Scenes From A Weekend With Pennyroyal, Purple Cauliflower and a Lemonade Stand

This was a warm, Spring-like weekend, filled with all sorts of eclectic food and outdoor activities.

I suppose you could say our weekends are always eclectic when it comes to food. A mix bag of styles and tastes, which was very apparent last Saturday night when we hosted a dinner party for some friends.

I like coherence in a meal. I look for flow and harmony of ingredients and courses, but it is not always easy when sharing a kitchen with others. I have come to accept that C. and I just have completely different backgrounds, palates and food references. I come from the land where spices are rarely used, where vegetables make an entree and whole fish is simply roasted with salt, garlic and olive oil. He, on the other hand, loves bold flavors, hearty meats, anything smothered and fried. Smothered seems a good way to describe it.

So eclectic it is.

But our friends love it. They love coming over and having tortilla, pisto and ensalada mixta followed by gooey ribs and jalapeno poppers. They just do. And so Saturday night we had all that.

And then we found pennyroyal.

I believe I had pennyroyal tea once as a teenager in London. Minty and pleasant, but I never even knew what it looked like until this weekend. My mom and I walked around the West Palm Beach farmers’ market. Got our eggs, purple cauliflower, pink turnips, watercress, heirloom tomatoes and before leaving, we stopped by the herb guy to see if there was anything new. And there it was, a pennyroyal plant.

“It’s used as an insect repellant”, he said. “Really?”, I replied remembering the tea I had drunk years earlier. As soon as we left his stand, I started researching this mysterious plant and its uses. As it turns out, he was right. Pennyroyal can be used as an insect repellant, prepared as an herbal tea, as well as a delicious ice cream. So exciting.

Mom and I decided to make a light purple cauliflower soup for lunch after the over-indulgent dinner party the night before. Leeks, garlic, pink turnips and purple cauliflower cooked in vegetable broth. Perfectly soothing.

For dessert, an apple, almond and pennyroyal-scented crumble with some of the apples our friend Hilda had brought the night before as a hostess gift. She never comes empty handed.

And so there it was. A weekend of superbowl food, some Basque fare, a new ingredient and the lemonade stand.

Oh yes, the lemonade stand. The one that our neighbor Stella runs on the weekends in front of our home. She is quite the entrepreneur and J. loves helping out.

Aren’t they the cutest? We might be biased.

Apple, Almond and Pennyroyal Crumble

makes 4 servings

1/2 cup (70 grams) superfine brown rice flour
3/4 cup (70 grams) almond meal
1/3 cup (70 grams) natural cane sugar
1 Tbs pennyroyal or mint, chopped
5 Tbs (70 grams) cold unsalted butter diced
4 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 Tbs coconut palm sugar
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 tsp candied ginger, diced
1/4 cup apple juice
1 Tbs tsp pennyroyal or mint, chopped

In the food processor, combine the first five ingredients and pulse until it forms a crumbly sand. Transfer to a bowl and chill until ready to use.

Combine the rest of ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook for 5 minutes. Divide into 4 oven proof bowls and top with the crumble. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes until filling is bubbling and the crumble is golden.

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84 Responses to “Scenes From A Weekend With Pennyroyal, Purple Cauliflower and a Lemonade Stand”

  1. maud says:

    Elle est magnifique….. J’adore ton blog, tes recettes. bisous

  2. Aran, muchas gracias por la luz de tus fotos que siempre me hacen soñar despierta y me transmiten tanta paz interior en días que se hacen cuesta arriba. Te mando un beso desde España, que sigas disfrutando mucho de la visita de tu familia!


  3. I never see in my life a purple cauliflower, I´m facinated. Your post is always beatiful, and the pictures are delightfull. kisses from argentina

  4. Raluca says:

    Your post actually makes me want to eat cauliflower..and let me tell you I am not a fan!! Love the pictures!

  5. Golubka says:

    Beautiful! The colour of that soup is just divine.

  6. Sylvia says:

    Such a lovely colorful and delicious post as always …a beautiful artwork that warms my heart !
    Greetings from snowy Canada !

  7. Stacey J. says:

    I would LOVE purple califlower. I might have to try and grow some this year!!! It’s beautiful!

  8. Stacey J. says:

    I love the purple califlower!!! It’s beautiful!!! I think I might have to try and grow some this year!

  9. Wilhelmine says:

    Beautiful! Just love your blogg. From Wilhelmine in Norway!

