Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad with Charred Broccoli Pesto

This Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad is so satisfying and nutritious!  The charred broccoli pesto is super flavorful and out of this world!!!  The char of the broccoli adds a beautiful dimension to this salad.  The salad recipe only calls for about half of the pesto, so you could cut the pesto recipe in half but I don’t recommend it.  The pesto is so good that you will want to use the extra on toasted crostini or French bread.

Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad Lately I have been on a mission to clear out clothes that no longer serve me or my style.  It is actually harder than you might think.  Clothes have always been a big deal to me.  It goes back to my youth when I was about 14.  I remember being embarrassed that I didn’t have all the cool new expensive clothes.  Each year for back to school, my mom would buy me basic clothes that consisted of three pairs of pants and a few new tops, while all my friends had all the latest in fashion styles.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford them.

It was music that saved me.  My friends and I had gotten into punk rock, mod, ska and reggae.  It was no longer about expensive clothes but it was all about thrift store and vintage clothes.  My mom would give me lunch money and I would spend it on thrift store clothes.  I could get a whole bag of clothes for super cheap.  My friend Maggie and I wore the same size, so we would each fill up two hefty trash bags full of clothes and swap them with each other every two weeks or so.  We were into being as funky as we could and we never wore the same outfits twice.  It was a way to express my creativity and boy did I have fun with it.  Believe it or not, I still have some of those old thrift store clothes.  Nowadays, I wear maybe twenty percent of my wardrobe.

My current approach to clearing out my old clothes is to divide my closet into two sections.  One section contains the clothes I wear all the time and the other section contains the clothes I can’t seem to part with but will probably never wear again.  I have actually gone into the section that I don’t normally wear and have started to wear some of my old clothes again and I have also been able to part with some as well.   Another thing that has made it easier for me to let go is to give clothes to friends that I know will love them.  My friend Alison is in a bluegrass band called “Sugar by The Pound” and she dresses so cute in mostly vintage clothes. I have some great vintage clothes that I think she will love.  Is it as hard for you to let go of clothes you are no longer wearing as it is for me?

Health-benefits I like to serve this salad with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand.

Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad Recipe:
Approx. 6 – 8 servings
A hearty dish that is great served warm or cold.
  • 1 Cup Dried Black Lentils
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Filtered Water
  • 1 Head Kale – deribbed – thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Radish – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – minced
  • 3 Cup (6 cups raw) Charred Broccoli
  • 1 Cup Charred Broccoli Pesto – recipe below
  • Filtered Water – to thin out pesto if desired
Charred Broccoli
  • 2 Large Heads Broccoli  – 8 Cups – roughly chopped – (charring the broccoli literally halves in size)
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Charred Broccoli Pesto
  • 1 Cup Charred Broccoli
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup Pecorino Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
Instructions:
Lentils

Sort lentils to make sure there are no rocks then rinse and drain.

Add the lentils and bouillon then cover with 2 inches of water in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil then reduce to medium low and simmer.

Cook until just tender approx. 20 – 25 minutes, you don’t want them to soft or they will be mushy so check them at 15 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, start the broccoli.

Charred Broccoli
You’re going to char the broccoli for the salad and the pesto at the same time.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss together the broccoli, oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on the baking sheet and place on middle rack.
Roast for 15 minutes, then stir pieces around for even cooking.  Roast for another 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure and check on them every 5 minutes, until broccoli is as charred as you like it.
Pesto
Measure one cup of the charred broccoli along with remaining ingredients to a food processor or blender.

Blend until desired texture.  Pour into a bowl and stir in the vinegar and oil.

Salad

In a large bowl, add lentils and stir in the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of oil, salt and pepper.  In a large bowl, massage 1 tablespoon oil into the kale and then add to the lentils.  Mix well.  Sprinkle the veggie on top and serve the pesto on the side.

Note * I tend to like the pesto with just a touch of water to thin it out a little.  This salad is great with a light vinaigrette in place of the pesto as well!

Black Lentil Kale Broccoli Salad Health benefits:

Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady stream of energy.  A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements.  Not only is the fiber good for your heart the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health. Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain.  Glucose is a sugar and key source of energy for cells in the body, and is the only fuel your brain can use.  The high fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells, and is a key component in keeping your brain in excellent shape. They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy.  They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K. They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth. Lentils originated in Southwestern Asia along the Indus River have been eaten for over 8000 years.

 Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and it is a loaded with antioxidants which helps detox the liver. It is also an anti-inflammatory with omega-3 fatty acids, which is helpful for arthritis, joint pain and asthma.  Kale has more Iron than beef and more calcium than milk which helps prevents osteoporosis, joint flexibility and helps maintain normal bone health. It is great for cardiovascular support that helps in lowering cholesterol.  It is really high in vitamin A, C, and super high in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K (anyone taking anticoagulants should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K that may interfere with the drugs.)    More on kale 

Multi Roasted Pepper Hummus

This Multi Roasted Pepper Hummus is freakin delicious if I do say so myself!  The hummus has a wonderful roasted pepper flavor in of itself and when topped with the Multi Roasted Pepper Salsa, it gains an extra depth of flavor and texture.  The salsa can also be served alongside the hummus with pita and corn chips.

Multi Roasted Pepper Hummus Ever since Robby fixed up our bikes we have gone bike ride crazy and loving every minute of it.  We also inspired Jill and Beto to get their bikes working so that we could all go on a bike ride together including Paloma and Severin.  They suggested a couple places that would be nice and we decided on the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve.  We rode on a paved bike path for part of the way and then on a dirt path alongside the marsh.  There were a lot of birds and I believe that it’s considered one of the best places to bird watch on the West Coast.  It is an insanely beautiful spot that I highly recommend checking out.

 It’s always awesome to be in nature with Beto because he is a biologist and is well versed in animals, plants and sea life.  There were bright orange patches of what I thought were flowers from a distance, but Beto clarified that it was a sort of bacteria called Salt Marsh Dodder that looked like spaghetti.  It was so pretty with the yellow mustard flowers and all the blues and greens.  This was Severin’s first bike ride and boy was he excited.  He ended up passing out during the ride, which was way too cute!

After the ride, we headed back to Beto and Jill’s to enjoy some good company, a lovely cheese platter served with some wine that was the perfect end to such a beautiful day!  Have you been to the Baylands before?  Where do you like to ride bikes?

*
This hummus is best with a white wine in my opinion.  I like it with a White Rioja, Verdejo or a Rueda.
*
Multi Roasted Pepper Salsa Hummus Recipe: Approx. 3 Cups
  •  3/4 Cup Dried Garbanzo Beans – 1 1/2 Cups Cooked
  • 1 Cup Roasted Multi Pepper Salsa – or to taste – recipe below
  • 2/3 Cup Roasted Tahini
  • 1/2 Cup Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Filtered Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cloves Garlic
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
Roasted Multi Pepper Salsa : Approx. 2 3/4 Cup
  • 2 Poblano Pepper – roasted – diced
  • 1 Anaheim Pepper  – roasted – diced
  • 2 Red Bell Pepper  –  roasted – diced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper  – roasted – diced
  • 1 Orange Bell Pepper  – roasted – diced
  • 1/2 Large White Onion – blanched
  • 1 Garlic Clove – minced
  • 2 Cups Cilantro
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Lime Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
 Pita Triangles
  • 8 Pita – cut into 6 wedges each
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
Preparing garbanzo beans
You can cook the garbanzo beans two different ways: one is the quick way, the other is by soaking the beans over night which is better for your digestion.  This is how I prepare them, plus if you are going to make falafels, this is the way to go.

Place them in a large bowl and cover with filtered water, they will expand to over double their size, make sure you cover by several inches of water to allow for expansion.  Soak overnight for at least 12 hours then drain and rinse.

Quick method
Place the beans in a pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water above the beans and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let the beans soak in the warm water for 1 hour then drain the water and rinse.  Follow cooking the beans instructions below.

Cooking the beans

If you want extra smooth hummus you can do as Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi do from their cookbook “Jerusalem”  and remove the skins from the garbanzo beans.

Just add soaked chickpeas and 1 teaspoons of baking soda to a large saucepan over high heat.  Stirring constantly for about 2 – 3 minutes.  Covers the chickpeas by about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about 30 – 60 minutes or until soft, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer.  Skim off the foam and skins that float to the surface.  They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.

or

Put the beans back in the pot and cover with several inches of filtered water.

Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer on medium heat for about 30 – 60 minutes or until soft, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer.   They should be very fairly tender pressing between your fingers but not too mushy.  Pinch each bean to remove skins if desired.

