEIN; 12 G FAT (7.3 G SAT); O G CARBO; 1.5 MG SODIUM; 31 MG CHOL.
PER ½ CUP BUTTERMILK 75 CAL, 20% (l5 CAL.) FROM FAT; 6 G PROTEIN; 1.5 G FAt(1.2 G SAT.); 9 G CARBO (0 G FIBER); 193 MG SODIUM; 7.5 MG CHOL.
Fava leaf and parsley quiche
8 SERVINGS | 1 HOUR, PLUS 1 ½ HOURS TO CHILL AND ABOUT 1 HOUR TO COOL
Fava plants yield not only beans but also broad, easy-to-pick leaves, which have an earthy-sweet, faintly grassy flavor (spinach leaves make a decent substitute).
About 1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
½ tsp. fine sea salt
¾ cup cold unsalted butter, homemade (recipe at left) or store-bought, cut into small cubes
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ tsp. minced garlic
6 oz. fava or spinach leaves
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
½ tsp. fine sea salt
1 ¾ cups milk
1 ¾ cups heavy cream
5 large eggs
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1. Make crust: Whirl 1 ½ cups flour and the salt in a food processor to blend. Add butter; pulse until mixture looks like cornmeal. Add 1M cup ice water; pulse again until dough comes together, 30 seconds. Press dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
2. Unwrap dough and let warm up 15 minutes. With a floured rolling pin, roll into a 12-in. round. Press round onto bottom and up sides of a 10-in. deep-dish pie pan. Fold under the crust overhang on pan rim; crimp edge. Chill 30 minutes. Put oven rack on lowest rung. Preheat oven to 325°.
3. Line crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake crust 25 minutes; remove weights and parchment and bake until crust is slightly browned, about 10 minutes more. Remove crust from oven and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Raise oven temperature to 375°.
4. Make filling: In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, fava leaves, green onions, parsley, and salt and cook, stirring often, until leaves are wilted, about 4 minutes. Chop mixture coarsely, then arrange over bottom of warm crust.
5. Make custard: Heat milk and cream in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat until mixture begins to simmer. Remove from heat. Put eggs in a blender with half of hot milk mixture and whirl for a few seconds. Whirl in salt and remaining milk mixture. Pour custard into crust, being careful to keep greens evenly distributed.
6. Bake quiche until slightly browned around edges and beginning to puffin center, 25 minutes. Let cool until warm or room temperature before serving.
PER SERVING 512 CAL. 75% (386 CAL.) FROM FAT; 11 G PROTEIN; 43 G FAT (25 G SAT.); 24 G CARBO (4 G FIBER); 688 MG SODIUM; 255 MG CHOL.
Strawberries with fromage blanc and lemon honey
6 SERVINGS | 30 MINUTES
Fromage blanc is like sour cream, only thicker and silkier - and it's terrific with strawberries. In the book, we show how to make your own, but you can find fromage blanc at most well-stocked supermarkets.
1¼ cups (about 9 oz.) fromage blanc
¼ cup heavy cream
2 pts. strawberries, preferably small
½ cup honey
Finely shredded zest of 1½ lemons
1. Whisk together fromage blanc and cream in a small bowl until very smooth. Divide among 6 shallow bowls.
2. Set aside 6 to 12 small, perfect berries. Hull remaining berries and halve or quarter lengthwise if large. Scatter over fromage blanc.
3. Combine honey and lemon zest in a glass measuring cup and microwave until beginning to bubble, about 30 seconds. Let cool 5 minutes.
4. Drizzle warm honey over berries and fromage blanc. Top each bowl with 1 or 2 reserved berries.
PER SERVING 263 CAL., 39% (103 CAL.) FROM FAT; 5.3 G PROTEIN; 11 G FAT (6.8 G SAT.); 36 G CARBO (1.6 G FIBER); 351 MG SODIUM; 44 MG CHOL.