  10. I can only imagine how amazing your dinner parties are. Oh my what a treat!

    And your kids are absolutely adorable! Love that sign and I love how sweet they are.

  11. What gorgeous scenes! What a delicious crumble. And that cauliflower is so beautifully portrayed.



  12. Callie! says:

    Oh my gosh, I’m totally swooning over that purple cauliflower – Too gorgeous!

  13. mar says:

    There is a song of Nirvana, “Pennyroyar tea”:)

    I’ve never seen purple cauliflower, definatelly hard to get in Poland…it looks so amazing, beautiful.

    But I can make that crumble, and I will:)

    Thanks for the Spring I receive from Your pictures:)

    greetings from Poland

  14. susina says:

    Here in Spain (Seville) we use to find violet couliflower…It has a fantastic colour and great flavour! Fantastic photographs!

  15. Iratxe says:

    Lo que más me ha gustado ha sido la “venta de limonada”, es una escena preciosa, tan de cuadno somos pequeños, nosotros en casa nos organizábamos con los amigos y vendíamos las roquillas que hacíamos con ama… ¡qué bonito!. Bss.

  16. Helena says:

    Is there anyone else who was reminded of “pennyroyal tea” by Nirvana? I really should try the actual tea though.

  17. Mar & helena- me too, of course! i love that song!

    thanks all. hope you had a good weekend yourselves!

  18. I need to find this kind of Cauliflower ! He’s so beautiful !!! And this soupe look amazing… The crumble too ! Yummy !

  19. Manderley says:

    humm i like it!

    The photos are beautiful.


  20. cindy* says:

    i love that sign, “assistant: jon”, too cute! the colors in the first photo are absolutely dreamy aran!

  21. I believe there is some suspicion that pennyroyal can cause miscarriage. I think women used to drink it cause abortions, hence the reference in the Nirvana song “sit and drink pennyroyal tea, distill the life that’s inside of me.” I don’t know how true all of that is though.

    Purple Cauliflower is so fun. I’m planing a huge heirloom garden this summer with it, ground cherries, zebra tomatoes, etc. Gorgeous and yummy!

  22. Honestly Good Food- I read that as well and it seems to be true when taken in large concentrated amounts such as pennyroyal oil. i found lots of recipes like pudding and ice cream that were classics in english cookery, so i went ahead and tried it anyway. so far so good but i’d like to keep it in small amounts. thanks for pointing it out!

  23. I have a sneaky suspicion that I have foraged pennyroyal for years just thinking it was wild mint. There are so many mint varieties out there, and this one looks a lot like the one I found quite often.
    Thanks for bringing my attention to it!

  24. keiko says:

    such a lovely read Aran – and only you can make cauliflowers look so beautiful! xx

  25. Love all the pictures, so beautiful. I love the color purple cauliflower gives dishes!

  26. I’ve never had pennyroyal, but if it has a minty flavor then it’s definitely a unique addition to an apple-almond crumble! I would love to try it! Purple cauliflower is gorgeous, and your soup sounds so refreshing. As always, fabulous pictures!

  27. Hannah says:

    I love the West Palm farmer’s market. The soup is beautiful, and pennyroyal sounds lovely.

  28. Jennifer says:

    HI, Love your photos! How do you achieve the clean and bright effect?? Thanks!

  29. The purple cauliflower looks cute. I haven’t seen one…

  30. Jennifer- we have great light here in Florida. I always diffuse it for a cleaner look with less shadows and then I fill in with bouncers. It’s really very simple.

    Thanks all!

  31. Oh… wow! I discovered your blog just today… jumping from one site to another one… and… Well.. this place is so wonderful! I love the lights and the colours… and the magic atmosphere… Your photos? Simply fantastic!
    Well.. Nice to meet you! I am Chiara from Rome, Italy

  32. Oh… wow! I discovered your blog just today… jumping from one site to another
    one… and… Well.. this place is so wonderful! I love the lights and the colours
    … and the magic atmosphere… Your photos? Simply fantastic!
    Well.. Nice to meet you! I am Chiara from Rome, Italy

  33. marla says:

    Have never had pennyroyal – but love the name! Is that an Oilily dress on your little girl?? So sad that company closed down ;)

  34. Maria- i do love oilily and hav some pieces but this is Cakewalk, a Dutch company. Did you know Oilily is back in business? The original owners took the company back and I’m liking their new spring collection.