While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the salsa.

Roasted Multi Pepper Salsa
Turn oven onto broil.
Put all the peppers, jalapeño and onion on a baking sheet and place on the top rack of the oven.  Set the timer for 5 minutes and turn everything over,  Set timer for 3 minutes, then check on the onion, anaheim, poblano and jalapeno.  If they have a nice char, take them out.
 Flip the bell peppers over, roast for 12 to 18 more minutes and check on them a couple times.  You want them to be wrinkled and charred.
Put into a covered bowl or tupperware to steam for at least 10 minutes. 
Add the garlic into a food processor and turn it on until it stick to the sides.  Add the onions, cilantro and jalapeño and pulse until slightly chunky.  Pour into a medium sized bowl.  Add the lime and salt.
Remove the skin, stem and seeds from all the peppers and dice into small squares, add to the onions and stir well.
Hummus

In a food processor or blender, add 1 cups of the salsa and all the ingredients for the hummus and puree until really smooth. Pour into a bowl and smooth out the top, add some salsa on top.  Drizzle with a little olive oil.

Baked Pita Chips
 Turn down the oven to 350 degrees

Cut each pita into 8 triangles and place on one side of a parchment lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and gently toss.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until crispy.

Multi Roasted Pepper Hummus Health benefits:

Garbanzo beans are are super high in protein and extremely high in fiber, just one cup provides 50% of the Daily Value.  Because of the fiber they are great for your heart, lowering blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack as well as help prevent constipation and digestive disorders.  Just one cup provides 84.5% of the daily value of manganese, which is a antioxidant that acts as a monitor of the free radicals in the body.  If you are low in energy the high iron content will help and will transports oxygen from the lungs to all the cells in the body.  They also help to balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Garbanzo beans are helpful for weight loss as they keep you full longer.

Bell Peppers are extremely high in vitamin A, which helps to support healthy eyesight especially night vision.  It is also very high in vitamin C, which is really important for the skin.  They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E.  They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain.  They are a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.  Red peppers are one of the veggies highest in lycopene and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers.  Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, giving many fruits and vegetables their color, especially tomatoes, that are great for the prevention of cancers in the bladder, prostate, cervix and pancreas.

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C; just one pepper has 95% of your daily value.  They are great for your immune system and help to reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma.  They are also helpful with the increase of oxygen helping the body to burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.  They are full of vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.

Anaheim Peppers are a rich source of vitamin C, a half-cup provides over 100 percent required daily intake for adults.  They also have a good amount of vitamin A, which is helpful for skin and eye health.  Anaheim peppers contain phenols; flavonoids and capsaicinoids that help the body fight free radicals, inflammation and promote weight loss.  The bioflavonoids are a powerful antioxidant that helps strengthen blood vessels.  They aid the immune system and contain vitamin E that helps to protect cells from oxidative damage.  They also contain vitamin K, which increases bone mass more than any other pepper.

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto White Bean Soup with Asiago Crostini

This Sun-dried Tomato Pesto White Bean Soup is extremely comforting and flavorful!  What’s not to love about white beans, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, Asiago and wine!  The white beans give this soup its heartiness and the sun dried tomato pesto adds a rich savory flavor.  Dip a Asiago cheese crostini into it and you’re good to go!

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto White Bean Soup Last week after Robby and I had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants the “West End Tap and Kitchen, we decided to check out a cool new spot to ride our bikes.  It’s called Wilder Ranch and it’s located off hwy 1.  There is a self-guided walking tour at the State Historical Park Cultural Preserve and a dirt path next to cliffs that overlooks the ocean.  The Cultural Preserve was an old Dairy farm that opened in 1859.  Everything is still intact, including the original 1897 Victorian house.  There is a garage that houses a water powered battery charger for the cool 1930 Ford Model A and 1916 Dodge touring sedan.  There is also a working woodworking shop, blacksmith shop and a work room full of saws, drills, grinders; etc. that were all powered by a water wheel which turns a myriad of belts.  It was the first water powered belt used to generate electrical power in Santa Cruz.  There is an old barn, stables and farmhouses that still have animals like a Clydesdale horse, some sheep, goats and chickens.

