Andrea Gentl & Martin Hyers have been such an inspiration for me and every single photographer I meet along the way and they will be coming to idylic Lummi Island (off the coast of Washington State) this September to share their knowledge, experience and work on this still life and reportage workshop.
I just returned from a week in Portugal where I hosted a food photography and visual storytelling workshop with Ritchie Ace Camps. We stayed at Uva do Monte in Costa Terra. Beautiful bare beaches and peaceful villages. We discussed photography, we shared meals, but most importantly, made new friends.
In our garden or on the stoop, we take out bowls, linens, and even (I say this with no shame) plastic utensils. It’s a matter of sunshine and how food seems to taste better outside. I grew up that way. On Sundays, my dad took us to visit my grandparents’ farm where my grandmother had a bocadillo or poached eggs in tomato sauce ready for us to take outside and eat under the pergola. Scalloped edge- plates and spoons with old, old patina.
Everything is shifting from winter’s dark jewel colors to bright greens at our farmer’s market. Flowering greens, tangled shoots and tender roots give way to the new season and a lighter palate. I recently re-discovered broccoli rabe as I worked with Andy Boy on some recipe development. Nutritionally packed, we all know that, but also how the bitterness is balanced when roasted got me hooked. Even in spring I love roasting – a technique that brings so much depth to vegetables.
I have been cooking and serving this recipe of roasted broccoli rabe a lot. Serve it on tostadas with avocado, fried egg and chimichurri – a brilliant balance of bitter, sweet, fat and acid. You should give it a try. I am also thinking of making this white bean, broccoli rabe and finocchiona salad and maybe braising it for a bowl with quinoa, beets, toasted spicy almonds and tahini dressing. Just thinking out loud.
Roasted broccoli rabe, avocado and egg tostada with chimichurri
For the chimichurri This recipe makes more than you will need. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It’s great for meat, fish and eggs. 1 cup fresh parsley 1/2 cup fresh cilantro 3 garlic cloves, peeled 1/2 cup olive oil 1/3 cup red wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt Pinch red pepper flakes
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Reserve.
Tostadas 12 ounces broccoli rabe, rinsed and dried 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for eggs 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 4 large eggs 4 flour tortillas 2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced Cilantro, to garnish
Preheat oven to 400F. Place the broccoli rabe on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat and bake for 10 minutes until the leaves start to turn dark and the broccoli rabe softens. For the fried eggs, heat a non-stick 10-inch skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Crack one egg and immediately season the top with a pinch of salt. Crack a second egg next to it and season with salt. Let the eggs cook until the bottoms and edges are crispy while basting the tops with a bit of the hot oil every once in a while, about 3 minutes. Cook the remaining two eggs with more olive oil if needed. Heat the flour tortillas on that same non-stick sauté pan where you cooked the eggs. Let them get slightly golden on both sides. Divide them on four plates. Top with sliced avocado, roasted broccoli rabe, fried egg, chimichurri and fresh cilantro.