    I’m a sucker for baby clothes :)


  35. giovanna says:

    Great crumble… but my attention were all for your beautiful child!! soooooo cuuuuteeeeeeeee

  36. giovanna says:

    Great crumble but my attention were all for the cutest-almost-red-hair-child!

  37. Agnès says:

    Qué bonito se ve la coliflor violeta! me encanta! Qué chistoso, mi marido es igual que el tuyo, así que nos turnamos para cocinar y llegamos a fuisionar un poco los estilos… Tu blog es lindissimo, gracias! beso de una francesa en México!

  38. Sini says:

    I just love the lemonade stand! Haven’t heard about pennyroyal before but I’m really curious now. I’m off to make an apple crumble…

  39. Brenna says:

    Votre fille est adorable! those chubby arms!

  40. how love these colors together and the light is magical!
    how i miss those little toes and i think the lemonade stand crush is the most adorable!

  41. gorgeous photos–50 cents or more!!! and what a wonderful post–i think it’s about love…

  42. Paula says:

    you`re right, they`re so cute! I`ve never eaten purple cauliflower… how sad

  43. FYI, for the person above who said that pennyroyal causes miscarriages – she’s partly right. It can cause miscarriages, but that’s more with concentrated or continuous doses. (But I suppose the tea is more benign.) Also the essential oil of pennyroyal can be toxic and induce painful deaths and miscarriages. Although the tea is okay, be careful with that too since too much of it can cause nausea, so please be careful everyone :)

  44. The colours you use are just stunning… I always leave your blog with a smile on my face. There’s something very soothing about it :) I agree, the cuteness-factor is way up there.

  45. Linda says:

    I just adore your blog!! Your pictures are absolutely STUNNING!!! Just perfect!! Keep it up, I love reading!

  46. Deeba PAB says:

    What a great weekend post. Yes, they are the cutest, and your post the loveliest! The pennyroyal intrigues me. What a wonderful find. So glad you & your Mum can enjoy shopping like that!

  47. shaz says:

    Awww, the kids are so gorgeous. Love the briliant hue of the cauliflower, never seen that before.

    By the way, if you are growing pennyroyal, don’t put it in the ground (leave it in a pot). I put mine in the ground and it almost took over the whole garden, I had to dig it back out :).

  48. Your friends are very lucky!
    Wonderful post, wonderful pictures, wonderful recipes!
    We could not ask for more!

  49. Inés says:

    Ai, ze soineko polite dauka Mirentxuk!!!!

  50. Anonymous says:

    Yes, do be careful with the pennyroyal! Treat it as medicinal brew…not a relaxing herbal tea. The essential oil is highly toxic. I planted pennyroyal as an insect repellant…wonderful crushed and rubbed on your neck and arms when the bugs are out.

  51. i’m in love with the first few photographs. so beautiful!!
    i have to take a second look at them :)

  52. That cauliflower looks delicious! I haven’t been to the West Palm Beach market in awhile – it is so much better than the one here in Delray. Also love the lemonade stand – too cute:)

  53. Orchidchef says:

    I grow Penny Royal as a ground cover in between my vegetables and have never thought of using it in any dish. I think I’ll use it in some mint stock sauce. Thanks for a brilliant blog and heaps of inspiration.

  54. Siany says:

    I love the composition of the photo you put on the firstpage and the violet cauliflower… Great info on pennyroyal, I only know that the only natural mosquito repellent is eucalyptus oil, and you rub it on your skin and not drinking it

  55. Hi all- please take note about what other readers have commented regarding the toxicity of pennyroyal when taken in concentrated amounts. Use it sparingly!

    Thank you!

  56. Your photos are absolutely breath-taking. Definitely an inspiration for my site.

  57. a. maren says:

    what a beautiful use of an unusual spice! i’ve heard of pennyroyal as medicine, but never just as simple flavoring. which is a shame because it’s just another mint right! yum.

  58. The purple cauliflower photos are absolutely beautiful. I love the post. What a great weekend you and your family had.

  59. A Maren- yes, but be careful with how much you use. it seems like it can be toxic in large amounts.

    Teacher Cooks- hope your students are doing well!

    Thanks all!

  60. Ilke says:

    I have not heard pennyroyal before as well…or cooked with purple cauliflower! Reminds me that I need to snap out of this hibernation and go out to farmer’s market!

    As always beautiful pictures. How do you diffuse the light? Sheers on windows or can I cover something over the window? Like very light paper?