We parked on Shaffer Street and then rode our bikes down the bike path that was laden with beautiful flowers and gorgeous views of the organic farms along the ocean.  The path ends at the entrance to Wilder Ranch where we walked our bikes through the old dairy farm. We then rode to the parking lot that led us to the bluff trail, which goes in a complete circle on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.  It has to be one of the most breathtaking picturesque spots in Santa Cruz.  Next time, we will bring food and enjoy a nice picnic on the bluffs.

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto White Bean Soup This soup goes great with a red or a white wine.  A light Pinot Noir is perfect with the flavor of sun dried tomatoes.  I prefer one from Oregon as they tend to be light and dry without the thick date qualities.  If you are more into white wine, try a Pinot Gris, Rueda or Sauvignon Blanc.

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto White Bean Soup Sun-dried Tomato Pesto White Bean Soup Recipe:

Approx. 10 – 12 servings

  • 3 Cups Dried White Beans
  • 12 + 5 Cups Filtered Water (Depending on how old the beans are, you might need to add more, but careful not to over due it.)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 White Onion – diced
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube – unsalted
  • 1 Recipe Sun Dried Tomato Basil Pesto – recipe below
  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt (Greek is much creamier than regular yogurt) or Sour Cream
  • 2 Large Tomatoes – cut in half and grated
  • 1/2 Cup Aged Asiago Cheese – finely grated
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper  or to taste
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
  • 1 1/4 Cups Sun-dried Tomatoes, Oven Dried Tomatoes  or jarred, drain the oil)
  • 1 Cups Fresh Basil
  • 1/2 Cup Raw Walnuts
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Almonds
  • 1/2 Aged Asiago Cheese – finely shredded
  • 1 1/4 Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoons Sea Salt or to Taste
Chili Oil
  • 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 Dried Thai Chilies or Arbol Chilies
Asiago Crostini
  • 12 Slices of French Bread
  • Approx. 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • About 1/2 to 3/4 Cup Finely shredded Aged Asiago Cheese
Optional Garnish
  • Minced Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • Drizzle of Chili Oil – recipe above
  • Asiago Crostini – recipe above
Instructions:
 Beans

Measure beans and sort thru to make sure there are no rocks then rinse and drain.

Add 12 cups of water and bring to a boil on med-high heat, continue boiling until beans are soft adding the other 5 cups of water as the beans soak it up. (make sure and keep an eye on them)

Pesto

(I often make this the day before) make sure to puree really well.

Measure sun-dried tomatoes and place into a food processor or blender and turn on until they are minced up.  Add all the other ingredients and blend everything while slowly adding the olive oil.  Blend in sour cream and grated tomato pulp.

Chili Oil

Add oil and chilies to a small sauce pan.  Turn the stove on, in between low and medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool then pour into a jar.

The rest

Add the onion and 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a saute pan with and heat on medium-low heat.

Saute until really soft then add the wine and reduce until syrupy.

When the beans are cooked add onion mix, pesto sauce, Asiago, lemon juice and spices to the beans.

Asiago Crostini

Slice the bread into 1/2 inch slices.

Place slices onto a baking sheet and coat both sides with olive oil.  (I use a small pastry brush)

Place on the top shelf of the oven and broil for 1 – 2 minutes then flip them over and top with Asiago and broil for about 1 more minute or until cheese is melted.  Make sure and watch close, they can burn fast.

I usually put the timer on for 1 minute and check then put on for 1 more while watching.  They can cook faster on the 2nd side because they are already hot.

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto White Bean Soup Health Benefits:

White Beans are a super source of dietary fiber, which is good for the prevention of constipation, also helps digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. They are great for heart health because of their significant amounts of folate (support of red blood cell formation, one cup of the cooked beans provides 63.7% of the recommended daily intake for folate) and magnesium (lowers blood pressure). They are good for helping insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, and help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady energy.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes are very high in antioxidants; just one cup has 23 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C and 16 percent of vitamin A.  The Vitamin C in dried tomatoes helps your body absorb the high iron content as well. They are high in potassium which helps prevent and lower high blood pressure. These tomatoes are very high in dietary fiber compared to raw tomatoes.

Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.  The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zea-xanthin an antioxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease.  It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver.  It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to you water or tea.

Lavender Chamomile Facial Cleanser for All Skin Types

This is an awesome Lavender Chamomile Facial Cleanser that can be used year round.  I developed this recipe many years ago for my skincare line “Flower of Flowers”.  It gently lifts and washes away impurities while bringing oxygen and a light circulation to the skin.  This is my favorite cleanser because it is effective yet mild and the scent is absolutely intoxicating!

Lavender Chamomile Facial Cleanser I have been infatuated with essential oils ever since I was a teenager.  They do something to me. It’s like they are little bottles of magic potions.  My mom moved from L.A. to Sebastopol when I was 19 to study at the California School of Herbal Studies.  I wasn’t ready to leave L.A. so stayed and I rented a house in Venice with my friend Maggie.

One day, my mom called to let me know about a herbal workshop retreat that she hoped that we could attend together.  She said that there was going to be a workshop covering essential oils and skin care.  I jumped at the chance.  I was excited because the owner of Simplers Botanicals (one of my favorite brands) taught the workshop.  I have been hooked ever since!

After I closed my restaurant, I immersed myself in the studies of essential oils and their effects on the skin.  I started to obsess over essential oils and the effects they have on the skin. I developed all natural and organic skin care recipes that I eventually turned into a small business that I named “Flower of Flowers” after the flower Ylang-Ylang.  My mom joined me on the venture for a couple months and then decided it wasn’t for her.  A few weeks later, my friend Tamera joined me and we were the perfect team.  I was the creative side developing the recipes and she was the business side doing the books, setting up skin care parties and editing the catalogue descriptions.  We made everything; from eye oils, face oils, body oils, toners, tonics, steams, face cleansers, body cleansers, bath oils, bath salts and face and body sprays.

Tamera eventually moved to Maui and I let the business go and immersed myself into my next venture, my jewelry line “Venezian”.  My skin care line was a fun experience and I still have all the recipes. I continue to make them for myself to this day including this cleanser.

Lavender Chamomile Facial Cleanser Lavender Chamomile Facial Cleanser Recipe:
Yields 1 Cup
  • 3/4 Cup Baby Castile Soap
  • 1/2 Cup Lavender Hydrosol
  • 2 Tablespoons Pure Aloe Juice
  • 1 Tablespoons Jojoba Oil
  • 1 Tablespoons  Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 12 Drops Grape Seed Extract
  • 50 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 28 Drops Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
  • 8 Drops Rose Geranium Essential Oil
  • 8 Drops Orange Essential Oil
Instructions:
Measure everything, add to a jar and shake well.  How easy is that!
This is a thin silky cleanser.  Apply to a wet face in small circular motions.  For extra penetration leave on for a few minutes.
This will last for at least 6 months or so.  Pour some into a small container and refrigerate the rest until needed.
For more information check out my natural ingredient list.
Cleanser Skin care benefits:
Lavender Essential Oil is a balancing oil, which means if you have dry skin it returns it to a normal state and the same goes for oily skin as it balance the sebum production, this is why it is used on all skin types.  It reduces inflammation and is soothing, healing and rejuvenating.
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil is used on sensitive, dry, acne and red skin.  It is very soothing, healing, regenerating, and is great for broken veins and wounds.
Orange Essential Oil is great for circulation that helps to bring a glow to the complexion. Its high vitamin C content will help to smooth out wrinkles and promote collagen production.  Orange oil reduces inflammation and is light enough for sensitive, dull and lifeless skin.
Rose Geranium Essential Oil is great for all skin types.  It’s recommended for wrinkles,  sluggish, dry or oily skin.  It also has a balancing effect on the sebaceous production.  It Is an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and cleansing.  It tightens and tones the skin slowing down the effects of aging by helping to minimize wrinkles.  It also helps to unclog the pores and keep the skin supple.

French Tarragon Shallot Potato Salad with Charred Lemon

I love the simplicity of this French Style Potato Salad.  As you probably know, French potato salads are oil based as opposed to the typical mayonnaise based potato salad.  This is the perfect alternative for someone like me who has an aversion to mayonnaise and eggs. This salad has a well-rounded flavor from the vinaigrette that blends seamlessly with the potatoes.  It is meant to be served warm or at room temperature and it goes great with a side green salad, warm French bread and a nice glass of Rose’ wine!

French Tarragon Shallot Potato Salad How has your spring been going so far?  Robby and I have been taking advantage of this amazing weather we have been having lately.  We went on a really nice bike ride in Monterey once again.  This time, we thought it would be fun to stop for lunch along the ride at one of our all time favorite lunch spots in Pacific Grove called “Red House Cafe.”  I highly recommend giving it a try if you are ever in the area!  Robby loves the burgers and I usually go for the open face caprese.