  61. Ilke- yes, exactly. sheers work very well but even a piece of parchment paper will work. easy! :)

    thank you!

  62. Never had I seen purple food be so beautiful.
    I’ve made purple eggs benedict, by poaching them in white wine in the past, and my, were they the least apetizing-looking eggs I had ever seen…
    But this, this is lovely. The garnish is also so great, I love how you plate of your dishes so effortlessly yet perfectly !

    A lemonade stand ? Looks like you had yourself a great weekend : )

  63. ben says:

    Excellent blog and beautiful pictures.

  64. The purple cauliflower looks so interesting; I’ve never seen one before!

  65. sueal says:

    eating pennyroyal or drinking pennyroyal tea used to be recommended by midwives for causing miscarriage; so be careful if you’re pregnant or wanting to be otherwise it’s ok. ….. love your photos and recipes thank you

  66. Nicole says:

    Gorgeous kiddos and the food and photos as usual are sublime. Enjoy the nice weather.

  67. RAKU. says:

    Very beautiful photographs! Looks like a beautiful!

  68. Hi Aran. I just noted you for a blog award! I love your sight!!

  69. Ana says:

    Me encanta tu blog y tus fotos: haces hasta que me den ganas de hacer un centro de mesa a base de coliflor!! Además cruda no huele tan mal como cocinada, con lo cual todo son ventajas.

  70. Itxaso says:

    Aupa Aran, ikusten dotenez ondo zabiz ezta?Ze ondo amagaz eta… ni be desietan nau nireak ikusteko, apirilean datoz.Grazie in doste esan dozunean zure gizonak eta zuk preferentzi diferenteak dekozuezala, nik be beti gurago iziten dot janak gatza ta orioagaz bakarrik itea, igual berakatz apur betegaz bebai. Da Colinek askotan soso topetan dauz… Bueno da niri pikanteak be atzerantza iten dostie.En fin, kulture diferentetakoak gara ta…Ah!zure lentejak eta txurroak be in noazan lehengo baten, baia biek batera jateko ez eh jajaja,mmmm biek gozo-gozo, batez be lentejak gustau jatazan, gustu diferenteagaz betikoan aldean.Bueno,holan segidu, guk zure bloga irakurten segitan dogu eta.

  71. Itxaso- bai, kulture desberdinetakoak fijo! Gurasoakaz ederto, ederto. Zuk be zelan disfrutekozu zureak doazanean. Nonoz Ameriketan egon dire? A zelako shock kulturala izengo dan ezta? Nireak oso ondo dabiz. Bueno amak inglesez ez dakinez ba apurtxu bet aisletan sentitzen da baina bestela gugaz pozik. Eta bueno, nik eurekaz egoteko oso oso pozik. Ondo ibili eta gorantziek! Eskerrik asko!

  72. That purple cauliflower looks amazing. I never seen one before either and it is just beautiful. I love the ad for the lemonade stand. And that crumble sounds delicious and I bet it was more than delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  73. A says:

    Your photos are STUNNING!

  74. German says:

    Great recipies but even greater are the photos! The purple cauliflower is the star!

  75. Such inspiration! Love the pictures and the recipes.

  76. Sprinzette says:

    Everytime i return to your blog I am more inspired – it’s so beautiful. (And serves as a reminder as to my amateur status!)

  77. Christine says:

    Hi There, I adore your blog and have followed it for years without making a comment. Your taste and sensibilities are lovely. I wanted to write with a little warning, though: Pennyroyal is a very strong diuretic and can actually cause miscarriage. You must be careful with it. Just wanted you to know. Thanks so much for so many great ideas!

  78. not biased, they are indeed terribly cute :) I love the sound of your eclectic menu. It sounds like a lively dinner full of flavour and fun!
    Heidi xo

  79. thea says:

    Oh I’m dying to use purple cauliflower… you make it all the more beautiful!



  80. Andrew says:

    Just stumbled upon this post, and… wow! What a great blog :)
    Honestly Good Food is right, and it’s probably worth mentioning; Pennyroyal shouldn’t be consumed by pregnant women since the essential oil contains high levels of pulegone, and can cause miscarriage. People still use it as a homebrew morning-after treatment.

  81. Harmony says:

    What amazing pictures!! Great blog! x

  82. gabricci says:

    Yummie. I’m no cook but you inspire me to try. Love the lemonade photos.

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