French Tarragon Shallot Potato Salad
This salad has a well-rounded flavor from the vinaigrette that blends seamlessly with the potatoes.

Beto invited us to meet him and his clan at Fitzgerald Reserve in Moss Beach for a picnic and some tide pool exploration.  Moss beach is just a few miles north of Half Moon Bay off of Hwy 1.  The drive is an hour and a half long for us but it is well worth it because it is so beautiful and scenic.  We set up camp at the very far left to avoid the crowd which allowed us to enjoy our picnic.  I brought this potato salad and Jill brought a delicious broccoli salad, homemade guacamole and chips. We decided to explore the tide pools in search of the many critters before we sat down to eat all of these homemade goodies.

We saw so many cool critters along with all the cool seaweed and algae.  One type of algae we saw is called iridescent algae and it had the most amazing shimmering colors when the sun hit it just right.  It was so incredibly beautiful. There were giant green sea anemones, hermit crabs, baby eels, eelgrass and black turban snails.  Sadly, we only got to see one starfish.  Paloma could spend all day exploring the tide pools, so after we ate, we decided to go back out for round two.  This beach is a must see, especially if you have kids!

French Tarragon Shallot Potato Salad I love this potato salad with a nice glass of Rose’. It is also wonderful with a Sauvignon Blanc.

French Tarragon Shallot Potato Salad French Style Potato Salad Recipe:
8 – 10 servings
  • 2 1/2 Pounds Yellow Potatoes – 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar – (helps to keep potatoes intacket)
  • French Tarragon Shallot Vinaigrette – recipe below
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Shallot or 1/4 Cup – thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 Garlic Clove – minced
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper – or to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – minced
  • 3/4 Cup Scallions – thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Peas – thawed
French Tarragon Shallot Vinaigrette – for whole recipe click here.
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Tarragon – roughly chopped
  • 1 Medium Shallot (about 2 tablespoons) – minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper
Charred Lemon
  • 2 Organic Lemons – sliced to 1/4 inch
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
Garnish
  • Charred Lemon Rings – one slice per serving
  • Scallions
  • Pecorino Cheese – optional
Instructions:
Potatoes

Dice the potatoes into half inch chunks and put in a large pot covered in water.  Add the vinegar and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium high heat.  Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until opaque and soft.   Make sure and check on them a few times, you don’t want to hard or mushy potatoes.  The best way is to taste them.  When the potatoes are tender, pour into a colander, drain and then dump them into a large bowl.

Vinaigrette

Add mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to a medium bowl and whisk together.  Next whisk in the vinegar, tarragon, shallots and slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Charred Lemon

Slice the lemons no less than a 1/4 inch or the flesh will dissolve. Lightly coat in olive oil and lightly sprinkle with fine sea salt.  Turn on the burner to medium high heat.

Heat up a a cast iron skillet or in the frying pan and when hot add the lemons in a single layer. Cook until the lemons just beginning to char then flip to cher the other side.  (about 2 -3 minutes on each side)

Assemble

Add the peas to a bowl of water to thaw.

While the potatoes are cooking, prep and then mix the garlic, shallots salt and pepper into the wine.  Set aside.

While the potatoes are hot, pour the wine mix over the potatoes and gently toss a few times.  Let sit for 5 minutes then add the vinaigrette, peas, cabbage, and scallion.  Carefully stir everything together.  The dressing will soak into the potatoes so don’t worry if it is pooling at the bottom of the bowl.  Stir before serving.  Top with a little more scallions, pecorino and charred lemons.

French Tarragon Shallot Potato Salad Health benefits:

Yellow Potatoes – Yukon gold – content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.  They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage.Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it. They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss,

Tarragon herb is one of the highest antioxidant value food sources.  It helps lower blood-glucose levels, which helps with low blood sugar.  It helps in the production of bile by the liver thus making it a great digestive tonic.  It is a mild sedative and can help with insomnia anxiety and stress. It is great for the health and function of the eyes. It helps prevent clot formation inside the tiny blood vessels of heart and brain protecting from heart attack and stroke.  It is rich in vitamins C, A and B-complex.  An excellent source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc.  Tarragon should not be used while pregnant or nursing.